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St. Patrick

St. Patrick by Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist's Narrative:


May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

His feast day is March 17.

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St. Patrick was kidnapped from the British mainland around age 16, and shipped to Ireland as a slave. He was sent to the mountains as a shepherd where he spent his time in prayer. After six years of this life, he had a dream in which he was commanded to return to Britain; seeing it as a sign, he escaped. He studied in several monasteries in Europe. Patrick became a priest and then a Bishop. He was sent by Pope Saint Celestine to evangelize England, then Ireland, during which his chariot driver was Saint Odran, and Saint Jarlath was one of his spiritual students. In 33 years he effectively converted Ireland. In the Middle Ages Ireland became known as the Land of Saints, and during the Dark Ages its monasteries were the great repositories of learning in Europe, all a consequence of Patrick's ministry.

Born: 389 at Scotland as Maewyn Succat

Died: 461 at Saul, County Down, Ireland


I came to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.

If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for Christ's name. I want to spend myself for that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor.

It is among people that I want to wait for the promise made by him, who assuredly never tells a lie. He makes this promise in the Gospel: "They shall come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world.

—Excerpts from the Confession of Saint Patrick