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, prepared 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. At his death he left behind an Irish church which was burning with missionary zeal and a vision to carry the gospel back into Britain and Europe. The following 300 years were Ireland's golden years.