As a lover of all things Irish I particularly enjoy the story of Saint Patrick and his missionary work in Ireland. I'd been interested in this film of his life and work for a while and was thrilled when it was available for viewing on Netflix.
St. Patrick: The Irish Legend wasn't quite what I was expecting - it has good points and bad points. My hope is that this review will help anyone who has been interested in this film and encourage others to learn the true story of Patrick a missionary and hero of the faith.
Story: Patrick lives a privileged life in England with his parents but his mischievous ways disappoint his parents who want to see him well educated and wealthy. Although his family is Christian Patrick is not a true believer. One night he sneaks out of the house to watch the ceremonies to pagan gods in the woods and he is pressured by his friends into joining in "for fun". When Celtic warriors come to round up slaves Patrick is taken captive and sold to a rich landowner in Ireland. Put to work tending flocks Patrick cries out to the one true God for forgiveness and help. After Patrick's salvation he continues to serve his master faithfully for six years using the time to draw closer to God through prayer. One night he hears a voice telling him "your ship is ready" so he runs away to the seaport where he is given free passage to England. Back home his parents are overjoyed to see their lost son until Patrick tells him of his calling to become a lowly priest and return to the land of his captivity as a missionary. Patrick goes to a monastery in Gaul where he studies with the hope of becoming a priest and later Bishop of Ireland in order to teach the Irish people God's Word and ordain converted Irishmen so they can teach their own people. Many years pass before an opportunity of going to Ireland arises. When the old pompous Bishop of Ireland dies leaving the position vacant Patrick is appointed and travels to Ireland. His work is hard but the Lord greatly blesses and protects the lives of Patrick and his converts on several occasions. As the message of God's Word is spread whole clans turn from following the druids and their barbaric ways. When problems arise between the greedy church in Britton and Patrick the Bishops claim he is unfit in his role and threaten to excommunicate him and the church in Ireland if Patrick does not leave. In his trouble Patrick calls out to God and is ready to leave Ireland if asked for the sake of the believers there but it is made clear that God has much more work for him to do.
The music is sometimes a bit thematic but there are some Irish influence in some of the scores that help set a nice tone.
|Patrick and his followers in Ireland|
|Luke Griffin as Young Patrick|
|Patrick answers writes about his experiences|
|Patrick Bergin as Older Patrick|
For any families wanting to teach their children about Patrick as a missionary and hero of the faith I'd also highly recommend the Adventures in Odyssey episodes Saint Patrick: A Heart Afire from Focus on the Family Ministries. This two part radio play features a dramatized version of Patrick's life and particularly focuses on his salvation and how God guided him through his ministry in Ireland. A lot of why I love St. Patrick's Day has to do with how much I loved those episodes growing! The two part episode can be downloaded from the Focus on the Family website (for $1.99 each!) or purchased in a CD set from there, Christian Book Distributors or Amazon.
Have you seen or been interested in St. Patrick: The Irish Legend?
Have you ever heard Adventures in Odyssey's Saint Patrick: A Heart Afire?
Have you read anything about St. Patrick's life and work?
Very Truly Your's,