The pagan druids were astonished at what happened and many converted to Christianity because of it.
The local druids were furious, as it was a tradition in the region on the very same night that no one could light a fire until the king’s fire was lit by the druid priests. Death was the penalty for anyone who defied this law.
The druids informed the king that if this fire was not extinguished, the person who lit it would rule over all of Ireland.
Enraged, the king got into his chariot and raced to the fire with many armed warriors, ready to slay the person behind it. Before reaching the saint, the king sent a few messengers to speak with St. Patrick. However, after listening to the words of St. Patrick, some of the messengers were converted to Christianity.
In other versions of the story, the messengers tried to extinguish the fire of St. Patrick, but were unable to do so. They believed it was some sort of superior magic and that St. Patrick was a powerful magician.
Eventually St. Patrick spoke directly to the king, and while the chieftain did not immediately convert to Christianity, he was so impressed with St. Patrick that he gave the missionary permission to preach the Gospel to the native population.
The “light of Christ” subsequently conquered the land of Ireland, and St. Patrick was able to convert an entire nation to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?