Missionary and Bishop (Fifth Century)
+ Patrick was born to a noble Roman family in Britain. Kidnapped at the age of sixteen, he was taken to Ireland as a slave and held in captivity for six years.
+ Patrick escaped his captors and returned to Britain but was inspired by a dream to return to Ireland to spread the Christian Faith. To prepare for his mission, he spent time living as a monk in France and was ordained a priest in 417.
+ In 431, Patrick was sent to assist the bishop Saint Palladius in Ireland. Patrick traveled throughout the Ireland and helped convert several members of the royal families.
+ During a visit to Rome in 442, he was commissioned by Pope Saint Leo the Great to organize the Church in Ireland and he eventually made Armagh the main diocese of the Irish Church.
+ Saint Patrick died on March 17, 461. Two of his surviving works, The Confessions and Letter to Coroticus, testify to Patrick’s struggles, commitment to ministry and faith.
+ In 1808, Daniel Delany, bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, founded a community of religious brothers to provide education and training to the young men of his diocese. Today, this community—the Brothers of St. Patrick—serves in missions in India, Australia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, and the United States.
For prayer and reflection
“In Christ, I am a slave of a foreign people, for the sake of the indescribable glory of eternal life which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Saint Patrick, Letter to Coroticus
O God, who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick
to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland,
grant, through his merits and intercession,
that those who glory in the name of Christian
may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.