Who was Saint Patrick?
Of course, everybody has heard of Ireland’s beloved Patron Saint. But in reality, very little is known of the saint's life.
The photo above shows a replica of an early Christian wooden church as those that were built by Patrick and other missionaries. This is an exhibit at Clonmacnoise, County Offaly, Ireland.
There are many legends about Saint Pat or Saint Paddy. So, who was he
really? On this page we are bringing you twelve historically prooven
facts about the saint's life.
On this page we will talk you through the few facts about his life for which there is actual historical proof.
Further down the page you will find a box with links to other articles that cover St. Patrick's story in more detail.
One of Ireland's most stunning early Christian sites is the monastery at Clonmacnoise.
The only historical proof there is of Patrick's existence are two surviving documents written in Latin by Patrick himself.
documents may have been written in relation to a court case or tribunal where Patrick
had to defend his mission.
documents written by Patricius do not contain any dates, so we are
not sure exactly of his year of birth and death. He could have lived any
time between the late fourth and early sixth century.
There is a
piece of secondary evidence as to Patrick’s possible life time: the annals
record 535 as the year of death for a disciple of Saint Patricks, one Maucteus,
which would place Patricks life closer to that time.
Saint Pat, did he
really bring Christianity to Ireland?
Saint Pat, a
successful missionary, what was his success due to?
Take our 10
question St Patrick's quiz!
Paddy's Day in Ireland
The Paddy's Day Parade in Ireland
Dáibhí Ó Cróinín: Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200, Longman 1995
Neil Hegarty: The Story of Ireland. In search of a new national memory. BBC books 2012
Rob Vance: Secrets of the Stones. Decoding Ireland’s lost past. Ashfield, Dublin, 2009
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