St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography by Philip FreemanIrelands patron saint has long been shrouded in legend, but the true story of St. Patrick is far more inspiring than the myths. In St. Patrick of Ireland, Philip Freeman brings the historic Patrick and his world vividly to life. Patrick speaks in his own voice in two remarkable letters he wrote about himself and his beliefs, new translations of which are included here and which are still astonishing for their passion and eloquence.
Born late in the fourth century to an aristocratic British family, Patricks life was changed forever when he was abducted and taken to Ireland just before his sixteenth birthday. He spent six grueling years there as a slave, but the ordeal turned him from an atheist into a true believer. After a vision in which God told him he would go home, Patrick escaped captivity and, following a perilous journey, returned safely to Britain to the amazement of his family. But even more amazing to them was his announcement that he intended to go back to Ireland to spend the rest of his life ministering to the people who had once enslaved him.
Set against the turbulent backdrop of the British Isles during the last years of the Roman Empire, St. Patrick of Ireland brilliantly brings to life the real Patrick, shorn of legend, a man whose deep spiritual conviction and devotion helped to transform a country.
As people across the world prepare to celebrate the life of one of the world's most famous Irishmen, was St Patrick actually Welsh? For many, St Patrick's Day commemorations will centre around pub crawls and street parades, but in one small village in west Wales a more sedate celebration will be taking place. He is believed to have come from Bannavem Taburniae, which could be Banwen in Neath Port Talbot, where every year a service is held in his honour. The annual event sees a small collection of residents, historians and school children congregate beside a plaque left in memory of the patron saint of Ireland, before they retire to a community centre for a cup of tea. Although it is much lower key than many other St Patrick's Day celebrations, residents believe it is important to keep the link with Patrick - who would be their most famous son - alive. One man who has a personal interest in promoting the connection is author and historian George Brinley Evans. When I was about eight years old I was told St Patrick was born on that land," he said.
Saint Patrick is not only the Patron Saint of Ireland, but he is also the Patron Saint of Australia, Nigeria, and Montserrat, which gives him a universal recognition in the Church and in the world. Saint Patrick becomes the Patron Saint on March 17 in almost every country of the world, as people celebrate their "Irish- ness " or links with Ireland through family and friends. Saint Patrick is probably the best-known saint around the world, after Saint Therese of Lisieux. Not only are many people named after him, with some 7 million bearing his name, but many establishments, institutions, and churches are called after him. Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York is the most famous of all. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Photo: iStock.
Everyone knows about Saint Patrick — the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, defeated fierce Druids in contests of magic, and used the shamrock to explain the Christian Trinity to the pagan Irish. Forget about the snakes — Ireland never had any to begin with. The real story of St. Patrick is much more interesting than the myths. In them, Patrick tells the story of his tumultuous life and allows us to look intimately inside the mind and soul of a man who lived over fifteen hundred years ago. They tell the story of an amazing life of pain and suffering, self-doubt and struggle, but ultimately of faith and hope in a world which was falling apart around him. He went to Ireland an atheist, but there heard what he believed was the voice of God.
Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saint of Ireland, the other patron saints being Brigit of Kildare and Columba. The dates of Patrick's life cannot be fixed with certainty, but there is broad agreement that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the fifth century. Nevertheless, as the most recent biography  on Patrick shows, a late fourth-century date for the saint is not impossible.
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How do you wish someone a Happy st Patrick’s in Gaelic?
Patrick , flourished 5th century, Britain and Ireland; feast day March 17 , patron saint and national apostle of Ireland , credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and probably responsible in part for the Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons. He is known only from two short works, the Confessio , a spiritual autobiography, and his Letter to Coroticus , a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians. Patrick was a 5th-century missionary to Ireland and later served as bishop there. He is credited with bringing Christianity to parts of Ireland and was probably partly responsible for the Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons. He is one of the patron saints of Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain of a Romanized family.
When he was 16 he was kidnapped by raiders who took him to Ireland, and was a slave for six years, during which time it is thought he became a Christian. Patrick was appointed second bishop to Ireland, and set up monasteries, churches and schools, continuing his missionary work for 30 years until his death on March 17 around AD. This is because they had no means of getting over to the Emerald Isle from mainland Europe or the UK. Meanwhile England, which has three native snakes species: the adder, grass snake and smooth snake JSYK slow worms are actually legless lizards , had a land bridge with mainland Europe 6, years ago hence why the snakes made it across. It makes you fight with your neighbor. It makes you shoot at your landlord — and it makes you miss him. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket — you might have caught a fish.