Patrick, called the Apostle of Ireland, was born about the year 389, of Roman and British parentage. Blessed Martin of Tours is said to have been among his kin. When Patrick was a lad he was taken prisoner by slavers and carried to Ireland, whence he escaped after six years. Meanwhile he learned to serve God well, for whilst attending the flock of his master he would rise before the light, in snow and frost and rain, to make his prayers. * Having been finally raised to the priesthood, Saint Germanus of Auxerre consecrated him bishop, and sent him back to Ireland, in succession to Saint Palladius the first Christian missionary, who, after twelve months of labour there, had gone to Scotland and then died. Patrick travelled to every part of Ireland, converting many of the people and their chiefs by his preaching and example. And everywhere his preaching of the Word was confirmed by wonders and signs following. He washed many of the Irish folk in the laver of regeneration, ordained many bishops and clerks, and decreed rules for virgins and for widows living in continency. And he established Armagh as the primatial See of all Ireland.
* Besides that which came upon him daily, the care of all the churches of Ireland, he never suffered his spirit to weary in constant prayer. It is said that is was his custom to repeat daily the whole Book of Psalms, together with certain other hymns and prayers, and that he took his short rest lying on a bare stone. He was a great practiser of lowliness, and after the pattern of the Apostle, always continued work with his own hands. At last he fell asleep in the Lord in extreme old age, according to some authorities about the year 461, glorious both in word and deed. His body was translated to the Cathedral of Down in Ulster in 1185.