Saint Patrick Facts

Mini St. Patrick Biography

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick was born in Great Britain when it was ruled by the Roman Empire. He came from a wealthy family.

The exact dates of Saint Patrick's birth and death are unknown. The year of his death is widely believed to be 493. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on the date of Saint Patrick's death, March 17. Saint Patrick is said to be buried in Downpatrick, County Down under the Down Cathedral.

His first encounter with Ireland was by ominous means. When Patrick was a teenager, pirates attacked his family. Patrick was captured. He was taken back to be sold as a slave. Patrick was enslaved in Ireland for six years before he escaped back to his family in England. Patrick wrote that he heard a voice that he thought was God telling him to return to England. Patrick obeyed the voice by walking hundreds of miles to the nearest Irish port.

Patrick dreamt of an angel telling him to return to Ireland and be a missionary. Patrick obeyed the angel. He followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and eventually became a bishop. He became a missionary and returned to Ireland. Very little details are known about the details of exactly when or where Saint Patrick did his missionary work in Ireland. The approximate dates are sometime around 400-500.

There are only two surviving written documents that are credited to Saint Patrick. Both of them are letters. One of the letters is a mini autobiographical account of Saint Patrick's life and his work with the church. Patrick asserts in the letter that his faith became stronger while he was a slave in Ireland.

In the same letter known as the "Declaration", Saint Patrick also asserts that he had a vision that told him to go back to Ireland. One of the most interesting parts of the letter discusses charges filed against him. The specific charges aren't mentioned. But Patrick seems to be defending himself. He details accounts of the times that he returned gifts from the wealthy and from kings and other financial circumstances. Most people assume that the charges were financially related.

Patrick was very successful at converting the Irish to Christianity. He even converted the wealthy and members of royalty. This caused problems for Patrick. Saint Patrick writes about being arrested, beaten and sometimes imprisoned. His life in Ireland the second time was also difficult.

The second document is a letter written by Saint Patrick to the soldiers of Coroticus. The letter states that Patrick is excommunicating soldiers who raided Ireland and took citizens into slavery. Some believe that the letter may have been why Saint Patrick was put on trial.

A popular associated with Saint Patrick is that he banished all the snakes from Ireland. In reality, Ireland didn't have snakes. Another Saint Patrick story is that Patrick used the Irish shamrocks to explain the concept of the Trinity. Saint Patrick has never been canonised by a Pope, but he is on the List of Saints.

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Saint Patrick Comments 130 comments

Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States

Another very interesting hub as usual, Angela! Being married to an Irish descendent, I am always interested in the Irish heritage. I really need to do more research on this country. If we ever have our wish, we will visit Ireland one day, the land of his ancestors. Great job!

Bonnie


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA Author

Bonnie, I'm also part Irish and plan to visit Ireland. Thanks for the comment!


Shane Smith 8 years ago

having to do a project on st.Patrick this was an excellent source. thank you.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Hi Angela,

I just wrote about Croagh Patrick, and your hub caught my eye. It's interesting to learn a little more about the saint himself. Thanks for posting this hub.


sally 7 years ago

very helpful


Ian Cronshaw 7 years ago

Thanks for this intresting hub


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

St. Patrick was never canonized? Well, see how they treat the Irish!


Randi Crow 7 years ago

most of the research idid didn't mention his parents were attacked


haris 7 years ago

thank yous gus so much I really needed the help on church homework PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mark R 7 years ago

Angela, your comment about snakes is not fully correct. For many pre-christian peoples, the sign of special knowledge was the snake. You can still see this today on the serpent-entwined staff of the medical profession. St. Patrick, and his advancement of Christianity, is attributed wih chasing the druids (symbolized by the snakes) out of Ireland. Regards


Mark R 7 years ago

Also, in his writings, Patrick showed himself to be a follower of the Arian Heresy. He taught that Jesus was a "special" holyman, but not a "divine" one. This got him into a lot of trouble with Rome, which based it's power on the divine nature of Jesus and his (and Paul's interpretted) instructions on how the church was to be ruled. Patrick openly fought with Rome and taught a form of Christianity that gave you a one-on-one relationship with God (no priests or other middlemen required). His success was co-opted, rewritten and "spun" by Catholic historians after his death.


Roisin  7 years ago

I think croagh patrick is amazing, I truly do ; plus trustwerthey so I belive all that story


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Jim 6 years ago

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Jason 6 years ago

Im doing homework for St Patrick. Thks


amy 6 years ago

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Angela 6 years ago

Our Scouts are doing a skit on St. Patrick and your information was a big help. Thank you!


shann5en 6 years ago

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irishstudent 6 years ago

Just to clear it up whoever posted this stuff (below) has it 100% wrong. I think they are thinking of maybe another Irish monk. This is certainly not true for Patrick...

Also, in his writings, Patrick showed himself to be a follower of the Arian Heresy. He taught that Jesus was a "special" holyman, but not a "divine" one. This got him into a lot of trouble with Rome, which based it's power on the divine nature of Jesus and his (and Paul's interpretted) instructions on how the church was to be ruled. Patrick openly fought with Rome and taught a form of Christianity that gave you a one-on-one relationship with God (no priests or other middlemen required). His success was co-opted, rewritten and "spun" by Catholic historians after his death.


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Van 6 years ago

My son and I have climbed Craigh Patrick twice. It is on the northwest coast of Ireland. On top is a Catholic shrine where St. Patrick stayed and fasted.

I have visited Ireland many times and love it and the people.


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ATR 5 years ago

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Sean 5 years ago

Saint Patrick was English


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Amelia 5 years ago

St. Patrick was not even Irish!!!!! He was Italian! the Romans took over Britain when pompeii was in ruins.


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Bob 5 years ago

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lhaddox 5 years ago

Just another word about the Great St. Patrick! HIs letters were not "gospels" about all the truths of his Christian Faith. They were, however, testaments to his deeply held faith in Jesus as Lord. In addition to his "confessions" he is the first in all of Christianity to go beyond the Roman Empire as a missionary, and his is the ONLY biographical document in all of the known world during this time frame. I admire the great humility which with Patrick speaks in his letters and admire the courage he displayed in returning to the people who enslaved him and becoming one of them. We re right to honor him, even though he is not canonized, his story is one for all of us to admire.


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Tony Hadley 4 years ago

Can I please inform you that St Patrick was Welsh and not English as mentioned.


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paddy89 4 years ago

St patrick was not italian he was welsh many irish believe that the english bought in the fleas and st patrick drove out the snakes. he also banished the devil to the cliff and seperated it from mainland!


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s.o.s. i'll help you. 4 years ago

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megan 4 years ago

i am doing this for my project and i picked him because patrick is my dads name


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rebecca 3 years ago

It helped me a lot fir a project form social studies on Saint Patrick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Pierce Cummings 3 years ago

I'm using st. Patrick as my confirmation name my little brother how sadly pased away called pad rage that the reason why I'm calling my confirmation name st. Patrick


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lilly 3 years ago

verry intresting. i have to write 16 pages about saint patrick for school!


helen 3 years ago

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joey 3 years ago

this really heled with homework


Billy bob joe 3 years ago

This was really helpful but I still have to find what St.Patrick was a patron saint of and I didn't find it in here. Do you know??


james 3 years ago

Had to do research on a saint and chose St. Patrick because I'm half Irish and visit Ireland annually. This was a good source of information, Thanks!


yallah 2 years ago

thanks

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