It’s amazing how much one man could do when being led by Christ, and yet, most of us are not familiar about the history of St. Patrick. Over the years, stories and legends about the man have grown to make his story larger than life. One of the myths is that Patrick drove out all of the snakes of Ireland. However, snakes have never inhabited the island as the climate would be too cold for them to survive there. It is possible that this story was originally used as a metaphor for driving out sin, and then metamorphosed into a different story altogether.
Perhaps the biggest misconception about St. Patrick is the fact that he wasn’t Irish – he was British. Patrick was born into a house of luxury in Britain near the end of the fourth century. He was born into a Christian family, though it is debated how dedicated the family was to Christ. Patrick’s father was a deacon, but some scholars believe that he only took the job for the tax incentives. There is no evidence that they were a religious family.
Nobody really knows if Patrick was a spoiled teenager, but the idea that Patrick ran away from God is strange one. At the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped and taken prisoner by some Irish raiders who attacked his father’s estate. He was sent to Ireland to spend six years in confinement. It is said that during this time, God got a hold of his heart.