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ST. PATRICK, A BRIEF HISTORY


The uncontested, if somewhat unspecific, biographical facts about Patrick are as follows:


Patrick was born Patricius somewhere in Roman Britain to a relatively wealthy family. He was not religious as a youth and, in fact, claims to have practically renounced the faith of his family.


While in his teens, Patrick was kidnapped in a raid and transported to Ireland, where he was enslaved to a local warlord and worked as a shepherd until he escaped six years later.


He returned home and eventually undertook studies for the priesthood with the intention of returning to Ireland as a missionary to his former captors. It is not clear when he actually made it back to Ireland, or for how long he ministered there, but it was definitely for a number of years.


By the time he wrote the Confession and the "Letter to Coroticus," Patrick was recognized by both Irish natives and the Church hierarchy as the bishop of Ireland. By this time, also, he had clearly made a permanent commitment to Ireland and intended to die there. Scholars have no reason to doubt that he did.


SOURCE: http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger

/Mar1997/feature1.asp


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