Summary: The life story of Maewyn Succat (St Patrick) takes us through the life of a young man who was captured and sold as a slave in Ireland. After escaping and returning to his homeland, God called him back to the land of his Captors to preach the gospel.

The four dreams of Maewyn Succat

• Maewyn Succat was born in 387 AD in Roman Britain

• His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a Presbyter, Maewyn himself was not a Christian

• At the age of 16, Maewyn along with others was captured and taken prisoner by a band of Irish raiders

• He was taken to Ireland and sold as a slave where he was purchased by a Chieftain named Milchu

• As a slave, he was trained to be a shepherd by fellow slave Cedd who became his close friend

• Cedd was a Christian and he led Maewyn to Christ during his captivity

• Spending much of his time alone, Maewyn said he would pray as many as 100 times a day, and almost that many times at night.

• Dream 1 & 2: In his 6th year of captivity, God spoke to Maewyn in a dream and told him that his time to be released was near. This was followed by another dream wherein God told him that his ship was ready and it was time to leave

• That night, Maewyn left the west of Ireland and walked 200 miles to the east coast of Ireland. After arriving, there was a ship waiting on the coast just as God had shown him

• He approached those on the ship and said, "I am the one you have been waiting for". They did not know what he was talking about and refused to allow him on board.

• Dejected, he went away and started praying, questioning God.

• While he was praying, one of the sailors returned and invited him to go with them.

• As they were headed back to Britain, they informed Maewyn that he would now be their slave

• Dream 3: In this dream, God told Maewyn that he would be released from captivity in 2 months

• As were the people of Ireland, most of those in Britain were pagan as well. They worshiped many gods. Maewyn told them about the one true God. He used the 3-leaf Shamrock to explain the Trinity

• Soon they ran out of food and Starvation began to set in. They told Maewyn, “You claim to know the one true God, why don’t you pray to Him that he would not allow us to starve". Maewyn replied, "Why don’t you convert and pray to him yourself". After praying, a herd of pigs came out of the forest which sustained them for some time. They began to fear the God of Patrick. Maewyn was released on the 60th day of captivity, as God promised

• He eventually returned home to his family. They thought he had long been dead and hardly recognized him. Once they were convinced of who he was, they greatly rejoiced

• Dream 4: In this dream, a Man named Victorius was carrying a satchel filled with letters – the letters were from the people of Ireland. The heading stated “The voice of the Irish – We appeal to you, come and walk among us.

• Maewyn understood that God was calling him to come back to Ireland as a missionary

• His family discouraged him from going –You are a runaway slave, they will capture you and kill you

• His friends discouraged him as well - He was advised that he should not go without the blessing of the church, whereas he agreed to submit to the church

• The Bishops told him all the reasons why he should not go – he was a slave there/ they will capture you and kill you – You are uneducated – you do not know theology and doctrine – they agreed to start schooling him

• They kept finding reasons not to let him go – as he grew in his faith and knowledge – he had been considered for election as Bishop

• His best friend betrayed him by telling a secret that Maewyn had confessed to him of something he did when he was 15 years old – well before he was a Christian.

• The church used this against him and refused his request for 24 years

• The church leaders were finally convicted that they had sinned by keep the called of God from his calling. They asked for forgiveness and ordained Maewyn as Bishop to Ireland

• At the age of 46, Maewyn returned to Ireland. He was not well received when he first went to Ireland but through the next 29 years, much was accomplished by Maewyn

• Baptized 120,000 – Planted some 300-700 churches – He Converted Pirates, Pagans Paupers and Princes – He was credited with performing a thousand miracles

• Most people have never heard of the man formerly known as Maewyn Succat But you would know him by his given name - “St. Patrick”

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Toby Thompson

commented on Mar 18, 2017

After witnessing a local St. Patrick's Day celebration from my work, this sermon was the perfect material for my Sunday School Class tomorrow. Thank you for the historical data. Very good finish on how we should relate to him and his walk of faith.

David Edward Ray

commented on Nov 18, 2017

Thanks Toby. I pray the lesson went well. God Bless

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