St. Patrick and the Church

As much as this may sound out there but I heard on the radio today a woman go on to claim that St. Patrick was a former Protestant. When the presenter then pointed out that St. Patrick was alive 1000 years before the Reformation, she then said “Yes he may have but he was a Christian man in his beliefs. I see him as being a former Protestant”.

Now of course there is probably no credibility to her claim, I would however like to know exactly what was St. Patrick’s relationship with the Church. Did he have formal relations with Rome, is there any good source of information that I can look at?

Thanks to all.

St. Patrick was a Bishop of the Catholic Church, and the Apostle of Ireland.

It is nothing new to have Protestants (particularly Irish ones) claim St. Patrick was Protestant. This ridiculous claim is hundreds of years old, and has been written up in old Irish-Protestant literature.

Here is the Title Page of a wonderful Catholic Book on the Life of St. Patrick which addresses this very ridiculous claim. It was printed in the 1860s.

St Patrick was ordained as a priest by St. Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre. He was later consecrated a bishop by said same bishop when the former bishop, St Palladius died. St Patrick’s father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest. Given that I would say he had a pretty strong connection with the Church.

Here is an article by Jimmy Akin about the question of St Patrick being Catholic; Was St Patrick Catholic?

I will never understand how people can make these kinds of rationalizations…

If you read the implication in the statement: “Yes he may have but he was a Christian man in his beliefs. I see him as being a former Protestant”.

What she is implying is that anyone that is Christian in their beliefs must be Protestant. By extention she is saying that Catholics do not hold Christian beliefs.

So what faith did he convert all those Irish folk to? Protestant? I have to laugh.

Oh, I understand that viewpoint, I just don’t understand how any rational viewing of history can arrive at it…

I’m willing to accept, if not respect, people’s opinions when they differ from mine.

When someone holds steadfast to an opinion that completely ignores all the evidence, to the point of irrationality, I cannot respect his or her opinion. Un-PC of me, yes. But that’s the way it is. For example, I was just reading about someone who honestly believes the world is flat and that there is a of force field barrier in the Arctic that prevents us from falling off the edge.

I have never heard that St. Patrick was Protestant.

But I can fully believe that lots of people separate Catholicism from Christianity. :shrug:

St. Patrick’s father was a Catholic deacon and his grandfather was a Catholic priest.

St. Patrick was not a believer and did not practice the faith until he started to believe in God sometime between the age of 16 and 22 while a slave in Ireland, made to serve as a shepherd. He escaped, went back to Britain, received the tonsure at Lérins Abbey and was ordained by St. Germanus who was the Bishop of Auxerre.


Actually, it doesn’t say in his autobiography (the Confessio) that St. Patrick didn’t practice the faith, though that’s possible. It says at least that he did a really lousy job of practicing the faith, and that he did have some really big sin going.

His specific comment about himself and other persons being captured and enslaved by the Irish was: “…we had gone away from God, and did not keep his commandments. We would not listen to our priests, who advised us about our salvation.”

So basically, he’s saying that he was a baaaaad Catholic, not that he was no Catholic. It doesn’t say that he didn’t go to church, but it does say he didn’t listen to the priests.

His other comment was about his age (16) and that “At that time, I did not know the true God.” The way he put it (“Deum veram ignorabam”) can also mean, “I ignored the true God.” Later on in the Confessio, he says about the time when he was fifteen and before that, “I did not then believe in the living God, not even when I was a child. In fact, I remained in death and unbelief until I was reproved strongly… [by being captured].”

During his slavery among foreigners, “the Lord opened up my sense of unbelief (“incredulitatis”),” and so he repented and turned to God. He was a revert, not a convert. At that point, he finally realized that God had always been there for him, even when he was a tiny kid.

Yes. He was Protestant before Protestantism existed.

Well a few years ago there was some Baptist minister who was claiming St. Patrick was Baptist because he baptized all those Irish. :shrug:

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