Born to a wealthy British family somewhere between the fourth and sixth centuries (nobody knows for sure), Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders as a teenager and carried to Ireland where he was made a slave. He risked escape after six years in captivity and eventually arrived at the coast. There he boarded a cargo ship bound for his homeland.
You would think Patrick would have been embittered at the Irish. However, 15 years later he returned to Ireland as a missionary. He even went to his former master and paid the full ransom price of a slave as compensation for running away. This astounded the Irish, giving Patrick a platform to share his views.
Through the power of forgiveness, a one-time slave had a tremendous impact on his captors, their entire nation, and ultimately the world for many years to come. And there we find lessons for our own lives and relationships.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.