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Holy Saint Patrick of Ireland

Saint Patrick was born near a river in England or Wales. Sometimes pirates came to raid the villages near the river. They would take children away to sell them as slaves and this is what happened to Patrick when he was young. Patrick was taken to Ireland. He was put to work taking care of pigs on an Irish mountainside.

Patrick missed his family and his home, of course. But he prayed when he was alone on the mountain. He learned to be close to God and loved the feeling of closeness. During the six years he was in Ireland, he learned to pray constantly during the day and night. He also learned to speak the language of the Irish people.

saint_patrick_iconOne night, Patrick had a special kind of dream. He dreamed that he would soon go home on a boat. Because of this dream, he started walking the long miles to the harbor where ships were sitting in the water at the edge of the land. And there he saw a ship bound for his home. He was able to get on board and the ship took him home to his family.

Many years later, Patrick became a monk and then a bishop. He wanted to serve God in an active way. And even though he had suffered slavery and hardship in Ireland, he felt called to go back there. He would teach the people about Jesus Christ in their own language.

So Patrick went to Ireland and not only taught but helped the poor and cheered those who were discouraged. The people loved him and were glad to hear about Jesus Christ in words they could understand.

There were some people who did not want to hear about Jesus Christ. They did not want to be told that they should change their way of living. They tried to make things difficult for Patrick and told others not to listen to him. But Patrick’s long years of praying on the mountain had made him strong. He didn’t give up, and he didn’t hate the people who were unkind to him. He kept loving all the people he met. He kept telling them about Jesus Christ.

St. Patrick wanted people to know about Jesus Christ’s Father and the Holy Spirit, too. He showed people the shamrock, a plant that grows everywhere in the fields of Ireland. With its three beautiful green leaves together, the shamrock reminded the people of God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Through this very day, the shamrock and Saint Patrick have a closeness in people’s minds and hearts. Patrick, the saint of Ireland, and the shamrock, the plant of Ireland, both showed people how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love them.