Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures – but despite his fame, his life remains a mystery.
According to the Confession of Patrick, he was captured by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and brought to Ireland as a slave – where folklore states he tended to pigs and sheep on Slemish Mountain in County Antrim. During this period, it is said he developed a profound Christian faith. After six years, Patrick claimed he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home and that his ship was ready. Fleeing his captors, he travelled to a port 200 miles away, where he persuaded the captain of the ship to let him on. After three days of sailing, they landed in Britain, where Patrick walked for 28 days. Eventually, he returned home to his family before moving to France to study for the priesthood. Patrick was then ordained a priest and then a bishop. He returned to Ireland and played a big part in converting the country to Christianity. Patrick is said to have died on March 17th in the year 461.