St. Patrick is so much more than the luck of the Irish

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This St. Patrick’s Day, go beyond the green bling, the shamrocks, the gold coins, and the leprechauns. Stop and think about the man Patrick, who he really was, what he experienced, and the actions he took. Only then will Patrick’s legacy of faith—which changed Ireland forever and influenced the world—come into full focus.

Patrick (Patricius) was a 5th century British missionary and disciple-maker. He was one of the first great Christian missionaries who took the gospel beyond the borders of the Roman world. This is often forgotten in our celebrations of the patron saint of Ireland.

Most of what we know of his life comes from his Confession, his hymn, and his Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus. He was a rich, privileged boy who lived on the coast of Roman Britain. He was raised in a Christian home, but was only a nominal believer.

At age 16 his serene world fell apart. He was captured by pirates on a raiding party, taken to Ireland and sold as a slave to a Druid tribal chieftain.


There was little Christianity in Ireland at the time. The Irish were largely pagan—steeped

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