St. Patrick, Missionary Bishop of Ireland

Patrick (c. 387 – c. 461) was brought up as a Christian, though in no tradition of strong piety. At the age of 16 he was captured by Irish pirates and spent six years as a herdsman in Ireland. In his captivity he turned earnestly to God, and eventually received a divine message that he was to escape. He made his way to some port 200 miles away, persuaded some sailors to give him a passage, and landed in Britain. After adventures in which he felt himself sustained and protected by divine help, he returned to his kinsfolk a changed man.

He underwent training for the Christian ministry, which must have consisted mainly of learning a rather conservative rule of faith and acquiring an intimate knowledge of the Latin Bible. A vision then called him to return to Ireland. He went from Britain as ‘bishop of Ireland’ and he spent the rest of his life there, evangelizing, conciliating local chieftains and educating their sons, ordaining clergy, and instituting monks and nuns.

O Father, how Patrick loved those who enslaved him! Would that we could love one another in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion so well. Amen.

Hat tip: SF

One Response to St. Patrick, Missionary Bishop of Ireland

  1. […] luminaries St. Patrick, missionary bishop of Ireland St. Ninian, missionary to the Picts St. Alban, […]

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