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The True Story of St. Patrick

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Patrick was born in Britain, in what is now known as Scotland, a very long time ago. He grew up with a loving, Christian family. But he had never accepted Jesus, personally.

When he was sixteen he was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland where he was sold as a slave in 403AD. Patrick was forced to do farm labour and was treated poorly by his masters. The people of Ireland, at that time, spoke a different language than Britain. Patrick was cold and hungry and overworked and lonely and had to learn a new language so he could understand what his masters were telling him to do.

With no one else to turn to, Patrick turned to God and gave his life to Jesus. Though his circumstances didn’t change right away, his heart and his perspective did. In the fields, watching over the sheep, he spent much time in prayer, thanking God for mercy and for forgiving his sins.

One morning, after working as a slave for six years, Patrick awoke with a new joy in his heart. God had given him a dream that he was supposed to escape back to Scotland. A voice had told him that a ship was ready for him. He got up quickly and quietly. It wasn’t going to be easy as the port was 200 miles away! Patrick left the farm behind and hurried as fast as he could to make good his escape. When he reached the town, he walked quickly to the docks. There he found some sailors. He talked to the captain who finally agreed to take him back to Scotland where Patrick was reunited with his family.

Patrick lived with his family in Scotland for some years, studying the Bible and serving God. One night Patrick had a dream. In his dream the people of Ireland were begging him to come and tell them about Jesus. They cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”

When Patrick awoke, he knew he had to go. The gospel had not been widely preached in Ireland yet, so the people there were living in darkness. Patrick had lived in Ireland for six years, so he had learned their language. He was one of very few people in a position to bring Ireland the good news about Jesus. But those people had kidnapped him and forced him to work as a slave!

Patrick chose to forgive and to obey. He loved God more than his personal comfort or safety. So he travelled back to Ireland where he told many people about the true God.

Patrick used the three leaf clover to explain the concept of God to the Irish people. Three leaves, one clover = three parts, one God – Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

In the true spirit of loving your enemies, Patrick spent most of his life preaching the gospel to a people that had kidnapped and mistreated him. Many, many Irish believed the message that Patrick brought to them and were saved.

Late in is life, Patrick wrote in one of his letters, “Never before did they know of God except to serve idols and unclean things. But now, they have become the people of the Lord, and are called children of God.”

Patrick died in 493AD on March 17. And that’s why, every year on March 17, we celebrate St. Patrick’s day.

Three-leaf-clover

Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit.
One God.

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