Patrick was born in Britain, a very long time ago. He grew up with a loving, Christian family. When he was about fourteen he was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland where he was sold as a slave. Patrick was forced to do farm labour and was treated poorly by his masters. He kept his eyes on God through it all, with unwavering faith and consistent prayer.
One morning when Patrick awoke from the cold, there was a new joy in his heart. God had given him a dream that he was supposed to escape back to Scotland. He got up quickly and quietly. It wasn’t going to be easy as the port was 200 miles away! Patrick left the farm behind and hurried as fast as he could to make good his escape. When he reached the town, he walked quickly to the docks. There he found some sailors who agreed to take him back to Scotland where Patrick was reunited with his family.
Patrick lived with his family in Scotland for some years, studying the Bible and serving God. One night Patrick had a dream. In his dream the people of Ireland were begging him to come and tell them about Jesus.
When Patrick awoke, he knew he had to go. The gospel had not been widely preached in Ireland yet, so the people there were living in darkness. Patrick obeyed God. He loved God more than his personal comfort or safety. So he travelled to back to Ireland where he told many people about the true God.
Patrick used the three leaf clover to explain the concept of God to the Irish people. Three leaves, one clover = three parts, one God – Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
In the true spirit of loving your enemies, Patrick spent most of his life preaching the gospel to a people that had kidnapped and mistreated him. Many, many Irish believed the message that Patrick brought to them and were saved.
Patrick died in 461 on March 17. And that’s why, every year on March 17, we celebrate St. Patrick’s day.