At sixteen, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. He himself admitted that up to this point he cared little for God. He escaped after six years, returned to his family in southwest Britain, and began to prepare for ordained ministry. He later returned to Ireland, this time to serve as a bishop and missionary. He made his base in the north of Ireland and from there made many missionary journeys with much success. In his autobiography he denounced the slave trade, perhaps from his own experience as a slave. Patrick's famous baptismal hymn to the Trinity, "I Bind unto Myself Today," can be used as a meditation on Lent's call to return to our baptism.
from Sundays & Seasons, Augsburg Fortress, 2007.
I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this day to me forever, by pow'r of faith, Christ's incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan River, his cross of death for my salvation,
his bursting from the spiced tomb, his riding up the heav'nly way,
his coming at the day of doom, I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun's lifegiving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old eternal rocks.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the name, the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three,
of whom all nature has creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation; salvation is of Christ the Lord!
attr. Patrick, 372-466
para. Cecil Frances Alexander, 1823-1895