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St Patrick

To celebrate the life and journeys of St Patrick

by Gordon and Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To celebrate the life and journeys of St Patrick.

Preparation and materials

  • Read through the story in advance - you could retell it in your own words.


  1. Introduce the theme - St Patrick, patron, or special, saint of Ireland, whose saint's day is 17 March. Briefly tell the story of St Patrick, with a 'health warning' that it happened a long time ago and no one can really be sure of the facts and details.

    You can pause at the marked points to allow for a time of quiet reflection.

    St Patrick was born in Cornwall in about AD 390 - roughly 390 years after birth of Jesus, or more than 1,600 years ago.

    When he was 16 some raiders from Ireland came to his village and captured him. They took him home with them to be a slave. Can you imagine what that must have felt like - first to be attacked in your own home and then to be taken across the sea to a strange land and be forced to work as a slave? Picture Patrick on the boat - lost and alone, not knowing where he was going.

    (Pause for reflection)

    After six years Patrick escaped from Ireland. It is thought that he went to Europe, then found his way back home to Cornwall.

    Think about how he might have escaped - we don't know how he did it but it would have been very dangerous. Think about his escape for a few moments.

    (Pause for reflection)

    Can you imagine how amazed his family must have been to see him after all those years? Picture the moment when he comes home.

    (Pause for reflection)

    Patrick had a deep faith in God and after some years learning and studying he became a priest (Christian minister); then, years later, he was made a Bishop (senior priest) and, amazingly, he went back to Ireland.

    How do you think he felt, going back to the country where he had been a slave for all those years?

    (Pause for reflection)

    He was more than 40 years old when he set about his new job of helping the Irish people get to know more about God and his ways.

    He began to walk all over Ireland, gently talking to people about their lives and their needs and how he thought God could help them. He wasn't welcome everywhere - some people were determined that Patrick and his message weren't for them - but he continued his journeys all through his life, never giving up on his simple message.

    He died in the year 460, so he lived for about 70 years - quite old for those days.

Time for reflection

Think about St Patrick.
Think about his long life's journey:
from Cornwall to slavery in Ireland,
his escape to Europe,
his return home to Cornwall,
his learning about God,
his return to the land of his slavery,
his long journeys across Ireland,
helping people with good news from God.

Dear God,
Thank you for St Patrick and his journeys.
Thank you that he wanted to bring good news
to everyone he met.


'Travel on, travel on' (Come and Praise, 42)

Publication date: March 2004   (Vol.6 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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