MARCH 17, around 461 AD, St. Patrick died.
As a teenager, the Roman Legions guarding his community in Britain were withdrawn to defend Rome from invading tribes such as the Huns. Unprotected, Britain was attacked by raiders, who carried away thousands. Patrick was captured and sold as a slave in Ireland, which was ruled by the Druids, who practiced human sacrifice.
For six years Patrick herded animals until he escaped.
In his forties he had a dream calling him back to Ireland. In his Confession, Patrick wrote:
In the depth of the night, I saw a man named Victoricus coming as if from Ireland, with innumerable letters, and he gave me one and while I was reading I thought I heard the voice of those near the western sea call out: ‘Please, holy boy, come and walk among us again.’ Their cry pierced my very heart, and I could read no more, and so I awoke.
Patrick returned to Ireland, confronted the Druids, converted Chieftains, and used the three-leaf clover to teach the Trinity. Baptizing 120,000 and founding 300 churches, he wrote:
Patrick the sinner, an unlearned man to be sure. None should ever say that it was my ignorance that accomplished any small thing, it was the gift of God.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here