St. Patrick Biography
Born on 17th March, 493 or c 500 on the west coast of Britain in a small settlement of Bannavem located in South England. He was a Romano-Briton and a Christian Missionary who is widely recognized at the patron saint of Ireland or the Apostle of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17th which is the death day of Patrick. This day is celebrated in many countries outside Ireland as a non-liturgical and a liturgical holiday. According to the dioceses of Ireland this day is a solemnity and a holy day of obligation which marks the celebration of Ireland.
• Alternate Names: Saint Patrick
• Date of birth: 17th March 493
• Place of birth: Britain
• Origin: Ireland
• Profession: Saint and a Christian Missionary
• Known for: Being the patron of Ireland
Childhood and growing up years:
Patrick was born on 17th March in 493 in a Romanized family. His father known as Calpornius was a deacon and the son of Potitus who is a priest in the era before the celibacy who ordered for priests and who was a Romanized Briton and his mother is from a upper-class Gaulish family from the Martin of Tours but however, Patrick makes no prideful claim of her. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was torn apart by the Irish raiders from his father’s villa which was situated in Britain and was carried into slavery to Ireland where he spent six bleak years by working as a herdsman and then turned to fervor the faith of Lord. Although, he comes from a Christian background he did not particularly have any religious faith before his enslavement. When Patrick was twenty-two years of age he fled his master Milchu in Dalriada and found his way to Britain by getting on to a ship. On his way he suffered with starvation but reunited with his family and later became one the first Christian clergyman in Ireland after Pallidius in the year 457. After meeting his parents, he paid a short visit to the continent. His first patron converted patron was Dichu who also made a gift for Patrick that consisted of a large sabhall (Pronounced as Saul) for a church sanctuary. This was the first sanctuary that was dedicated to St. Patrick and in the later it became the chosen place for retreat by St. Patrick. In the same place a monastery and also a church was constructed.
However, Patrick was not the first Christian missionary to visit Ireland but he made a great impact with his missions that were concentrated to the provinces of Connaught and Ulster, the places which never received Christians earlier. St. Patrick wrote an autobiography titled “Confessio” after his return to Britain which consists of a Victoricus delivery letter head “The Voice of Ireland” and this seemed to have certain company of the Irish beseeching him to walk once again with them. Even on the eve of Patrick’s reembarkation for Ireland he was besotted by doubts and confusion for being fit for the task. Gradually, his hesitations vanished and finally he confined in the Lord that he would start a wide and far career, baptizing and finalizing with the untiring zeal. For this purpose, he brought gifts for the kinglet and the lawgiver but they were declined by both of them. At many of the occasions, he was casted into chains and in another he was addressed with lyrical pathos as he was converted as being slain and kidnapped by the soldiers of Coroticus.
He was always careful while dealing with the non-Christian Irish community and nevertheless in lived in constant danger of being murdered. But he was a humble man, pouring forward continuous activities of thanks giving for his maker who has chosen him to be the instrument to spread multitudes of worship and become the people of god.
Claim to fame:
The phenomenal success of St. Patrick is not his mission but his kind personality. Since the time his writings have come to be understood, he was gaining more recognition while keeping aside occasional incoherence. Mythology gives him the credits of banishing snakes from the island of Ireland while others suggest that it was just due to certain climatic changes. Legend shows that Patrick taught the Irish the concepts of Trinity which showed people the shamrock which is a three-leafed clover and it is used to highlight the Christian belief of three divine persons in one god. The 12th century tells us that St. Patrick met two ancient warriors namely Oisin and Cailte mac Ronain at the time of his evangelical travels.
Patrick died on March 17th 493 AD while some believe that he died in 420 and then lived half of his life in the 5th century. A lecture which was titled “The Two Patricks” was published in the year 1942 by T. F. O’Rahilly which caused enormous controversies suggesting that there had been two Patricks and the person we now know of St. Patrick is in fact the part of a conscious effort to mix the two into one hagiographic personality. Decades after research, historians claim that Patrick most likely was active in the latter half of the fifth century. But there is plentiful evidence that Patrick died in the medieval period in 493. St. Patrick is said to be buried at the Down Cathedral situated in Downpatrick of Country Down along the St. Columba and St. Brigid, but it has never been proven. The battle for the body of St. Patrick displays the importance of his personality as a spiritual and also as an object of veneration if the early days of Christianity in Ireland.
March 17th which is the death day of St. Patrick is celebrated as his feast day and is marked important in churches all over the world due to the influence of Waterford scholar Luke Wadding who was a member of the commission for the reform of Breviary. The great St. Patrick is also venerated in the Orthodox Church especially among the English speaking Orthodox Christians who are living in the Republic of Ireland and also the United Kingdom and in North America. There are a number of orthodox icons that are dedicated to him.
“That which I have set out in Latin is not my words but the words of God and of apostles and prophets, who of course have never lied. He who believes shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be damned. God has spoken.”
“No one should ever say that it was my ignorance if I did or showed forth anything however small according to God’s good pleasure; but let this be your conclusion and let it so be thought, that – as is the perfect truth – it was the gift of God.”
“Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall.”
“If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.”