Patrick of Ireland was never born an Irishman.

In fact, he was kidnapped and taken hostage by pirates when he was sixteen years old from Roman controlled Britain and taken to the Celtic island. He spent the  next 6 years there in captivity by being a sheep herder in the Irish wilderness with virtually no hope of leaving his captors. Patrick was not a Christian by the time of his taking, but while in captivity he began to pray 100 times a day and 100 times a night.

One night in a dream he was given a vision of how to escape and believed the dream to be from God. In his dream he was told to leave his master and a ship would be waiting for him. He traveled a few miles unnoticed before reaching a ship that was to sail and lead him to freedom.

After he was free, he enrolled in seminary and eventually became a pastor. However, God spoke to him in a dream again and told him to go back to Ireland and convert the Celtic people. The Catholic Church abandoned reaching this group of people of illiterates, drunks, and who worshiped and had sex with pretty much anything they could see or catch. Patrick sold all his possessions and his inheritance to fund his journey.

The forty year old Patrick would travel the countryside and pay large sums of money to area tribal leaders for safe passage in their territories and preach the gospel to them. He found great success in teaching about the Holy Trinity by using a three-leaf clover.

While we should celebrate the work of this great man who brought many in Ireland in Christianity and helped usher in a time of great intellectual and civilization advancements, lets not get carried away with the Leprechauns and getting black out drunk.

What would Patrick say or do today about our celebration of St. Patrick's Day? He would try to convert us.

Read more about Patrick and Ireland here:

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