Who Was Saint Patrick?
Chicago, IL 60603
Philip FreemanPepperdine University
a luncheon address by
Philip Freeman (Luther College)
with an introduction by
The Hon. Edward M. Burke (Alderman, 14th Ward; Chairman, Finance Committee, Chicago City Council)
Sponsored by the Boshell Family Foundation
Everyone knows about St. Patrick, the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, defeated fierce druids in contests of magic, and used the shamrock to explain the Christian Trinity to the pagan Irish. It’s a great story, but none of it is true. Not only were there never any snakes in Ireland, but Patrick wasn’t even Irish. The real story of this saint—pirates, murder, slavery, escape, and the struggles of faith against all odds—is even better.
Philip Freeman is the Fletcher Jones Chair of Western Culture at Pepperdine University. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and is the author of a dozen books on the ancient world, including St. Patrick of Ireland and Oh My Gods: A Modern Retelling of Greek and Roman Myths. He is a regular guest on National Public Radio and has written essays about Greece and Rome for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.