Saint PatrickBorn in Scotland, at Kilpatrick, Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.  His exact birth date is unknown.  However, it is believed that he was born sometime around the year 385 AD and died around the year 460 AD. 

Born to wealthy parents, Calphurnius and Conchessa, Patrick lived among the wealthy and high ranking families.  Irish intruders at his father’s home took prisoner Saint Patrick at the age of sixteen.  He was taken to Ireland where he was sold as a slave.  He spent the next six years as a captive in Ireland. 

He spent much of this time tending the flocks of his master in solitude in the valley of the Braid.  He became lonely and afraid and turned to God and religion for comfort, praying several times throughout his day.  During this time, he learned the Celtic tongue fluently.  He also learned of the rituals of Druidism, since his master was a druidical high priest.

Finally, he escaped and walked to the coast to return home.  It is believed that he walked at least two hundred miles on this journey.  Saint Patrick believed that he had a vision or revelation in a dream.  An angel revealed that he was to return to Ireland as a missionary. 

Patrick began to study and train as a missionary for the next fifteen years or so.  He placed himself under the guidance of Saint Germain and began to work as a missionary.  Eventually, he became ordained as a priest and returned to Ireland.

His goal was to convert the Irish who had not yet converted to Christianity and to minister to the needs of those who had already done so.  Many people, however, have held the belief that Saint Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.

Saint Patrick founded many churches in many of the provinces of Ireland and ministered to the needs of the people.  Additionally, he consecrated many to help him with his work.  During this time, he continued to pray devoutly on a daily basis.

Saint Patrick is noted with incorporating traditional Irish rituals and beliefs into his teachings in an effort to make the transition more natural for the Irish people.  It is from Saint Patrick that the Celtic cross is believed to have originated. 

He superimposed a sun onto a Christian cross.  The sun was a powerful symbol to the Irish, so he thought it would allow the Irish to honor the Christian cross more readily with that symbol included.

It is believed that Saint Patrick died on March 17, 460 AD and this is why we celebrate his feast day on that day.  Typically, parades and other festivities occur on this day in modern times.  This holiday began as a religious holiday that began with religious ceremonies in the morning and ended with special meals and festivities.