Patrick's story begins in 385 in Scotland, traditionally in Kilpatrick. Around the age of 14, Patrick was captured in a raiding party and taken in slavery to Ireland to herd and tend sheep. Ireland was a land of barbarians, and pagan religions that focused on nature. For six years, Patrick was sustained by his faith in God as he lived among his captors and learned their language and practices. At the age of twenty, Patrick was told in a dream by God to flee to the coast, where he found some sailors who took him back to Britain and he was reunited with his parents.
The story would be fine ending there: a story of perseverance reliance on God, and even some secret agent spy stuff, but Patrick's story does not end with his escape to freedom. After returning to Britain, Patrick had another dream in which the people of Ireland were yearning for him to return with the Gospel. He began to study and train for the Priesthood, and was ordained a Bishop in the church. He was commissioned to take the Gospel to Ireland...the home of those who took him away from his family and put him into slavery.
According to one account, "Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461" (www.catholic.org/saints).