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Saint Patrick - An Ancient Saint for Modern Times


by Edmond Grace SJ

Patrick is a global saint, celebrated across the world, from the Americas to Asia. How much, however, do we know about this enigmatic saint?

You may have heard that he did not get along well with snakes but did you know that he struggled at school? That his rise to the rank of bishop was not only unexpected but not welcomed by many of his contemporaries?

With Patrick, as Edmond Grace SJ writes, facts and myth co-exist and it is this combination that enables Patrick and his story to remain relevant to people all over the world for many centuries.

Often, however, attachment to a fabled image of Patrick has obscured approaches to his story that connect him in new and dramatic ways with people today.

In Saint Patrick: An Ancient Saint for Modern Times Edmond Grace SJ delves into the myth, separating out the biographical detail of Patrick’s life and proposing a new way to understand the appeal of his life story. Dubbing him ‘the patron saint of the reconciliation of peoples’ Edmond Grace SJ presents a new Patrick, a man whose experiences instilled in him a deep commitment to overcome differences of rank, place and culture in the service of Christ.


Edmond Grace SJ is Justice and Ecology Secretary to the Jesuit European Social Centre in Brussels. He is also Director of People Talk – Citizen-Juries Shaping Government. He has worked as a priest in Dublin’s inner city where he was involved in the struggle against drugs and organised crime.