Patrick of Ireland Truth or Fiction? – Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald

Every March 17 many of us who are Irish descent wear green and perhaps a shamrock. The color is similar to an U.S. citizen wearing red, white and blue on Independence Day. Likewise the shamrock is similar to the American Eagle. On March 17, many people honor Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland. Patrick was a deeply devoted Christian who rivals Nicholas of Myra (identified with “Santa Claus”) for the amount of myth and fiction built up around his life. Here are the facts about this real man named Patrick:

First, he was born in the late fourth century and died approximately A.D. 461.

Second, he was immersed for the forgiveness of his sins and was not sprinkled (M.J. O’Farrell, “The Popular Life of St. Patrick,” 1863, pg. 110).

Third, Patrick was not a Roman Catholic. (John W. Moncrief, “A Short History of the Christian church,” 1908, pg. 171). Also, see Finlay, “Ireland and the Irish;” or Healey, “The Ancient Irish Church.”

Fourth, Patrick was a saint only in the sense that all Christians (members of the church of Christ are saints (1 Cor. 1:2).

Fifth, Patrick did no miracles. He did not run the snakes out of Ireland nor any of the other “miracles” often attributed to him. He did something greater than that—he brought New Testament Christianity to an entire nation (see John 14:14; Mark 16:15-16; John 20:23). Human mediated miracles had ceased by Patrick’s day (1 Cor. 13). But Patrick did not cease teaching the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Patrick was born in England. At the age of 16 he was captured by Irish marauders and enslaved. After six years of mistreatment, he escaped and returned home. In approximately A.D. 430, Patrick returned to the very people who enslaved him to share with them the blessings of being added to the church of Christ by God. He remained in Ireland until his death.

Editors Note: His birth name is said to have been Magonus Saccutus Patricius. His father Calpurnius was a deacon in the church. It was Pope Celestine who gave him the name St. Patrick, even though Catholicism was not even in Ireland at the time. It is also reported that he was responsible for burning many books by the Druids.

   Send article as PDF   

Author: Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *