Saint Patrick, often to the surprise of those who read about his life story, was not Irish... he was English, born of pure British stock. At the age of 14, he was captured by Irish invaders and was brought to Ireland as a slave. Patrick eventually escaped his enslavement by stowing away on a ship headed for Gaul carrying dogs being taken to market. Once in Gaul, he became a student of Saint Germanus of Auxerre.
Some 15 years after his escape from Ireland, Partick felt a calling to return for missionary work. Saint Germanus honored Patrick with the position of Bishop in the Church and sent him on his way back to the land of his slavery in 432 A.D.