He quickly realised that this was God’s chastening hand upon his life for his unbelief, his disobedience, and his rejection of the Gospel. The Word of God spoken by his elders now came back to him with great power to his trembling heart. 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 to providentially train him in the Irish language and culture. Through a vision from the Lord he miraculously escaped and eventually returned home to Britain to the great joy of his family and old friends. After being made a Deacon in the local church he received a vision from the Lord calling him to return to Ireland to preach the Gospel. He grew in the study and knowledge of the Word of God, in his testimony before men, and in wisdom. Family and friends tried to persuade him not to return to Ireland. Others challenged and rejected his call. He walked through a period of fiery trial, false accusation, church-politics, and an onslaught from the devil. But this God-given vision for Ireland continued to burn as a fire in his bones.
In about 432 AD he reached pagan Ireland with an apostolic call to win the lost to Christ. He risked his life many times and passed through many trials to reach souls for Christ. But God gave him great grace to see many thousands “re-born” during the following decades. Sons and daughters of kings gave themselves to labour for God and signs and wonders were performed in confirming the Gospel. As he traveled the land during his thirty years of ministry he left hundreds of new churches and well trained leaders behind him. The Lord used him as a vessel 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 the time of his death he left behind an Irish church which was burning with missionary zeal and with a vision to carry the gospel back into darkened Britain and Europe which had returned again to their pagan roots. The following three hundred years were Ireland’s golden years as a centre of learning, of Bible training centres, copying of the written scriptures, which led many hundreds to go forth in missionary teams to evangelize the darkest places and people groups in Europe.
Its worth noting that Augustine (of Canterbury) was the first Catholic missionary sent to the south of England in 558A.D – over 100 years after Patrick had finished his ministry in Ireland. Irish missionaries who encountered Catholic missionaries rejected their authority, rejected crossing themselves and rejected them as genuine Christians. Catholicism was very hostile against the Irish church and its missionaries. It would take a further two hundred years after Patrick's death for the Catholic Church to even begin to make any inroads into the native churches in Britain and Ireland. Eventually when these native churches were taken over and grafted into Catholicism, between the 8th and 12th centuries, Patrick was turned into a Catholic Saint. His history was rewritten and it was now proclaimed for the first time 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 true knowledge of 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 is called a saint because he lived a holy consecrated life as the fruit of genuine salvation while he was still alive.