Patrick (John Rhys-Davies, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), now the elderly Christian bishop of Armagh, Ireland, begins to write down the events of his extraordinary life so that others will understand his choice to follow Jesus. These writings are called “Confessio” or “The Confession of St. Patrick” and is still in print today. This text forms the basis of a new docudrama in theaters March 17 and 18 only as a Fathom Event (check local listings), that makes this patron saint of Ireland very real to people the world over 1500 years later.
Patrick (played by Sean T. O’Meallaigh as a young man and Robert McCormack as a child), was probably born in the 5th century in Britain, the son of Conchessa and Calpornius, a deacon, whose father was a priest. The Roman Empire is collapsing around them. When he is 16 years old, Patrick is living a rather faith-less life despite his religious upbringing and is abducted and taken to Ireland as a slave. During his life in captivity he herds sheep and at night, God speaks to him in dreams. Patrick turns to Christ. Stirred by dreams, Patrick escapes to the seashore and takes a ship back home to Britain where he is reunited with his parents.
Patrick hears the call of Christ to become a priest and to return to Ireland as a missionary, which many do not understand, including his family and local Church authorities. Once in Ireland, Patrick converts thousands of people to Christianity and opposes slavery and Druidism. He confronts the Irish king by lighting the Paschal fire when the king carries out his own rituals. Even when local Christians give him a hard time, Patrick shows them the face of Christ through love, and for us today, perseverance in faith.
“I am Patrick” has many things to recommend it and add it to your must-see list. It tells Patrick’s story as he recorded it, filled with grace and devoid of legends and embellishments, against the cinematic backdrop of Ireland’s vast majestic, rugged physical beauty. It shows Patrick as a man of strong faith, a portrayal that is supported by several historians and theologians who supply commentary throughout. Rhys-Davies is the perfect choice to play Ireland’s patron saint in old age. The ancient Celtic-influenced music of the soundtrack is lovely. Above all, “I am Patrick” is the imagining of one man’s journey to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, to be one with Christ, Father and Spirit.
Written and directed by Jarrod Anderson, the film is produced by CBN Films.
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