St Patrick was a 5th Century missionary and bishop in Ireland known as “The Apostle of Ireland”. He is the Patron Saint of Ireland alongside St Brigit of Columbia.
Dates of his life cannot be fixed but it is interpreted to be during the second half of the 5th Century. Generally known as the first Bishop of Armagh.
According to legend, when he was 16 he was kidnapped by Irish Pirates and taken from Great Britain to Ireland as a slave where he took care of animals, he lived there for 6 years before escaping and returning to his family.
After becoming a Cleric he returned to Northern Ireland. Later he served as an ordained bishop, but little is known about where. By 7th Century he was already known as the Patron Saint of Ireland. St Patricks Day (17th March) is said to be the date of his death, it is celebrated inside and outside of Ireland as a religious and Cultural Holiday.
Legend credits St Patrick with teaching the doctrince of the Holy Trinity by showing people the shamrock.
Banishing Snakes From Ireland
The absense of snakes from Ireland gave rise to the legend that they have been banished by St Patrick. He chased them to the sea after they attacked during a 40 day fast he was undertaking at the top of a hill. This draws on the biblical account of the staff on the prophet Moses. However, all evidence suggests Ireland never had snakes.
Places Associated with St Patrick
Slemish, County Antrim
when captured, he was said to have herded sheep here.
Saul, County Down
Claimed he founded his first Church here in a barn. It is also claimed that he died here or was brought here between death and burial.
Hills of Slane, County Meath
Mythologised that Patrick lit a Paschal fire on hilltop in defiance of high king laoire. Story says thefire could not daised by anyone but him.
Croagh Patrick, County Mayo
Claimed to be where Patrick fasted at the summit for 40 days of lent. Thousands trek this on last Sunday of July.
Lough Derg, County Donegal
Claimed St Patrick killed a large serpent on this lake and its blood turned the water red.
Armagh, County Armagh
Claimed Patrick founded a church here and proclaimed it most holy Church of Ireland.
Downpatrick, County Down
Claimed he is buried here in grounds of Down Cathedral.