The real Saint Patrick was a man of tremendous faith, courage and humility. Too often, these characteristics are obscured by the legends and pantomime that accompany the celebration of his feast day around the world.
Amazingly, two of Patrick's writings have survived from antiquity: his Confession and his Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus. Here is an excerpt from his Confession about his calling to be an evangelist in Ireland:
"After a few years I was again in Britain with my parents [kinsfolk], and they welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go anywhere else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night, I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish’; and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. Thanks be to God, because after so many years the Lord bestowed on them according to their cry."
Find out more about the real Saint Patrick here: