St. Patrick was born in England, United Kingdom circa 385. St. Patrick is patron saint to Ireland known for spreading Christianity throughout the country as a missionary during the 5th century. Feast Day of St. Patrick commemoration of the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. He died on March 17 and this is why the Irish honor him on this day.
When St. Patrick was 16 years old, he was captured by Irish pirates. They brought him to Ireland where he was sold into slavery in Dalriada. There, his job was to tend sheep. Saint Patrick’s master, Milchu, was a high priest of Druidism, a Pagan sect that ruled religious influence over Ireland at that time. St. Patrick came to view his enslavement as God’s test of his faith. During his six years of captivity, he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer. In a vision, he saw the children of Pagan Ireland reaching out their hands to him. With this, he grew increasingly determined to free the Irish from Druidism by converting them to Christianity.
Circa 408, the idea of escaping enslavement came to St. Patrick in a dream. In the dream, a voice promised him be would find his way home to England. Eager to see the dream materialize, St. Patrick convinced some sailors to let him board their ship. After three days of sailing, he and the crew abandoned the ship in France and wandered, lost, for 28 days – covering 200 miles of territory in the process. At last, St. Patrick was reunited with his family in England.
Now a free man, St. Patrick went to Auxerre, France where he studied and entered the priesthood under the guidance of the missionary St. Germain. As time passed, St. Patrick never lost sight of his vision: he was determined to convert Ireland to Christianity. C 431, Pope St. Celestine I concecrated St. Patrick Bishop of the Irish, and sent him to Ireland to spread “The Good News”, the Christian Gospel, to the pagans there.
Upon his arrival in Ireland, St. Patrick was initially met with hostile resistance. But St. Patrick quickly managed to spread Christian teachings far and wide. Through preaching, writing and performing countless baptisms, he convinced Pagan Druids that they were worshiping idols under a belief system that kept them enslaved. By accepting Christianity, he told them, they would be elevated to “the people of the Lord and the sons of God.”
Praise God! What testimony this was in the 5th century as God used St. Patrick to spread Christianity among the pagans of his time. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
(Note: Druidism is an ancient Celtic religion in which the forces of nature were worshiped, and the priests were also prophets and poets. Druidism was a religion that was practiced by the Celtics about 2,000 years ago. The religion was administered by priests and priestesses called Druids. However, the religion had no official dogma or sacred scripture so it could take many forms. This meant that a person practicing druidism could adapt a wide variety of spiritual beliefs).
Lord, there are many religions today as there were in St. Patrick’s time. Help us (me) spread the gospel of Christianity to those Your Spirit leads us to. In Jesus name, Amen.