St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland and Nigeria, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures and his feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death.
St. Patrick was born in Britain —not Ireland—to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family.
At the age of 16, Patrick was captured and imprisoned by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity.
During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian.