St. Patrick Essay, Research Paper
Patrick was not Irish he was a Britain, the only ancient Britain whom we really know. We know Patrick because of an almost unbelievable stroke of good luck; he wrote two little books that have managed to survive the centuries. He was not writing for the benefits of children. One of his books deals with the situation of one in a time of controversy and the other after a brutal crime.
Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies. His father Calpurnius was a deacon of the church, and his grandfather Potitus was a priest. They were both seemingly married.
When Patrick was sixteen years old he was carried off forcibly from his home by Irish marauders. He and other prisoners were sold in Ireland as slaves to different purchasers. They were transported as far from Britain as possible, therefore their chances of escape were reduced. Patrick believed he was taken into captivity deservedly, because he turned away from God. He did not keep his commandments, and did not obey his priests, who used to remind him of his salvation. The lord brought over him the wrath of his anger and scattered him among many nations, even into the utmost part of the earth, where now his littleness is placed among strangers. During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote:
“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith,
and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a
hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.”
“I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”
Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britain, where he reunited with his family. He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him “We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.” He began his studies for the priesthood. St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years, ordained him.
Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick. He spent the rest of his days in Ireland as sole Bishop there. He felt that he was not worthy. In the confession he is so engrossed in giving his version of what had happened when he was not appointed that he omits to mention (except by implication) that in the long run he was appointed. Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when they heard Patrick’s message.
Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well). Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions.
Be turned in faith with a whole heart to the Lord my God, because nothing is impossible to Him, so that today He may dispatch food to you until you should be satisfied on your way, as there was abundance everywhere for Him
After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461 at Saul, where he had built the first church.
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentleman, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.