St. Patrick’s Escape and journey home was not without dangerous adventures along the way. He secured passage on a ship. The journey was only a matter of days, but once on land a month or more was spent traveling through land that was not inhabited. The crew was literally starving at this point. The pagan captain of the ship questioned Patrick’s faith pointing out that if his God were great and almighty, why would He let them starve. As Patrick told them about the need to have faith in God and the power of prayer, they discovered some wild pigs, which supplied them with the sustenance they needed. This may be considered Patrick’s first conversion since the pagan captain gave thanks to God afterwards.
St. Patrick Returns Home
Patrick was returned to his family where he then spent the next 18 years in monasteries in rigorous training until he was ordained. He was sent back to Ireland to gain support of the pagan King, to preach the gospels, and to establish monasteries. Patrick was clever and industrious and he understood the mindset of the pagan Irish people. Through tests of skill and strength, through wondrous signs and miracles, Patrick won over the royal court and his preachings were tolerated. He formed traveling missionary caravans to reach many people. Besides other assistants to his ministry, people from all walks of life were part of the caravan so that when it was set up it appeared to be a little town. The people of the area would gather, hear the preaching, convert to Christianity and then help to build a chapel or Church. Little by little, the fight against paganism was being won. Of course, it was not without a struggle. Patrick was imprisoned several times and his life was often threatened yet he did not give up his mission.