Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland

Dublin St Patrick's 5 St Patrick Where was Patrick born? Exciting Holiness says  Celtic Cornwall around the year 390.  But as an adopted Cumbrian I plump for Birdoswald by Hadrian’s Wall, with his father as a deacon in the ancient Christian community at Carlisle. Either way, if we rely on two apparently authentic letters of his, he was captured by Irish raiders as a youth and taken to Ireland as a slave. After six years, he escaped to the Continent, then back to his own family, and then – growing in faith – back  to Gaul to train from the priesthood under the influence of the monastic community founded by Martin of Tours. He returned in his forties to Ireland as a bishop, based at Armagh, but not as its first  – Palladius was already there. He tried to establish a diocesan system with little success in this land of monks, but history proved to be on his side,and by the eighth century he was regarded as Ireland’s patron saint. He may have died on this day in the year 460.


Almighty God,
who in your providence chose your servant Patrick
to be the apostle of the Irish people:
keep alive in us the fire of the faith he kindled
and strengthen us in our pilgrimage
   towards the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.