The life of Saint Patrick

The earliest accounts of Saint Patrick can be traced in a number of ancient biographies, the earliest dating from the last half of the 7th century AD. The only certain knowledge we can ascribe to him comes from his two works, Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus, which was written during his career as a bishop, and the Confession, written in his later years of his earthly existence.

His year of birth is speculated to be dated sometime between the years 388 and 408. From his writings, we know that Saint Patrick was born in Bannavem Taberniae, a village in southwestern Britain, to a deacon father named Calpornius, and a Gaelic mother named Conchessa, presumably a sister or niece of Saint Martin of Tours, intimately connecting him to Gaul.

At the age of 16, Saint Patrick was abducted by pirates and was taken to Ireland, where he was a shepherd slave for six years. He constantly prayed during this time for repent of his youthful sins, and for his religious fervor a voice spoke to him and promised his return to his home country. Patrick returned, fleeing his slave master and being given safe passage on a ship by its sailors.

After his return, he was elected as a bishop, and was sent by the Church to evangelize Ireland. Patrick believed in his divine call, although his friends constantly tried to dissuade him from returning to the place of his years of slavery, which was still radically pagan at that time. Although Saint Patrick probably made his quarters at Armagh, he also travelled a great deal around the island as a missionary, and is recorded in history to have baptized many thousands of pagans, instituted monasteries, and ordained other clergy.

It is said that Saint Patrick encountered the Druids at Tara, and brought an end to the pagan rites by winning their faith. He converted warriors and pagan nobles, baptizing them in the Holy Wells that still bear his name to this day.

The clover is strongly associated with Saint Patrick and Ireland, as it is regarded that he taught and explained the Holy Trinity to the pagan folk through its three leafs. Saint Patrick is known in legends as driving all the snakes out of Ireland, but we can interpret this only as being an analogy, banning the old, pagan religion from the country, as serpent symbolism was common and often worshipped throughout the pre-Christian land. Another legend says that he thrust his ash wood walking staff into the ground while evangelizing the pagans in the place now known as Aspatria, and the message of his teachings took so long to be understood by the pagans that his staff started rooting and growing into a tree by the time he was finished there.

It is presumed that he died at Saul, in Downpatrick, Ireland, on the 17th of March, 460 AD, and that his jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine used to ward off epileptic fits and the ‘evil eye’, and was highly requested in times of childbirth. Another account tells that he died in Glastonbury, England, and that he was buried there in the Chapel of Saint Patrick, that still exists today as a part of the Glastonbury Abbey.

Saint Patrick is remembered all around the world through numerous Catholic places of worship that bear his name. We celebrate Saint Patrick every year on the 17th of March, which is regarded as a feast day. Saint Patrick’s Day came to be associated with Ireland, shamrocks, green and prosperity, and is celebrated as a day for spiritual renewal, piety, and worldwide missionary pray offerings.

Spirit of Saint Patrick in Africa

Through peace, good faith, and ambition, our foundation carries on the Spirit of Saint Patrick in its humanitarian activities and events on the continent of Africa. Our foundation celebrates life, good faith and progress, all of which have been reflected in the life and deeds of our Patron Saint when he returned with faith to the country that once enslaved him.

Saint Patrick introduced Christianity to the pagans in a way that made it root and flourish in their society. With a fertile soil, sowing a Good Seed in this land was possible. He overcome the druidic traditions, brought an end to the despotic tyranny of their princes and nobles, and brought Ireland to a new age of Christendom.

Patrick baptized thousands of people, erected churches and monasteries all around the country, and ordained hundreds of clergymen. Due to his ceaseless zeal, an entire nation became Christian, and new generations of missionaries responded to this calling and commitment.

He is the Patron Saint of Nigeria, another African country where the missionaries brought the teachings of Christianity, and where the Church has grown significantly, half of the population being estimated to be baptized as Christians. Through the ceaseless work of these missionaries, Nigeria’s prayer movement is one of the world’s strongest, with one of the largest prayer meetings ever recorded in history, in Lagos, where it is estimated that a number of three million souls gathered in prayer.

During the time of his preaching in Ireland, Saint Patrick often upset the social order by teaching women they had a choice in Christ. During those times, for the pagan folk it was a politically strategic move to sell a daughter for marriage to a tribe, and gain social advantages through this practice. Unfortunately, during our contemporary times this practice is still very common in many pagan African tribes, missionaries constantly striving to put an end to it.

Inspired by the fervors of the Spirit of Saint Patrick, our foundation engages in theological education, helps people to make a change for the better in their lives through the Evangelical message, and facilitates lectures for the community’s spiritual support and constant engagement with current societal issues in the countries of Africa.


Our foundation accepts volunteers from all around the world and especially from Ireland, who share the same ambitions and goals as our Patron Saint did.