St. Patrick is undoubtedly one of the most famous men in the world. Although he is the patron saint of Ireland, he was actually of British origin born to noble Catholic family on the West coast of England. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by pirates and sold to the pagan Irish slave market where he remained in servitude for six years. After managing a daring escape, he returned to England reuniting with his mother and father. One day the Lord spoke to Patrick in a vision asking him to go back to the place of his enslavement and evangelize the people who once tortured him. St. Patrick relates the story in his own words: “I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.” The young saint was hesitant. But, his heart began to pity the pagan island he escaped, a society ignorant of God and His merciful love. Patrick entered the monastery and was ordained a priest. He then asked permission to return to Ireland in hopes of converting its inhabitants to Catholicism. He landed in the coastal city of Wicklow 30 miles south of Dublin. Here, the young priest began his mission preaching the Gospel to a vicious druid people. Yet, after several years, countless souls were joining the Catholic Church. The Irish natives were in shock that this slave had freely returned to them seeking to save the souls of his captors. They recognized Patrick’s courage and admired his zeal. He was a charismatic man, well-educated, a passionate preacher and selfless servant. Most of all, the druids were impressed by the priest’s charity and compassion. Even those pagan chieftains who threatened his life were met with mercy. St. Patrick died on the 17th of March 492 AD. He was over 100 years old! The English priest and bishop had spent nearly half a century evangelizing the Irish people. In that short time, he managed to convert the entire civilization of Celtic Ireland founding what would become one of the most flourishing and dynamic Catholic communities in the world. Thankfully, St. Patrick left us a first-hand account of his spiritual life and activities in his famous Confession. This book details the inner workings of an amazing man and is definitely a book worth reading and owning in your personal library.
The Confession of St. Patrick