Saint Patrick: The man, the myth, the legend…..the original “Irish, Catholic and Dangerous”!
Everyone is familiar with the legends concerning St. Patrick, such as driving the snakes from the Green Isle (which Ireland apparently never had to begin with) and so forth. But who is the real Patrick? Jonathan Rogers’ Saint Patrick (Christian Encounters Series) does a good job of not only answering that question, but he also provides detail of the historical background of the time in which Patrick lived both in England and Ireland. Rogers does a fine job of synthesizing the scholarship of Patrick’s life and comments on some of the legendary Patrick for good measure. One of my favorite stories described in the book is when the infant Patrick provided the water for his own baptism. In the process, he heals the blind priest who is performing the sacrament!
Rogers’ biography gives a balanced view of the historical and the legendary which makes for a satisfying introduction to the Apostle of Ireland who is larger than life. One of the key aspects of the book is that Rogers constantly highlights the parallels between the lives of both Patrick and St. Paul. They both brought the Gospel to foreigners, facing extreme hardship and persecution along the way. Yet they were both unwavering in their missions. St. Patrick may not have been the first person to bring Christianity to Ireland, but he was certainly the one responsible for converting the nation. Although not a native himself, he considered Ireland and its people his own. His love for the people won him not only the respect of the tribal kings, but also countless souls for Christ. The greatness of Patrick is the reason that “Ireland was the first country ever to submit to the teachings of Christ without first submitting to the sword of Rome.”
If you are Irish (or wish you were!), you would do yourself a service by reading Jonathan Rogers biography of Saint Patrick. The book has an added bonus of containing the Confession of Patrick as well as his Letter to Coroticus.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
As a Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger, I received this book free in exchange for reviewing the book.