A Summary of the Life of St. Patrick:
He was born in Britain as Maewyn Succat around 390 AD.
When he was 16, Irish raiders attacked his family’s estate, kidnapped him, and took him to Ireland as a slave, where he tended herds.
After six years in Ireland, he escaped his captors and found passage to Britain on a ship. After nearly starving and suffering a second brief captivity, he was reunited with his family.
He had a dream in which he read a letter and heard Irish people imploring him to return to Ireland and share the Gospel there.
Because he felt that he lacked the proper education to be an evangelist, he was reluctant to respond to the call but finally did around 432 AD.
When he became a priest, he changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, which derives from the Latin term for "father figure".
Gaining confidence in the Lord, he traveled throughout Ireland, spreading the Gospel and baptizing converts.
In his quest to make Christianity understandable to the Irish, he employed object lessons, such as using a shamrock to explain the Trinity.
Even though he dealt fairly with the non-Christian Irish, he lived in constant danger of martyrdom. He also faced some opposition from his superiors in Britain. He faced all of his challenges with courage and gave of himself unselfishly during his 30 years of missionary work in Ireland.
By the time of his death on March 17, 461 AD, he had established quite a few Christian churches, schools, and monasteries in Ireland.
His given name wasn’t Patrick. He wasn’t Irish. He didn’t drive the snakes out of Ireland. Instead, the real St. Patrick was a gutsy, creative, tireless missionary in a land where he had been a slave as a young man.
Now, here are four uplifting lessons we can all learn from the life of St. Patrick:
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