Saint Patrick is well renowned in Irish folklore and religion as a man of miracles. There are many stories of his good deeds and also his determination to spread Christianity across the Emerald Isle, sometimes against formidable odds from pagan druids and mythical creatures. He was a real person but shrouded in myth and folklore stories. He was as a child sold as a slave to a farmer in Wales. He had a vision that God wanted him to spread Christianity. He escaped his master and hid on a boat that was destined for Ireland.
Saint Patrick needed to stamp his authority in Ireland. Once every year the kings of Ireland met on Tara Hill, a true geographical location in Meath, Ireland. There were four kings, one for each province in Ireland. There was also one king who presided over the business of the four provinces. He would observe the behavior of the four kings and would make the major decisions for Ireland. On the Winter Solstice these kings and many of their subjects and warriors would meet. A competition would take place to decide who would be the chief king who would preside over the whole of Ireland for the following year. This involved physical challenges and fights among the four kings. Whoever was successful in all the competitions was crowned king. There would be much celebration and feasting.
On the coronation of the chief king a fire would be lit on the Hill of Tara. It was a massive conflagration of flames that would be seen for miles away. So bright and the flames so tall as if to reach the very clouds and piercing the dark night sky. This was followed by dancing, heavy drinking and merriment.
One night the king was about to be crowned. Flames danced on a distant hill, before the celebratory fire was lit. Saint Patrick had lit the fire to confuse and provoke the kings. This was considered heresy by the kings as only one fire could be lit that night, on the hill of Tara. The kings and all their subjects became ferociously angry. It was St Patrick who had the audacity to light a tremendous fire with towering flames that lit the sky. The kings and their powerful druids made haste to the nearby hill to challenge the person who lit the fire before the king lit his fire on the hill of Tara. A magical fight ensued between Saint Patrick and the druids. Lightening shot out from Saint Patrick`s wooden rod and defeated the druids, even though the druids in Ireland were known across Europe for their strength and brilliance in magic.
The kings were astonished at Saint Patrick`s bravery and submitted to his will. The terms for peace that Saint Patrick set out were the druids were to be disbanded. Paganism was no longer to be practiced and Christianity was to be the only recognized religion in the whole of Ireland.