Strange that we celebrate the memory of St. Patrick by wearing green and drinking beer, when the true story of Patrick is one worth celebrating – especially for those of us who love and proclaim the name of Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Patrick was born in Britain and in the year 405 when he was 16 years old he was captured and human trafficked to Ireland as a slave. Far from home, he clung to the Christian faith he had ignored as a teenager. Finally, after 6 years as a slave, he managed to escape and returned to England. But his heart was heavy for the mostly pagan people of Ireland where he had been enslaved.
In his mid-40s Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary. Intimately familiar with the Irish clan system (his former master, Milchu, had been a chieftain), Patrick's strategy was to convert chiefs first, who would then convert their clans through their influence. Reportedly, Milchu was one of his earliest converts!
Patrick was quite successful and made missionary journeys all over Ireland, He was largely responsible for Ireland becoming one of Europe's leading Christian centers.