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  • Writer's pictureJohn Morrison, PhD

A Three-Leaf Clover of Books on Patrick and Ireland

It turns out there’s more to Patrick of Ireland than wearing green, avoiding snakes, and eating Lucky Charms. Patrick’s life displays the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the gospel, Patrick comes to forgive those who had kidnapped and enslaved him. Then, he returns to those same people to announce the forgiveness that can be freely found in Christ, and he devotes the rest of his life to making Christ known across Ireland. 

Here are three books for a variety of audiences that will help you learn more about Patrick and Christianity in Ireland. 

Patrick’s life displays the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  1. Saint Patrick the Forgiver by Ned Bustard. This is a great book on Patrick for kids. Building on the key primary sources, it introduces the reader to his life and his life on mission in Ireland. As with all of Bustard’s books, this one is well written and beautifully illustrated. You can find a copy here.

  2. Patrick of Ireland: His Life and Impact by Michael A. G. Haykin. In this work, Haykin offers a brief but thorough introduction to Patrick’s life and work. Helpfully, the book draws attention to the trinitarian nature of Patrick’s faith, and how his understanding of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit shaped and fueled his mission. You can find a copy here

  3. The Rise and Fall of Christian Ireland by Crawford Gibben. If you have a bit more time on your hands and want to explore the history of the Christian faith more broadly in Ireland, then you should read Gibben’s work. He traces the history of Christianity on the Emerald Isle and ends with the hopeful note of what God might yet do there. You can find a copy here.

For good measure, a fourth leaf of this clover (can we say, it’s your lucky day?), would have to be Patrick’s own Confession. Thankfully, CCEL has made this work available for free online

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