Not a lot of people know who St. Patrick really was. Sure, most people know about the parade and the drinking that happens on the very green St. Patrick’s Day. But ask them who he was and what were his beliefs, wisdom and miracles and you’d probably get a “have some beer!” as a response.
Be more interesting during St. Patrick’s Day and drop some knowledge on everybody with why we celebrate the life of this Saint. While many use the holiday as an excuse to be irresponsible and get drunk or get into a fight, dig a little deeper and you’ll see that St. Patrick was a survivor. Nearly being enslaved for his entire life and dying from starvation both seemed to be his fate. How did it change? Read on to find out and then enjoy your beer this St. Patrick’s Day with a little more purpose knowing what you’re celebrating.
Who Was St. Patrick?
Generally speaking, he is the patron saint of Ireland. A lot of facts are known about his life, as two letters written by him about his life which authenticity has been proven exist. From the letters, namely “Declaration” and “Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus”, these are the verifiable details of his life:
- He was born in Roman Britain at Banna Venta Berniae.
- He came from a family of highly-religious people, with his father being once a deacon and his grandfather once a priest.
- Irish raiders kidnapped him from his home when he was 16, and was turned into a slave in Ireland.
- He lived as a slave in Ireland for 6 years before he was able to escape to return home to his family in his early 20s.
- He became a cleric, and later on returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop. He served the island’s north and west sides.
- There were charges made against him, mainly on the grounds of financial impropriety. These false charges were made because of his beliefs and mission of baptizing “thousands of people”, ordaining priests to lead new Christian communities and converting sons of kings and even wealthy women.
- He was embraced as the patron saint of Ireland by the 7th century.
What Were His Beliefs?
Obviously, one of the beliefs of St. Patrick is that there should be new priests to lead new Christian communities and this is why it’s one of his missions in life. He also believed in the need to convert people with money and power, and this explained why he converted wealthy women and sons of kings.
There is a lot of confusion regarding his other beliefs, as researchers and historians spun his beliefs and wisdom to fit the beliefs of the said researchers and historians. For example, some researches have claimed that he is for Protestantism, while others have claimed that he’s for Catholicism.
In his letters, he clearly stated his beliefs. He said that he went to Ireland to spread the Gospel. He also believed that all his accomplishments were his gifts to God.
His escape from slavery is considered a miracle by some, especially with how he was able to go back home to his family. In addition, his wisdom led to another miracle – the fact that he was able to convert a lot of Pagans with the help of a shamrock.
He was also able to provide food for hungry sailors. He was traveling with them by land and the group had troubles finding food to eat. St. Patrick told the captain that God is all-powerful, and prayed to God for food. Right after his prayer, a herd of pigs appeared. The sailors caught them and they were able to eat.