St. written by Patrick sharing his personal emotional

St.Patrick of Ireland: A Biography was written by Philip Freeman, he tells the story ofthe life and history of St.

Patrick, the storywas about the time of the collapse of the Roman power and the Irish who raidedisolated British farms. The book sharesgraphic details that summoned the reader to become engrossed and captivated by the story of St. Patrick’sjourney of his life before being enslaved, escaping, returning home and alsoreturning to the land where he was enslaved to preach the word. Freeman startedout by introducing readers a look into the world Patrick lived in before hisbrutal capture and enslaved.  Also, he didan excellent job shedding more light on Patrick’s life by using information obtainedfrom archaeological discoveries, Greek and Roman writings, and preserved Irishtraditions.

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In Patrick’s biography were two significant letters, they are the ‘Letterto the Soldiers of Coroticus and Confession which was written by Patricksharing his personal emotional state and opinions. According to Freeman, “thefirst letter was about appeal and condemnationto slave-raiding king and his mercenary pirates; and the second letter was adefense of his work against accusations by fellow churchmen. These letters allowedreaders to view the mind of a remarkableman living in a crumbling world and the beginning of a new era” (p. xviii). Freeman tells a captivatingstory of St. Patrick that draws the reader into the story with the use of historical proof, prolific details, andaccounts given by Patrick himself.

  The author of the bookbegins the biography of St. Patrick with him as a child at his family estate inBritain. St. Patrick rebelled against the faith of his parents at a very youngage.  He was born into a family ofprestige and lived an aristocratic lifestyle but one day that came to a sudden endwhen pirates raided his family estates and he was captured, he was transportedon across the sea to Ireland, and was sold into a life of brutal slavery wherehe worked on a farm for six years. It was at this time while in slavery, St. Patrickbegan to seek the Lord’s face and had a spiritual awakening which came in theform of visions and warnings.

Eventually, St. Patrick found a way to escapeaboard a ship with pagan sailors and made it back to his family in Britain (p. xviii). Freeman continues his story of St. Patrick by usingPatrick’s original writings and other genuine documents to tell the story of Patrick’sextraordinary life. Freeman made sure to use informationfrom reliable sources like history, anthropology, and sociology to plugthe holes the “missing years of St. Patrick life and keep it as accurate aspossible (p. 56).

He fills in the gap by discussing in-depth the periodbefore Patrick became a bishop and returned to Ireland to share the gospel ofChrist to the people.  On his arrival to Ireland Patrick wrote, ” I came to Ireland to preach the goodnews…. I have had many hard times, even before the point of being enslavedagain, but I traded in my free birth for the good of others (p. 68).”  Freeman went into grave detail and in-depth description of Patrick’s missionary work in Ireland and themany difficulties he faced on a daily basis likekidnapping, robbery, and other violence. Some years, later some new converts were murdered and out of anger St.Patrick wrote an angry letter to the soldiers of Coroticus (p.

165). Here, Freemandid an excellent job of translating Patrick’s Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus in which St. Patrick expressedhimself angrily to Coroticus and in this letter was a prayer and very strong plea.There was also a second letter written by St. Patrick,’Confession’, this second letter was written:”to answer critics, to encourage his Irish followers, and a final testimony toGod (p. 149).” However, the book’sstrengths greatly outweigh itsweaknesses. The strength of the book was mainly due to the fact that Freemandid extensive research before writing itand he also made sure to avoid fiction byusing Patrick’s personal writings.

Healso used other sources to tell the story of St. Patricks life by using detailsfrom history, anthropology, and sociologyto fill missing information.  He was alsovery precise and concise in the manner in which he laid out the life ofPatrick. The book was captivating because of the details in which the author relates the story of a young man, kidnapped andenslaved in a foreign land. It’s details of the way how he finally escaped and returnhome to spend the final years of his lifesharing Christ.  His returned to Irelandwas not an enjoyable one but one where hesuffered a lot from violence, pagans, robbers and even his own church toevangelize the Irish. Freeman’s greatest strengthwas his ability to write original manner byusing detailed historical and documental evidence to support his writing andstayed away from fictional information.

  Freemancertainly did what he set out to do in his book by introducing readers to lookinto the world Patrick lived in before his brutal capture, shedding light onPatrick’s life by using information obtained from archaeological discoveries,Greek and Roman writings, and preserved Irish traditions. Freeman did an excellentjob sharing the two significant letters of St. Patrick, the letter is as follows: ‘Letter to the Soldiers ofCoroticus and Confession”.  The two letterswere written at a late in St. Patrick life which shares his personal emotional state and opinions before he passes.

 Accordingto Freeman, “the first letter was about appeal and condemnation to slave-raidingking and his mercenary pirates; and the second letter was a defense of his workagainst accusations by fellow churchmen.The author definitely appealed to thereader’s emotions by including the completed translations of Patrick’s lettersin his biography. The letters ultimately showed thedeep religious beliefs and feelings even as an old man.  In the letter Confession, St. Patrick opens with, “Iam Patrick—a sinner—the most unsophisticated and unworthy among all thefaithful of God.  In the deed to many, I am themost despised” (143).  The book had some weaknesses as well, some of the weaknessincludes the choice of words that was used which showed that he was not sure of the validity of the information or facts.  Another weakness was the informationFreeman offers about St.

Patrick’s ‘missing years’, information was very limited. In conclusion, I would say that this book iscertainly worth the read and it is quite informative. Additionally,the level of writing is easily digested and understood by anyone young or old.The readability is very easy to follow and even though it was sad at times withinhumane treatments, nevertheless, it was worthwhile reading.

  I would recommend St. Patrick of Ireland toanyone and especially theology students.  I for one will certainly bereading more of Dr. Freeman’s books!