While considered the patron saint of Ireland, Patrick was born as a Roman citizen in Britain.
He was captured by pirates when he was 14 years old and sold as slave to Irish Druids.
While much of the Roman world had already converted to Christianity, Patrick didn’t become a Christian until he was suffering in captivity and surrounded by pagans.
He escaped Ireland when he was 20 after having a dream that he should flee to the coast. There he found some friendly sailors who took him back to Britain.
After his return to his family he had a vision of the people of Ireland calling out to him, “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.” That vision prompted him to study to become a priest.
Upon arriving in Ireland, a prominent Druid chieftan tried to kill him, but God miraculously spared his life. He was able to convert the chieftan and eventually thousands of people to Christianity.
While the shamrock is not the official symbol of Ireland, Patrick used shamrocks to teach the Irish the doctrine of the Trinity.
He lived, preached and performed miracles in Ireland for 40 years and is reported to have driven all the snakes off the island.
He died on March 17th in the same place that he built his first church in Ireland. Of course that day is now famously known as St. Patrick’s Day.
For most of history, St. Patrick’s Day was considered a religious holiday and as such all bars & pubs were closed for its observance. This changed in 1970 and now most observances of St. Patrick’s Day take place in a drinking establishment over a pint of green beer.