Before St. Patrick became the figurehead for a day of Irish national pride, he was a local hero who fought against human trafficking, championed evangelism, and engaged in discipleship. As a teenage boy, he was taken from Wales by Irish raiders and sold into slavery. He eventually escaped and returned to his family, but instead of returning to a normal life, he joined the church and returned to Ireland as a bishop. In his Letter, one of two surviving works by Patrick, he explains the reason for his return: “I live among barbarous tribes, a stranger and exile for the love of God.”

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