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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