However he quickly realised that this was God’s chastening hand upon his life for his unbelief, disobedience and his rejection of the Gospel. He repented and was born-again. During his six year captivity he became a man of prayer, a man of faith and a man filled with the Holy Spirit. This was the Lord’s means in training him in the Irish language and culture. Through a vision from the Lord he miraculously escaped and eventually returned home to the great joy of family and old friends. After being made a deacon he received a vision from the Lord calling him to return to Ireland to preach the Gospel. By this time he was a man trained and ordained as a bishop (presbyter or elder). He was prepared in character and filled with the Word of God.
In about 432 AD he reached pagan Ireland with an apostolic call to win it to Christ. God gave him great grace to see many thousands “re-born.” Sons and daughters of kings gave themselves to labour for God and signs and wonders were performed in confirming the Gospel. As he travelled the land during his thirty years of ministry he left hundreds of new churches and well trained leaders behind him. The Lord used him to begin a spiritual revival that turned pagan Ireland into the land of saints and scholars. His life and ministry was remarkable in changing the whole nation and culture of Ireland. At his death he left behind an Irish church which was burning with missionary zeal and which had a vision to carry the gospel back into dark Britain and Europe. The following 300 years were Ireland’s golden years.
Augustine was the first Catholic missionary to Britain in 558A.D – over 100 years after Patrick had finished his ministry in Ireland. It would take a further two hundred years for the Catholic Church to begin to take over the native church in Britain and Ireland. When this happened Patrick was turned into a Catholic Saint. His history was rewritten and it was said that the Pope had sent him to Ireland. With the passing of the years much myth was added to the story of St. Patrick and the Irish lost and forgot the real Patrick who was a real born-again, Bible-believing, blood-washed, child of God. After he was long dead the Pope canonized him to make him a Catholic ‘Saint’ but Christ had already sanctified him and made him holy through the work of the Holy Spirit, the Blood of Jesus, and the Word of God. We call him a saint just like every other true born-again Christian because he lived a holy consecrated life while he was alive.