The Real St. Patrick

His step-by-step obedience won a nation for Christ.

The Real St. Patrick

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St. Patrick was not born with a burning desire to evangelize. In his teens, he was complacent and self-absorbed—not especially serious about his studies or his Christian faith.

And yet, through one of those dramatic reversals of fortune that God sometimes allows, the sluggish youth met the Lord and went to become Ireland’s great evangelizer.

Patrick himself tells the story in his moving Confession. Unlike the many legends that sprang up after his death, this authentic account of his conversion and development is a window into the life of a real person. In it, Patrick speaks honestly of his regrets, struggles, and successes, and always in a tone of heartfelt thanks that “the Lord had mercy on me thousands and thousands of times.” In this fifth-century bishop, we touch the faith of someone who threw himself completely on God’s love—someone who inspires our own faith that, if we accept it, divine love can transform and equip us for God’s service, too.

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