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Saint Patrick: We celebrate today our National Feast Day of Saint Patrick. While in his teens (some 1,500 years ago) Patrick was kidnapped in a raid and transported to Ireland, where he was enslaved to a local warlord & worked as a shepherd. It was at this stage he underwent a conversion. He escaped six years later (having become a fluent Irish speaker) & returned home. Eventually he undertook studies for the priesthood with the intention of returning to Ireland as a missionary. Patrick is regarded as the Patron Saint of the excluded and downtrodden. He worked for abolition of slavery and in his writings he speaks of women with great respect and dignity