The Life of St. Patrick

Timeline created by stpatricktime
  • 387

    Born

    Born
    Patrick was born around the year 387 at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland. Patrick was born during the reign of Roman Emperor Theodosius. His father, Calpornius, was a high ranking Roman noble. His grandfather was a Christian priest, and his father was a Christian deacon. Even though his family practiced the Christian faith, Patrick wasn't really interested in the religion. ("St. Patrick")
  • 402

    Captured

    Captured
    When Patrick was sixteen years old, he was captured by Irish slave raiders. He became a slave to a farmer who lived near the western sea which was the opposite side of the island from Britian.(Adair xxvii)
  • 408

    Escape

    Escape
    One night, as Patrick lay sleeping, he heard a voice speaking to him in a dream: "You have fasted well---soon you will be going home." The next night, as Patrick slept, he heard the voice again: "Behold, your ship is ready." He ran away the next day and headed for a shipping port on the other side of the island. (Freeman 33)
  • 433

    Patrick returns to Ireland.

    Patrick returns to Ireland.
    It was probably in the summer months of the year 433, that Patrick and his companions landed at the mouth of the Vantry River close by Wicklow Head. He was sent by the Pope to be a missionary to the Irish people. He felt that he was called by God to return to Ireland and spread the Christian faith. ("Patricius: The True Story of St. Patrick")
  • 493

    The Death of St. Patrick

    The Death of St. Patrick
    It is believed that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 493. But some sources say that the year he died could have been 460 or 461. (St Patrick)
  • 493

    For The Record

    For The Record
    There are many exaggerated legends about St. Patrick. The truth is he did not banish the snakes: Ireland never had any. Scholars now consider snakes a metaphor for the serpent of paganism. Nor did he invent the Shamrock Trinity. That was an 18th-century fabrication. ("St. Patrick: No Snakes. No Shamrocks. Just the Facts.")
  • Period:
    386
    to
    386

    Disclaimer

    The documentation available about St. Patrick does not contain exact dates so the dates on this timeline are just an estimation. This timeline software requires a month and a date be entered but they should be ignored. The dates of the years are approximate estimations.
  • Period:
    386
    to
    386

    Preface

    The credible information about Patrick comes from two letters actually written himself. One is titled "Confession", the other is a letter that he wrote to the soldiers of Coroticus--also Christian-- who had raided parts of Ireland and taken away prisoners who were then sold into slavery. (Hopkin 11)
  • Period:
    387
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    402

    First Sixteen Years

    Patrick grew up in a small village called Bannaventa Berniae, in Britian, located near the Irish Sea. His family was well off and had many slaves. Patrick had an easy life until he was 16 years old. (Freeman 2-15)
  • Period:
    402
    to
    408

    Slave

    Patrick was sold as a slave to a farmer. He became a sheep herder for his master. During this time he begin to pray. He wrote in his "Confession", "God used the time to shape and mold me into something better." (Freeman 29)
  • Period:
    408
    to
    408

    Journey Across Ireland

    Patrick was a fugative for the next six months as he made his way 187 - 200 Roman miles across the island of Ireland. After being denied and much prayer, he was allowed passage on a ship to Britian as a member of the ship's crew. (Freeman 32 - 42)
  • Period:
    408
    to
    433

    Missing Years

    "The missing years of Patrick's life are so frustrating because we don't know exacly where he was or what he was doing. We do know he eventually became a bishop. If it was before he returned to Ireland, there was a gap of at least twenty-five years between his escape and his return. It is likely that Patrick received his training as a deacon and priest in his twenties and early thirties, then soon returned to minister to the Irish." (Freeman 65)
  • Period:
    433
    to
    493

    Bishop in Ireland

    He spent his last 30 years there, baptizing pagans, ordaining priests, and founding churches and monasteries. His persuasive powers must have been astounding: Ireland fully converted to Christianity within 200 years and was the only country in Europe to Christianize peacefully. Patrick's Christian conversion ended slavery, human sacrifice, and most intertribal warfare in Ireland. ("St. Patrick:No Snakes, No Shamrocks. Just the Facts.")