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My name is Patrick…

By Stephen Johnson on March 16, 2016 in Life Blog

We all know the power of a personal story.  A true story has the ability to stir the emotions like nothing else, while at the same time teaching many life lessons.  That’s why it is amazing that the person credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland took the time to write down his personal story, his testimony for future generations.

Patrick’s ‘Confessio’ is one of this island’s earliest pieces of literature, and is as fresh and engaging today as it was when he wrote it 16 centuries ago.

In my job here at Spirit Radio I sometimes coach people on how to share their personal story.  If I had Patrick here beside me, I’d find it hard to fault him on anything he wrote

Guideline No 1: Start by introducing yourself

  • The ‘Confessio’ starts with the simple words “My name is Patrick.”

Guideline No 2: Keep it short and to the point.

  • The very next words of the Confessio are: “I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers…” He goes on: “My father .. lived at Bannavem Taburniae.., and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time… I was taken into captivity in Ireland, along with thousands of others.”

Guideline No 3: This is ‘Your Story’ – Use ‘I’, not ‘You’.

  • Patrick wrote: “I turned with all my heart to the Lord my God, and he looked down on my lowliness and had mercy on my youthful ignorance. He guarded me before I knew him… He protected me and consoled me as a father does his son.”

Guideline No 4: Give your story in natural, everyday language.

  • Patrick wrote: “Although I am imperfect in many ways, I want my brothers and relations to know what I’m really like, so that they can see what it is that inspires my life.”

A victim or human trafficking in a world crumbling under the weight of terror and violence…  Patrick did not allow his circumstances to become a reason for giving up.  Instead, he searched for God’s hand in every event in his life and responded with a generous heart to what he saw as God’s call.

If you like a good story, and really want to get to know the person we celebrate every year, why not Google ‘CONFESSIO by Patrick’ and meet an ordinary person who did extraordinary things?

Here’s one more from Patrick:

“I was like a stone lying deep in the mud. Then he who is powerful came and in his mercy pulled me out, and lifted me up and placed me on the very top of the wall.”

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About the Author

Stephen JohnsonView all posts by Stephen Johnson

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