Taken as a slave to Ireland from his native Britain as a lad of sixteen, he was made to tend the flocks of his pagan Irish master on the rugged mountain of Slemish.
Amidst the solitude of his captivity, he was gloriously converted -calling upon the Lord. Providentially, he later was enabled to escape his slavery and find his way home to be with his family in Britain again.
The Lord called him however to go back to Ireland with the message of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus. This he did faithfully and today is known around the world as the man who brought the Gospel to Ireland.
But let us hear from the great missionary himself:
These are the words he used to commence his letter which he refers to as: "This is my confession before I die." He understood the scriptures: "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23. "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" Psalm 51:5.
"The Lord opened the sense of my unbelief that might remember my sins and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God." "Hence I cannot be silent about the great benefits and the Great Grace which the Lord has deigned to bestow upon me." "I was like a stone lying in the deep mire; and He that is Mighty came and in His Mercy lifted me up."
"Hence I cannot be silent - - - because there is no other God, nor ever was, now will be, than God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, the Lord of the Universe, as we have been taught; and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom we declare to have always been with the Father - - - by Him are made all things, visible and invisible, He was made man and, having defeated death, was received into Heaven by the Father; and He hath given Him all power over all names in heaven, on earth and under the earth and every tongue shall confess to Him that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe, and whose advent we expect soon to be judge of the living and the dead."