Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
Credited with bringing Roman Catholic Christianity
to pagan Ireland in about 389-461...he is the Patron Saint of Ireland. And, with the
publication of the book by Thomas Cahill, How The Irish Saved Civilization, St.
Patrick may be the key person God used to bring this about.
He was born in about 385 AD in Britain (what is
now Wales?) with the birth name of Maewyn Succat. His father was a wealthy alderman under
Roman rule (and a Christian, a Deacon); his grandfather may have been a Catholic Priest. He
was captured by pirates/kidnappers in 401AD at age 16 and sold into slavery in Ireland. He
then called himself Patricius.
For the next 6 years, he served as a shepherd for
an Irish Chieftain in Ulster northeastern Ireland. It was during this time of shepherding
solitude that he really began to pray prodigiously. He began to discern or hear what he
thought was the voice of God. One night the voice told him, "Your hungers are rewarded: you
are going home". That night, he slipped away from his master, escaped at age 22 (after 6
years of slavery), made his way 200 miles to a ship, and returned to Britain. Drawn to the
priesthood, he entered a monastery in Gaul (France); and he eventually became ordained as a
priest. At age 40, he had a dream in which he believed God commanded him to go back to
Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity. In 435AD, he was sent to Ireland by Pope
Celestine I as a missionary (note: there were already some Christians in
He resented the scornful attitude of British
clergymen toward the Irish. His efforts were opposed by many British clergymen. In his
missionary role, he had the advantage of knowing the native Irish language and having a
genuine love for the Irish people. During some 30 years of his life (in Ireland), he is said
to have founded more than 300 churches and baptized more than 120,000 persons. In order that
Scripture be read, he introduced efforts at literacy to the heretofore illiterate
nation of Ireland. The monks and priests had to be able to read and copy books. That nation
went from illiterate to being a bastion of literacy in only two generations (about 32-40
years...435-475AD). Ireland would thereby become the building and growing repository of
active Western civilization. Europe was going down the tubes, as follows!
At about the time Patricius was returning to
Britain at age 22 (407AD), the Gothic barbarians flooded across the frozen Rhine River and
plundered the civilized world...even sacking Rome in 410AD. The barbarians ravaged Europe for
about 100 years...destroying much of Western civilization. But, because of the prodigious
copying of literary works by the Irish monks, much of written civilized Western thought was
saved. The monks eventually seeded this thought back into European culture as the West was
rebuilt from around 500AD onward. (I'm indebted to Frank Chapelle's op ed article in The
State newspaper of 17 March 2003 for a lot of this information.)
Legend has it that: (1) he charmed the snakes of a
snake-infested Ireland into the sea so that they were drowned (but the Ice Age had ridded
Ireland of snakes; so, this is a symbolic legend of the driving out of paganism). And, (2) in
his missionary teaching, he used a three-leaf shamrock to illustrate the Christian doctrine
of the Trinity. Modern St. Patrick's Day is March 17th, the day of the death (17 March 461AD)
of the 76 year old priest who became known as "St. Patrick" ; and, ironically, it currently
celebrates alcoholic drinking, partying and debauchery!!
Using an internet search engine, one can find the
"Confession of St. Patrick" (autobiography) translated from Latin on-line.
***give me your comments about this
(posted about 20 March 2002; latest update 19 March
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now