Born in Scotland the child of Roman Britons, as a teenager, Patrick was kidnapped and spent six years as a slave in Ireland. He escaped and returned to Europe where he studied in monasteries and later returned to evangelize Ireland. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, founding the celtic monastic tradition which preserved classical literature during the dark ages. In the years following his ministry Ireland became known as the 'land of Saints'.
In popular culture, Patrick is noted for using the three leafed shamrock to illustrate the trinity. He is credited with driving the snakes out of Ireland. As a result he is the patron saint of Ireland and those suffering from a phobia of snakes.
There are many resources concerning the life of Saint Patrick; Lives of the Saints, other reference books as well as recent works: