"Goleen Church of Our Lady, Star
of the Sea, and St. Patrick North Wall Fourth Window Saint Patrick Detail 2009
09 10" by Andreas F. Borchert. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Commons
St. Patrick was
born somewhere in Europe. He loved being
outdoors. When he was fifteen years old
he was kidnapped by slave traders from the north of Ireland. He was sold to a tribal chieftain and put to
work tending flocks far off in the hills.
He was alone for long periods of time and was often hungry and
cold. He never felt bitter or sorry for
himself. Instead he spent his time praying
and learning the Irish language. During
his six years as a slave, Patrick never stopped praying. One night in a dream, Patrick heard a voice
telling him to run away to a ship that was waiting for him to take him home. The next night Patrick made his escape. He had to walk and walk before he reached the
coast. He wasn't allowed on the ship as
he had no money to pay for his voyage.
Instead he agreed to look after the sailors dogs on the ship. Eventually Patrick made it back home to his
family in England. He was now
twenty-three years old. He decided that
he wanted to become a priest. He went to
France and studied for many years. The
church leaders began thinking about sending priests to Ireland to convert the
Irish to Christianity. They wanted to
Patrick go to Ireland. He did not want
to go back to Ireland but he had another dream where he heard the voices of the
Irish begging him to come back.
preached throughout Ireland where the word of God had never been heard
before. It was dangerous work and he was
often nearly killed. Year after year, Patrick
roamed across the green hills and valleys of Ireland spreading the message of
love that Jesus taught. The people
began to take his message to their heart.
Patrick was preaching about the Holy Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit. It was hard for the people to
understand the idea of three people in one God, so Patrick reached down and
picked up a shamrock to help explain the idea.
died thirty years later, churches were found throughout the Irish
Irish, St. Patrick holds a special place in their hearts. His feast day is March 17 and is celebrated
with shamrocks and wearing of the green.