Patrick was born into a Christian family in Britain in the late fourth century. When he was sixteen, raiders from Ireland captured him and made him a slave. For six years Patrick tended Irish swine. During this time he learned Gaelic. He turned to God for comfort and received a divine message that he was to escape. Back in Britain, however, he became convinced that he should return to Ireland as a missionary. He devoted the rest of his life, thirty years, to evangelizing the Irish people. It is estimated that he was personally responsible for 120,000 converts.