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Saint Patrick Facts

Updated on March 08, 2008

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.

Saint Patrick Comments

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    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 9 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
      Author

      Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

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

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      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 8 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.

    • profile image

      sally 8 years ago

      very helpful

    • profile image

      Ian Cronshaw 8 years ago

      Thanks for this intresting hub

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

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

    • profile image

      Randi Crow 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      haris 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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

    • profile image

      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.

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      Roisin  7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      cath 7 years ago

      gkgkjkjjkj

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      hola 7 years ago

      wicked

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      Jim 7 years ago

      i had to right a report on saint Patrick and this website really helped, thank you very much

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      Jason 7 years ago

      Im doing homework for St Patrick. Thks

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      amy 7 years ago

      cool

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      Angela 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      shann5en 7 years ago

      i love ireland

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      jamarie 7 years ago

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      ffd 7 years ago

      thnks reaslly helped a lot teehee xxxx

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      irishstudent 7 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.

    • profile image

      sylvia 7 years ago

      omgee im 11 ndd this website really helped me i meen this is a last minute project ndd yu just made it easier!!!! thanx!!!!!!!!!! xoxo

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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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      kane 6 years ago

      this helped on my homework

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      me to

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      ATR 6 years ago

      thank you so much for posting this hub, it really helped.

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      Sean 6 years ago

      Saint Patrick was English

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      sean 6 years ago

      I need to do homework and this was really helpful thanks!!!!!!!!

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      Amelia 6 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 6 years ago

      This is great because I am Irish

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      milku 6 years ago

      every1 else who has commented is weird

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      lhaddox 6 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 5 years ago

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

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      paddy89 5 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. 5 years ago

      he was only four when he got captured, this website is a lie. love donna

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      megan 5 years ago

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

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      shyyanne quilt 4 years ago

      hahahahahaha st.Patrick was boring

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      bob 4 years ago

      lol sorta boring

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      rebecca 4 years ago

      it was a very helpful website i will use it more often

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      rebecca 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Pierce Cummings 4 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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      this is funny hehe :)

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      neyli 4 years ago

      this really help! :)

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      lilly 4 years ago

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

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      helen 4 years ago

      thank you for giving me lots of information for my homework it was really good information for me since i am only 10 it was a great help for children and adults THANK YOU!!!

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      joey 4 years ago

      this really heled with homework

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      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??

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      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!

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      yallah 2 years ago

      thanks

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