What is St. Patrick's Day and Who is Saint Patrick? (2024)

March 11, 2020 3 Comments

What is St. Patrick's Day and Who is Saint Patrick? (2024)

It's that time of the year again - St. Paddy's day.

But what is St. Patrick's Day exactly?

Well, let's start with the basics.

What day is Saint Patrick's Day 2024, you ask? 

 It's a Wednesday!

Do you remember what you did for St. Patrick's Day 2023? (some of you probably DO NOT!)

Saint Patrick's Day - Welcome to Truth

For some of you, it involved a lot of time at the local pub, A LOT of GREEN, and the next morning telling yourself you will never drink again, with a VERY big headache.

But what is the meaning of it all?  What date is Saint Patrick's Day?

Who is Saint Patrick? What did St. Patrick do? 

And why does he have a day named after him?

The Story of Patrick

Well this story starts a long, long...

...long, long time ago...in Roman Britain (pictured below).

The year was AD 386 (or somewhere close to that), and a baby was born.  His name...you guessed it.


Well actually, Patrick's British name at birth was "Sucat", but his Latin name was "Patricius" meaning 'noble'. 

Roman Britain - What is Saint Patrick's Day? - Welcome to Truth


Much of the information in this blog post was taken from the book by William Federer, Saint Patrick.  For more info, I highly recommend you check out the book.

William Federer - Saint Patrick - Welcome to Truth

Federer mentions in his book that Patrick was born at a time when the great Roman Empire was decaying (around AD 387).

Roman Empire - Welcome to Truth

Britain had seceded from Roman authority and briefly saw a resurgence of Celtic culture prior to the Germanic invasions in later centuries.

Patrick was raised in a respected Roman family, with his father, Calpurnius, being a civil magistrate, holding the office of decurio, and serving as a deacon in the church.

Patrick's grandfather, Pontius (no, not Pontius Pilate), held a ministry position in the Church, whose origins date from the 2nd century Roman occupation of Britain.

Patrick's mother, Conchessa, taught him to pray, but by his own admission, Patrick had not committed his life to God at an early age. 

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Patrick is captured as a slave

Patrick As a Slave

Around AD 405, when Patrick was 16, he was captured, according to the autobiographical Confessio by Patrick.  

While working on his father's farm near the sea, 50 "currachs" (long boats) filled with raiders weaved their way toward the shore.  

The barbarians dragged him aboard a boat bound for the east coast of Ireland (pictured below).

East Coast of Ireland - Welcome to Truth

Patrick was brought to Ireland, where he was sold as a slave to a cruel warrior chief named Milchu.

He faced captivity, as a slave in Ireland, from around 405-411 AD.

In this foreign land, Patrick saw their infatuation with superstition and magic spells.

Federer points out that Patrick became repulsed by their Druid priests, who led the people in worship of the sun, moon, wind, water, fire, rocks, and even human sacrifice.

The Druids, from whom Halloween originated, believed that the trees and hills were inhabited by good and evil spirits which had to be appeased or they would bring harm.

This worship of demons has come down to the present day in the guise "trick or treat" and elves, and leprechans.

Leprechans - Welcome to Truth

Patrick, at this time, was NOT living for the Lord, but in his desperation decided to CRY OUT for Christ.

Suddenly Patrick began to feel a deep peace of God.

Patrick, in his writings, reflects on the times. 

"But after I came to Ireland - every day I had to tend sheep, and many times a day I prayed - the love of God and His fear came to me more and more, and my faith was strengthened." 

He continues on.

"And my spirit was moved so that in a single day I would say as many as a hundred prayers, and almost as many in the night..."

Patrick, for the 6 years, worked herding his master's pigs or sheep on the nearby hill, living like an animal, enduring long bouts of hunger and thirst.

pigs and sheep - welcome to truth

Check out our Christian Education Board Game:

Christian Board Game - Welcome to Truth

Patrick Escapes

After 6 years, Patrick escaped and returned to his family in Roman Britain.

He was ordained a deacon by the Bishop of Auxerre (pictured below) around 418 A.D. 

Bishop of Auxerre - Welcome to Truth


Patrick explains a GREAT vision that he has:

I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland.

His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: "The Voice of the Irish".

As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Focault, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice:

"We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us."

So Saint Patrick goes back to Ireland.

Pope Celestine I - Welcome to Truth

In 432 A.D., he was ordained as a bishop and was soon sent by Pope Celestine I (pictured above) to Ireland to spread the gospel to non-believers, and provide help to existing Christians.

The Apostle of Ireland was over 40 years old when he finally (leaving Britain) was able to return to Ireland.

For the next 30 years, Patrick labored in Ireland, bringing people from superstitions to the worship of God.

Patrick died in Ireland around 461 AD.

Saint Patrick's Day is on March 17th each year, on what is seen as the anniversary of his death.

Saint Patrick's Day - Welcome to Truth

Most Famous Quotes

Patrick was definitely a man of faith and took great risk in his proclamation of the gospel.  Here are some of his most famous quotes:

"Daily, I expect murder, fraud or captivity," Patrick wrote, "but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven." 

"I have cast myself into the hands of God almighty Who rules everywhere..."

Here's my favorite:

"I beg Him to grant me that I may shed my blood with those exiles and captives for His name, even though I should be denied a grave, or my body, be woefully torn to pieces, limb by limb by hounds or wild beasts, or the fouls of the air devour it."

So well did people remember his illustrations, that even today Ireland is known for its 3-leaf clover, which Patrick used to explain the Holy Trinity.

3 leaf clover - welcome to truth

Patrick's success was seen through the over 300 churches he founded and the over 120,000 converts he baptized. 


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Now we want to turn it over to you.  What Saint Patrick event did you learn tonight? Was it that he was captured by a slave or that he was such a devout Christian?

Let us know in the comments section below.

3 Responses

Diane Champion
Diane Champion

March 18, 2024

Thanks for spreading the Gospel.


March 18, 2020

Thanks St Patrick’s for u have done


March 18, 2020

Thanks St Patrick’s for what u did at our home land area

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