Feast of St. Patrick, March 17

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A woman receives Communion from Archbishop Bernardito Auzu, Vatican nuncio to the United Nations, during the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. (Gregory A. Shemitz/CNS)
St. Patrick is depicted in a stained-glass window at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, New York. Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, said that “as Irish people, we cannot think of St. Patrick without acknowledging the enormous humanitarian and pastoral challenges facing growing numbers of people who find themselves displaced and without status in our world.” (Gregory A. Shemitz/CNS)

The patron of Ireland, this bishop was born in Roman Britain, kidnapped at 16 by Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland.

He was a lonely shepherd for six years before escaping and returning home. But his dream of converting the Irish pagans propelled him to priestly studies in Gaul (now France), and about 432 Pope Celestine I consecrated him bishop and sent him to Ireland.

For nearly 30 years he preached tirelessly, made countless converts, founded monasteries and established the primatial see at Armagh. Toward the end of his life he made a 40-day retreat in Mayo that gave rise to the famous ongoing Croagh Patrick pilgrimages.

He is the patron of St. Patrick Parish in Scottsdale.