Patrick of Ireland
British-born Patrick was captured by Irish pirates when he was sixteen and taken to Ireland as a slave. During this difficult time of his life when he was forced to herd livestock in the mountains, the youth drew strength from his Christian faith. When he was able to escape six years later he somehow found his way home to England. The young Patrick, much-changed by his years as a captive, decided to study for the priesthood.
In a series of dreams, Patrick heard Irish voices imploring him to return to Ireland. For the next thirty years he wandered around Ireland. In his ministry as an Irish bishop Patrick established a large network of churches and monasteries, trained Irish clergy, and baptized countless people as Christians.
Did he really drive all snakes from Ireland? Or explain the concept of the Trinity with a shamrock? We'll never be able to separate truth from legend, but the evidence of what he actually accomplished is in the centuries of a strong Irish Catholic Church that endures today. He died around 461.