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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

March 14, 2007

Patrick: The Terrified Teen Who Learned to Trust

Few Catholic teens realize that the famous St. Patrick of Ireland would never have inspired so many people to dye their hair green or to eat corned beef and cabbage (which they often pretend to like...) if he hadn't found the gumption to do some gutsy things as a teenager. Patrick (or Patricius in Latin) had been kidnapped as a boy in Great Britain. He spent six long, lonely years in slavery as a shepherd in the cold hills of Ireland. Then one day in his teens, Patrick dreamed that God was calling him. He risked his life to be free and ran away.

Anita McSorley's terrific article, The Patrick You Never Knew," isn't particularly new but it deftly sorts biography from blarney where Patrick is concerned. What's left is a well documented portrait of a strong and courageous saint whose story should connect well with teens.

If you are teaching church history, ecclesiology, or an introduction to Catholicism, you might easily comb through this article to put together a powerful mini-lesson on Patrick, a terrified teenager who learned to trust God.

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