Sometime in the 440s A.D., God called Patrick back to Ireland to share the gospel with the people of the country that enslaved him. Patrick was a man who knew his unworthiness for the mission God had given him. He starts his Confessions by saying, “I am Patrick -- a sinner -- the most unsophisticated and unworthy among all the faithful of God.” In spite of his weaknesses, God used him to save thousands of people in Ireland as he went from tribe to tribe preaching the gospel. “Wherefore, behold, how the Irish who never had the knowledge of God, and hitherto worshipped only idols and unclean things, have lately become the people of the Lord, and are called the sons of God.”
Patrick’s ministry was difficult as he endured much persecution from the Druids (i.e. Celtic priests). He writes, “Daily I expect murder, fraud or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God almighty who rules everywhere.”  By God’s grace, the gospel went out to many in Ireland because of the courage, faithfulness and love of this former slave, and in time, the bishops in Britain installed him as bishop in Ireland. In 492 A.D., Patrick died, having completed his call to ministry in Ireland.
As we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, let us remember the life of a sinner saved by God’s grace who reached many for Christ. The real Patrick did stand up and he gave his life to proclaiming the gospel to the lost of Ireland. When we see the shamrocks and put on our green clothing, our celebration should be for God's mercy showered down on Patrick and on us and for opportunities to share the gospel with the lost as he did over 1,500 years ago.
To read The Confession of Patrick online see the link below:
 Saint Patrick, The Confession of St. Patrick with an Introduction and Notes, trans. Thomas Olden (Dublin; London: James McGlashan; James Nisbet and Co., 1853), 52.
 Patrick, The Confession, 43.
 Patrick, The Confession, 67.
 Mark Galli and Ted Olsen, “Introduction,” 131 Christians Everyone Should Know (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 230.