Published in March during 1896 in the New Mexican out of Santa Fe, NM
SAINT PATRICK’S DAY
Story of the Remarkable Man Who Spent His Youth as a Slave in Ireland and Afterwards Became Its Patron Saint.
Throughout christendom St. Patrick is recognized as a patron saint of the Catholic children of the Emerald Isle, and the 17th day of March is generally set apart as the fitting day for commemorating his virtues and celebrating his services to the Irish people, but whether he was born or whether he died on that day no one certainly knows.
The story of the life and death of Saint Patrick is brief and shrouded with much of the mysterious and romantic. In one of the incursions of the Scots and Picts upon the neighboring Roman provinces south of the walls of Severna, probably that of 411 A.D., the year after Honorius had refused aid to the Britons, a youth of about 15 was carried off with many others from the district in the neighborhood of the wall at the head of the Solway, and sold as a slave on the opposite coast of Ireland in the territory of the Irish Picts called Del Alade. This youth was the future apostle of the Irish. All the authorities agree that the youth was of noble birth. He was held in Ireland in hard slavery for six years, all the while being much given to prayer and meditation. Finally he made good his escape to Britain. After this he appears to have conceived the noble idea of devoting himself to the conversion of the Irish, and to have gone somewhere for a few years to prepare himself for the priesthood. During these years of study he was constantly urged on by vivid dreams and visions. It is supposed that he was about 22 years old when he escaped from slavery, that he studied eight years, that he began his missionary work in Ireland in 425 A. D., at the age of 80, that after laboring there fifteen years he was consecrated a bishop, and that his total reign in Ireland was about thirty-six years, during which time he converted the majority of the Irish people to the Catholic faith. Some authorities say he died in 469 and others place the event as late as 474, or 1,222 years ago.