St Patrick

Patrick was born in Wales in 387 into a wealthy family. But when he was a young lad, he was captured by Niall of the Nine Hostages and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave to a farmer in Co Antrim. He spent his time on Sliabh Mis minding sheep. He prayed to God every night. One night God spoke to him and told him to escape. Patrick travelled back to Wales. Again God spoke to him and asked him to return to Ireland and teach the Irish about Christianity. First he went to France to train for the priesthood.

When Patrick returned to Ireland he travelled to the Hill of Tara, Co. Meath, seat of the high king of Ireland. He lit a on the nearby Hill of Slane. But Patrick was summoned to Tara by the High King of Ireland as it was tradition to put out all fires at Easter time. The King was so impressed by Patrick that he gave him permission to spread the word of God around Ireland.

Patrick used the shamrock in his teachings, telling the Irish people that the three petals symbolise “The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”


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