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  Who is St. Patrick ?
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What the World Book Says about Saint Patrick, (about 389-461), is the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was chiefly responsible for converting the Irish people to Christianity. He became known as the Apostle to the Irish. His name in Latin is Patricius.

His life. Patrick was born in Britain. His father was a wealthy alderman and a Christian. When Patrick was 16 years old, pirates captured him during a raid and sold him as a slave in Ireland. He served as a shepherd of an Irish chieftain in Ulster. During his captivity, Patrick dedicated himself to religion. He escaped after six years of slavery and returned to his home in Britain.

As a result of his experiences in Ireland, Patrick became driven by the idea of converting the Irish to Christianity. To prepare himself for that task, he studied in the monastery of Lerins, on an island off the southeast coast of France. Patrick also went to Auxerre, France, and studied religion under Saint Germanus, a French bishop. Partly because Patrick's earlier education was inadequate, his religious superiors were reluctant to let him return to Ireland as a missionary. But Palladius, the first Irish missionary bishop, died in 431. Pope Celestine I then sent Patrick to Ireland.

Patrick began his work in northern and western Ireland, where no one had ever preached Christianity. He gained the trust and friendship of several tribal leaders and soon made many converts. Patrick is said to have founded more than 300 churches and baptized more than 120,000 people.

Patrick brought clergymen from England and France for his new churches. He succeeded in his mission in Ireland, even though many British clergymen opposed him and the way he organized his churches. Patrick preached in Ireland for the rest of his life.

His writings serve as the most important sources of information about Patrick's life and work. During his later years, he wrote Confession, an account of his spiritual development. Patrick wrote this book to justify his mission to Ireland. In the book, Patrick expressed his humility and thankfulness that God called him to serve the Irish. Patrick also wrote Letter to Coroticus. In this letter, he criticized a raid on Ireland conducted by Coroticus, a British chieftain. Several of Patrick's converts were killed during the raid. The letter also shows Patrick's resentment of the scornful attitude of British clergymen and nobility toward the Irish.

Legends about Patrick. Many stories about Patrick are based only on legend. One of the best-known tales tells how he charmed the snakes of Ireland into the sea so they were drowned. According to another legend, Patrick used a three-leaf shamrock to illustrate the idea of the Trinity. Many people believe the shamrock came to be the traditional symbol of Ireland as a result of this legend. Today, Irish Catholics throughout the world celebrate Saint Patrick's Day on his feast day, March 17

Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland in the A.D. 400's.  The Irish accepted Christianity and came to regard Patrick as their patron (guardian) saint. Today, his feast day, March 17, is celebrated as a national holiday.

Saint Patrick also introduced the Roman alphabet and Latin literature into Ireland. After his death, about 461, Irish monasteries flourished as centers of learning.

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The Shamrock
St. Patrick's Day in America
The Shield of St. Patrick
Irish Blessings page 1
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Irish Blessings page 3
Irish song lyrics and midi music
 A Toast and some recipes I like
Just a Few Irish and Celtic Proverbs
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