The Real Saint Patrick


Most likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Saint Patrick is the green craziness of celebrations.

Green beer. Leprechauns. Four-leaf clovers. Irish pubs. Parades. Parties.

He most definitely didn’t look like this. 😉

Free Ai Generated Leprechaun illustration and picture

A more likely depicton is the top photo (photo via I AM PATRICK trailer/700 Club YouTube).

Sadly, the real story of Patrick is lost in these many misconceptions. My Irish friend who grew up on the Protestant side of Belfast didn’t know anything about him. And he’s Irish! Ironically, St. Patrick isn’t even canonized as a Catholic saint, although he is venerated as a saint.

I’m on a mission to share stories of redemption and salvation. Why should the best stories be lost?


Who was the real Patrick?


We know that Patrick wasn’t Irish. His father was a Roman citizen of high standing and his mother was from Britain. He was born in what is now Scotland circa 386 . He probably wasn’t a ginger. And despite the parties hosted in his honor, he was a humble missionary to Ireland about 400 years after Christ.

Much of what we know about his life is from his autobiographical writings, including a document called Confessio, and his Letter to Coroticus, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

At the age of sixteen, he was carried away by raiders to Ireland and sold into slavery. For six years he lived tending herds, living in poverty and exposed to the elements. During this time, he learned to pray. The presence of God comforted him during years of solitude. His faith grew and his captivity became the training ground for later ministry. He also learned the Celtic language.

Ancient Ireland was ruled by pagan Druid priests and waring chieftains. Human sacrifice was the accepted way to appease the many gods and idols of the Celtic tribes. Spiritual darkness covered the land.

One night Patrick had a dream of an awaiting ship and he heard a voice telling him to leave. He traveled 200 km on foot and found a boat which set sail back to Britain. After six years of captivity, he was reunited with his family. He announced his calling to enter the priesthood and left home to study and serve on various missions. In all those years, he never forgot the plight and misery of the Irish people.  He once had a vision or dream where the youth of Ireland were call him to return there and walk among them.

After the proper recommendations, he returned to Ireland with others in 433. Addressing them in their Celtic tongue helped, but he faced immediate opposition. He made his way back to the town of his captivity and performed miracles along the way. His reputation preceded him and his former slave owner, Milchus, had placed his house on fire as Patrick approached, with all his riches inside. Milchus threw himself in the fire, and it was said that his pride could not endure being vanquished by a former slave.

A local chieftain named Secssen welcomed Patrick and the message of Christianity. His son, Benen or Benignus, converted and became Patrick’s faithful disciple for the rest of his life.

A most notable incident took place on Easter day in 433 when the local King Laoghaire of Tara challenged him to a “trial by fire.” A Druid priest was tied to a burning building along with Benignus. Benignus survived without any injuries, thus King Laoghaire permitted Patrick and his companions to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through his kingdom.

March 17th marks St. Patrick’s day, commonly thought to be the date of his death.

For more info:


Why is knowing his story important?


Patrick’s life was one of the most positively impactful characters in human history. In many ways, St. Patrick emulates Apostle Paul of the New Testament who gave his life to preach the Gospel where it had not been heard before, plant new churches and establish leaders to lead local communities of believers. He modeled forgiveness. He knew about spiritual warfare, intimacy with God and intercessory prayer.


A perfect example of this is the powerful prayer of St. Patrick know as

“Saint Patrick’s Breast Plate.” 

The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Patrick gave his life to spreading the gospel to the Irish people, to establish churches and raise up new leaders.


There are many legends about St. Patrick with debatable accuracy, but it is obvious that he left a huge mark on Ireland, and the world. My DNA is 70% Ireland and England, so I reckon I am personally benefiting from his prayers today!

Enjoy this video for children from Torchlighters about St. Patrick.