Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Writing Takeaways from Saint Patrick

By Debby Giusti

Many of us, whether we’re Irish or not, will be wearing green this Friday and wishing friends and relatives a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.  Irish immigrants flocked to the United States in the 1800s and brought with them a love for their patron saint. That love spawned celebrations around the country wherever the Irish settled. New York City hosts what is considered the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade followed by Chicago and Savannah, Georgia.

What do we know about Saint Patrick?

Born in the second half of the 4th Century, Patrick called himself both a Roman and a Brit, casting confusion on his place of birth. Some speculate he was born in Dunbarton, Scotland; others claim Cumberland, England as his birthplace and some have him hailing from northern Wales. In his early teen years, Patrick was captured by Druid renegades and sold into slavery. He spent the next six years working as a shepherd in north Ireland. His living conditions were harsh, and young Patrick endured his cold and lonely existence by turning to prayer. He found solace in his Christian faith, and his trust in the Lord grew. Eventually, a dream encouraged Patrick to flee to the southern coast of Ireland. Believing the dream to be divinely inspired, Patrick traveled 200 miles on foot to Wexford where he boarded a ship that transported him to Britain.

Upon his arrival, he was taken captive by a gang of bandits but escaped after two months. For the next fifteen years, Patrick traveled throughout Europe, studied in France and eventually was ordained a Roman Catholic priest. He ministered in both England and France, was made a bishop at the age of forty-three and, at some point, wrote an autobiography entitled Confessio. Throughout this time, Patrick always yearned to return to Ireland.

Cliffs of Moher
(Photo taken on my trip to Ireland in 2018)

In another inspired dream, Patrick had a vision of the Irish people calling out to him. The dream solidified his desire to return to the place of his enslavement, and he soon sailed back to the Emerald Isle. After winning over pagan chieftains, he traveled throughout the country teaching and ministering to the people, and the Christian faith quickly grew under his spiritual guidance. He founded monasteries, many Irish men were ordained and, in turn, did mission work in Europe where the faith had waned.  Patrick died in 461 at the age of 76 and was buried in County Down.

Irish countryside. (Debby's photo)

What can we learn from Saint Patrick?

Patrick did not allow personal hardship to undermine his faith, in fact his love of the Lord only deepened with adversity. His commitment to Christ helped him recognize God’s promptings in a dream to escape to freedom. Returning to Europe, he strengthened his knowledge of Scripture and the teachings of the Church through study and committed his life to priestly service. Never satisfied to remain stagnant, Patrick had the conviction and courage to return to the country of his enslavement in order to spread the Good News.

An Irish Cottage (Debby's photo)

What can we take away from Patrick’s story?

No matter our calling in life or our circumstances, prayer and faith in God are of paramount importance. As writers and like Saint Patrick, we recognize the necessity to study and hone our craft or ministry. Determination and dedication were two of Patrick’s key traits that are essential for writers as well. Patrick refused to be discouraged or dismayed in spite of the negative influences he had to endure in his early life. We, too, need to overcome rejection and have the fortitude to persevere in achieving our writing dreams.

Blarney Castle (Debby's photo)

As writers, we need to pray, to study, to keep moving forward and to never allow discouragement to hold us back.

This Saint Patrick’s Day, I’ll remember a courageous man who answered God’s call, a man who inspires me to persevere in both my faith and my writing.

Share any thoughts you have about Patrick’s tenacity and strength as well as the traits that buoy you on your writing journey.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all!

Wishing you abundant blessings,

Debby Giusti

Cover Reveal for my June release: 


A deadly explosion.
A dangerous search for the truth.

After an explosion rocks Becca Klein’s bakery and kills one of her customers, she teams up with the victim’s son to find justice. Though estranged from his father, 
Englischer Luke Snyder is compelled to help the Amish woman uncover why his father died. But ruthless killers believe Luke’s father gave Becca something they want, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it. Can Luke keep Becca safe until they discover the truth?



  1. Debby, thank you for the historical background of St. Patrick. Such hardships tasked to a lad of such a young age. That he did not falter, but instead, grew stronger in the Lord is a testament to the strong spiritual love in his heart. Over the last year, I've read many articles on historical figures who figure greatly in our lives today - and the spiritual context that made them strong - and sigh over how their great messages of faith in God have been diluted.

    On Friday, if you walk up to anyone wearing green, how many do you think will tell you about corned beef, cabbage and green beer rather than St. Patrick's faith?

    Great post, Debby!
    Audra, the Anonymous

    1. I'm sure most folks focus on the celebration of Saint Patrick's Day rather than the man. He endured so much and his faith only deepened. If only all of us could follow his spiritual lead!

  2. Thank you, Debby, for this reminder to not let discouragement hold me back. When my kids or grandkids are struggling, I find it difficult to write. My mind is too busy gnawing over the problem like a dog with his bone. That's been me today. I've been wallowing all morning and haven't accomplished much. I think I'll be done now and try to have a more productive afternoon. On the bright side, the Lord provided for me to be able to attend the Write to Publish conference in Wheaton, Illinois in June. Has anyone else from Seekerville decided to attend?

  3. You'll have to tell us about the Write to Publish Conference, Terri! So glad you can attend. I always benefit from attending workshops and interacting with writers and publishing professionals! Good for you! I hope you can put the daily struggles behind today and spend some time on your writing. I'm praying that time to yourself will brighten your day! Enjoy Saint Patrick's Day on Friday!

  4. Very late checking in today, but interesting post, Debby. Thanks for sharing the story of St. Patrick.

  5. I've always been fascinated by St. Patrick. Thanks for this informative post!

    1. I'm sure you'll be wearing green tomorrow, Dana! :)

  6. Great post, Debby! His tenacity and dedication spoke to me. With tenacity and dedication, we can persevere and continue moving forward in our writing.

  7. Hi Debby, I've always enjoyed the legend of St. Patrick but I admire him any more for his deep religious beliefs. I usually share his story with the children at church and use the shamrock as a way to focus on the 3 parts of the Trinity. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Debby, and Thank you for sharing this great post! Have a Blessed day!


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