220px-Saint Patrick (window)

Saint Patrick himself

Saint Patrick (LatinPatriciusProto-Irish*Qatrikias; [2] Modern IrishPádraig; [3]WelshPadrig [4]</sup>) was a 5th century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saintof the island along with Saints Brigid and Columba.

The dates of Patrick's life cannot be fixed with certainty but, on a widespread interpretation, he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. [5] He is generally credited with being the first bishop of Armagh,Primate of All Ireland.

When he was about 16, he was captured from his home and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland as an ordained bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick's Day is observed on March 17th, the date of his death.[6] It is celebrated both inside and outside Ireland, as both a religious and, especially outside Ireland, secular holiday. In the dioceses of Ireland, it is both a solemnity and a holy day of obligation; outside Ireland, it can be a celebration of Ireland itself.