Considered the Apostle of Ireland, St. Patrick has left a long lasting impression
While many celebrate St. Patrick’s Day worldwide, there are many details of
his life that will never be known. Many scholars have debated and still debate various
aspects of St. Patrick’s life and legacy.
St. Patrick was one of the most influential bishops in Ireland, and though he was
the primary source of information about himself, there are many blanks still not filled.
There are two known works that Patrick left us with, the
and his letter to the
soldiers of Coroticus.
Though they are very informative, both are left to interpretation
due to Patrick’s style of writing.
Unfortunately the secondary sources of information
relating to St. Patrick are contradicting, possibly biased, and at worst, even outrageous.
Though Patrick may be considered Ireland’s Spiritual Father, he was not even
Born a Briton to a deacon, Calpurnius, who was the son of a priest, Potitus, Patrick
spent his early youth living in an estate near the village of Bannaventa Burniae.
Sometime before reaching the age of 16 he committed a sin which not only gave him
much grief, but also caused him trouble much later in life.
He never does specify what
that sin was.
He also declares himself to be quite uneducated.
New Catholic Encyclopedia
Collet's Holdings, Ltd. Staff, ed.,
Dictionary of the Middle Ages
, (New York: Macmillan Reference USA,
1987), IX: 462.
Regarding Ireland’s Spiritual Father:
The Flowering of Ireland: Saints, Scholars,
, 1st ed., (Boston: Little, Brown, 1981), 83.
Translation of St. Patrick’s
Thompson, E. A.,
Who was Saint Patrick
, (New York: St. Martin's
P, 1986), 1.