Early Christian Ireland

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Early Christian Ireland is the period from about 400 AD to 1000 AD. Christianity first came to Ireland in the fifth century, around 431 AD. Most people in Ireland at that time believed in pagan gods. Only a few pieces of evidence survive from this period so it is not clear who the first Christians in Ireland were. Some historians believe that the first Christians in Ireland were slaves captured in England and taken to Ireland.  

St. Patrick

St. Patrick was once a slave in Ireland, and from the age of sixteen he worked as a shepherd for six years. He later became one of the early bishops in Ireland who taught people about Christ. He wrote a book called The Confession and in it he tells about his life in Ireland.

It is believed that St. Patrick arrived in Ireland in 432 AD. At that time most of the people believed in pagan gods. However, many people in Ireland soon changed to Christianity when they heard the gospel that Patrick and others told them. During the time of St. Patrick, Ireland did not have towns or cities. However, little settlements grew up around monasteries and their churches.