St. Patrick, Enlightener of Ireland and Bishop of Armagh, was born about the year 390 and lived in the village of Bannaven Taberniae. This was either on the west coast of Britain or on the west coast of Wales, as this location is not exactly known today. Captured by pirates when just sixteen, he was taken to Ireland, then a pagan land, to work as a slave for six years. Although Patrick was raised a Christian, he was not very devout in practice until he had two visions while working as a herder of swine on a local mountain. In these visions, Patrick was told that he would return home and also that his ship was ready to go.
St. Patrick set out at once on foot, escaping his slavery, walking over two hundred miles to the east coast of Ireland, and returned to England. After proper ecclesiastic and clerical training he was ordained first as a priest and then as a bishop and sent back to Ireland in 432 where he labored for 29 years, organinzinig the Church and enlivening Ireland with such abundant spiritual blessings that in time it too was called Holy. He passed over to Eternal Life on March 17, 461and is a great intercessor for us before God.