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— Although exact dates of the events in St. Patrick’s life are uncertain, early tradition credits the popular saint with converting a largely pagan society in Ireland to Christianity during the fifth century. Born in Roman Britain, when he was about 16, St. Patrick was captured by pirates and brought to Ireland. He would spend six years in captivity as a slave before escaping and returning to his homeland. When back home he studied for the priesthood and would later be ordained a bishop before heading back to Ireland. His mission was to convert the land to Christianity and build churches across the country. St. Patrick wrote in his surviving work “Confession” that his time spent in captivity greatly influenced his spiritual growth and strengthened his prayer life.