According to American Catholic, St. Patrick was born either in Dunbarton, Scotland, Cumberland, England, or in northern Wales. At the age of 16, he was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland. Forced to remain outside for long periods of time tending his master's flock, he prayed constantly and experienced a conversion.While you sleep among the sheepfolds,the wings of the dove shine with silver,her feathers glow with green gold.
(From this morning's Office of Readings.)
He escaped after 6 years, probably to France, and later to Britain. He returned to Ireland a priest, and paid the price of his ransom to his former master, Milchu of Dalriada.
He converted pagan Ireland, the country that had formerly enslaved him, to Christianity.