Philip Jenkins has a great post on the real St. Patrick, and the evil that he confronted in his mission.
Among the many millions who celebrate Irishness every March 17, scarcely any wonder for a second whether there is any historical substance to the figure of St. Patrick, any more than to a host of other medieval wonderworkers. Treating such a tale as serious history, they assume, makes about as much sense as writing a critical biography of the Easter Bunny.
Sadly, such indifference means that moderns are missing a story that is not just rock-solid history, but is one of the most moving in early Christianity...
Please read the whole thing. It's fascinating history.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!