I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

by Jerry Circelli

North Texas Catholic

3/6/2020

On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, more than 100 cities across America will host grand parades to honor the patron saint of Ireland. In the United States and around the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike will celebrate the feast day of a man who has come to be associated with Irish cultural pride. Rivers will be dyed green, emerald beer will flow through taps at local pubs, and shamrock pins will sprout on revelers’ lapels everywhere.

How much do any of us, however, really know about St. Patrick?

This year, on March 17 and 18, at theaters across the United States, people will have the opportunity to meet one of the greatest missionaries of all time in the form of a new film, “I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland.”

“When people watch this movie, I want to really underline that they’re getting St. Patrick in his own words. They’re getting a historically accurate view of the man,” the film’s executive producer, Gordon Robertson, told the North Texas Catholic.

“When you watch the movie, you are going to understand the life of St. Patrick,” Robertson continued. “You’re not going to be able to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the same way ever again.

“You’re going to understand who St. Patrick was as a man, as a saint, as a person who heard from God and could commune with Him on a regular basis,” said Robertson, who also serves as president and CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Bringing people to a true understanding of St. Patrick was Robertson’s goal in producing the new film, and through his steadfast Christian faith — not the luck of the Irish — he succeeded.

“I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland” is an inspirational, feature-length docudrama that relies largely on St. Patrick’s own writing in “Confessions of a Saint” to tell his story.

“I grew up thinking I knew St. Patrick, but it wasn’t until I read ‘Confessions of a Saint’ that I really met the man,” Robertson conceded.

Through historic re-enactments and expert testimony, “I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland,” takes us back in time to the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century. Patrick is taken from his home in Great Britain as a teenager, enslaved by pirates, and transported to Ireland, a land of pagans. For several years, he is driven to the brink of starvation and forced to work as a shepherd.

“Instead of harboring resentment and bitterness over that,” Robertson said, “he turns to God. He finds a way in the middle of that suffering to glorify God and have a relationship with Him. And his suffering becomes a devotional.”

Patrick manages to escape and miraculously makes his way back to his family. Instead of finding comfort at his family’s home and relying on his inheritance, Patrick uses all his resources to return to Ireland as a missionary to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have not heard it.

And that is where his intrepid journey of faith truly begins. From a boy, to sinner, to slave, to man of God, to bishop, to saint, we follow Patrick all along the way.

movie poster for I am Patrickmovie poster for I am Patrick
“I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland” is an inspirational, feature-length docudrama that relies largely on St. Patrick’s own writing in “Confessions of a Saint” to tell his story. It will play in select theaters March 17 and 18. (courtesy/CBN Films)


Robertson said it is his hope that people will be guided spiritually by the life of St. Patrick after watching the film.

“The goal is to inspire viewers that they can do the same thing,” the executive producer said.

“God still speaks to us today,” Robertson said. “What He did with St. Patrick, He can do with you. All it takes is for you to yield and say ‘yes’ to God.”

In the same way that Patrick — the enslaved boy working as shepherd — turned to God in times of trouble, people can also rely on faith to see them through their difficulties, Robertson said.

“God responds to that. So, if you just spend time with God and start asking Him questions and start praying to Him, He’ll respond, and He will show you things. That is exactly what happened with St. Patrick, and God can do that for you.”

Robertson, who has a long history of missionary work himself, said he also hopes the film motivates people to spread the word of God.

“We need more missionaries,” Robertson said, explaining that St. Patrick put his life at risk and gave up everything he had to bring the Word of God to people who did not yet know Christ.

“I am hoping the life of St. Patrick will inspire people to take up that call,” Robertson said.

Finally, Robertson said, he hopes the film will help people develop a devotional life to God.

“Whether you’re in the missionary field or you’re not, you can have a devotional life. You can have an intimate experience and fellowship with God,” Robertson said. “If you develop the same prayer habits, the same methods that St. Patrick used to talk with God, you could have the same results.”

This St. Patrick’s Day, make it a point to watch “I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland” at your local theater. It might change your outlook on life and improve your relationship with God. And it will help you better understand a man who is well-known as the patron saint of Ireland, but was, in fact, not Irish.

“We take away the myth and show you the real man,” the executive director said.

“And you’re not ever again going to think of St. Patrick’s Day as a day for only shamrocks and green beer.”

“I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland,” plays at theaters across the country March 17 and 18. To watch a movie trailer and to find a theater near you, visit: iampatrick.com

The film was produced by CBN Films and is being distributed by Fathom Events.

More information:

For more details about “I am Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland” and to read “Confessions of a Saint” and “St. Patrick’s Epistle to Coroticus,” visit: iampatrick.com/resources

movie poster for I am Patrick

On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, more than 100 cities across America will host grand parades to honor the patron saint of Ireland. In the United States and around the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike will celebrate the feast day of a man who has come to be associated with Irish cultural pride.

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