St. Patrick, Patron saint of Ireland, was a real man who was born around A.D. 389 and probably died in 461. St. Patrick wasn’t Irish by birth. He was born and raised in England until he was a teenager. In those days England was part of the Roman Empire. The Romans had converted people to Christianity and taught many of them how to read and write. But the Romans had not conquered Ireland and when Patrick was sixteen, he was captured by raiders from Ireland who took him there and sold him into slavery.
Ireland was inhabited by small tribes of people who couldn’t read or write and who practiced an ancient form of religion under leaders called Druids. Patrick escaped from Ireland, but he vowed to return. He studied in European monasteries and after several years was sent back to Ireland as a bishop. There he spent the rest of his life teaching the people of Ireland to read and write while converting them to Christianity.