Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick
Depiction of Saint Patrick from a stained glass window in St. James' Church, Glenbeigh, County Kerry, Ireland. Adapted from a photo by Andreas F. Borchert, made available through the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license

Saint Patrick is known for:

Bringing Christianity to Ireland. Saint Patrick may also have had a hand in Christianizing the Picts and the Anglo-Saxons. He is Ireland's most famous Patron Saint.

Occupations & Roles in Society:

Places of Residence and Influence:

Important Dates:

Died: March 17, c. 461

About Saint Patrick:

Patrick was born to a Romanized British family and at the age of 16 was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He spent six years as a slave in Ireland before escaping and, after much hardship and another brief captivity, returned to his home. Some time later Patrick returned to Ireland with the intention of converting the Irish to Christianity. He was not the first missionary to preach there, but he was extraordinarily successful.

The story of Patrick's mission is told in his Confessio, a spiritual autobiography that is one of the few sources of information we have about the saint. Many legends have grown up around him, including one in which he drove the snakes from Ireland into the sea (there were never any snakes in Ireland to drive out) and the charming story of how he used the Shamrock to illustrate the Trinity. Today the Shamrock is the national flower of Ireland and is worn to commemorate Patrick on his Saint's Day.

The year of Patrick's death is disputed and the year of his birth is uncertain, but he is believed to have died on March 17th.

More About Saint Patrick:

Saint Patrick in Print

Saint Patrick at About's Ancient/Classical History Site:

Biography of St. Patrick
The Confession of St. Patrick
St. Patrick Quiz

Saint Patrick on the Web:
Biography at the Catholic Encyclopedia

Further Resources
Medieval Ireland
Dark-Age Britain
Chronological Index

Geographical Index

Index by Profession, Achievement, or Role in Society