"I have made you a light for the nations, so
that my salvation may reach the ends of the
The Confession of St. Patrick
"I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the
faithful and most contemptible to many, had for father the deacon
Calpurnicus, son of the late Potitus, a priest, of the settlement
[vicus] of Bannavem Taburniae; he had a small villa nearby
where I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of
age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into
captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our
deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his
precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us
of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his
being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the
earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among
"And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my
unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my
transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who
had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance.
And he watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense
or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me,
and consoled me as a father would his son.
"Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper,
so many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in
the land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and
recognizing him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess
his wonders before every nation under heaven.
"He himself said through the prophet: 'Call upon me in the day of
trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.' And again:
'It is right to reveal and publish abroad the works of God.'"