Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Saint Patrick — missionary to Ireland

Saint Patrick

We don’t know a lot about him.

The only information we have is two letters he wrote, and some later writings about him which may contain exaggerations.

But here’s a rough outline of his life —

He grew up in Wales in the early fifth century.

When he was 16, raiders from Ireland captured him and took him back to Ireland, where he worked as a slave.

In that season of suffering, he turned to God.

Constant prayer

Here’s how he described those years —

“Tending flocks was my daily work, and I would pray constantly during the daylight hours.

“The love of God and the fear of him surrounded me more and more — and faith grew and the Spirit was roused, so that in one day I would say as many as a hundred prayers and after dark nearly as many again, even while I remained in the woods or on the mountain.

“I would wake and pray before daybreak — through snow, frost, rain — nor was there any sluggishness in me (such as I experience nowadays) because then the Spirit within me was ardent.”


One night as he was sleeping he heard a voice — “Your hungers are rewarded.  You are going home.”

He woke up, startled.  Then he heard — “Look, your ship is ready.”

That encouraged him to run away — toward the sea.

He found a ship, and ended up back home in England.

The vision

One night he had a vision in which the people of Ireland call out “We beg you to come and walk among us once more.”

He was “stabbed in the heart” — and woke up.

He knew this was Jesus’ call for him to bring the Gospel to Ireland.  As he put it — “He who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks within you.”

So he returned to Ireland — the place where he had been enslaved for 6 years.


He preached the Gospel.  Baptized converts.  Established bishops.

Here’s what he faced, and how he coped —

“Every day I am ready to be murdered, betrayed, enslaved — whatever may come my way.

“But I am not afraid of any of these things, because of the promises of heaven.

“For I have put myself in the hands of God Almighty.”

And at the end of his life he could say —

“The Gospel has been preached to the point beyond which there is no one.”

(My sources are Thomas Cahill’s How The Irish Saved Civilization, and the Wikipedia article on Saint Patrick.)

Comments?  Thoughts?  Feedback?

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(Picture by Julie_Berlin on Flickr.)

Category: Stories about Other People


2 Responses

  1. Brandon says:

    Read this to our Jr High students tonight and challenged them to be praying for those to whom Jesus is calling to advance His mission. Thanks for compiling and posting this! It came at a perfect time!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      So glad this was helpful for you and the junior highers, Brandon. And thanks so much for letting me know.

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