Interview by Christine Thompson
I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with John Rhys-Davies about the upcoming Fathom Event film I AM PATRICK, which will be in theaters nationwide Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18 for two nights only.
We discussed everything from the coronavirus to what he found most interesting about the purportedly “Irish” saint, to the role of Christianity in civilization, the scourge of slavery in the modern world, as well as a theory as to why men traditionally ruled the world in most cultures instead of women. The most shocking revelation is at the end of the conversation, where he tells me where he has seen a modern day slave ship and how that colored his perception of life.
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Some facts about Patrick:
- Patrick was British, not Irish – or Welsh, as Jonathan Rhys Davies tells us
- Patrick was enslaved for 6 years of his childhood.
- Patrick was the only known person to escape slavery from Ireland in the 5th Century
- Patrick was the first person to oppose slavery in written history.
- Patrick was the first person to oppose sex trafficking in written history.Patrick advocated for women.
- The message he brought offered women choices they normally didn’t have in Irish society.
- Patrick’s writing “Confessio” is the oldest surviving document in Irish history.
- The snakes, shamrocks, and color green are all later century additions to Patrick’s real story.
- Some scholars believe that Patrick sold his inheritance to fund his return to Ireland.
- Patrick was betrayed by a close friend.
SYNOPSIS: In the 5th century, the Roman empire was collapsing, and barbarians threatened
civilization. In Britain, a teenager named Patrick was living a comfortable life as the son of
a government official. Despite being part of the Roman Catholic Church, his faith didn’t
mean anything to him until he was kidnapped by pirates at the age of 16 and enslaved at
the edge of the known world – Ireland.
For six years, Patrick was forced to work as a shepherd and was driven to the brink of
starvation. It was there that he turned to his Christian faith and through divine intervention
managed to escape. He was reunited with his family in Britain only to have a prophetic
dream calling him to take Christianity back to the land of his captivity.
Against the wishes of his family and the Church, Patrick returned as a missionary bishop
to Ireland and converted thousands to Christianity. He opposed slavers, Irish kings and
possibly Druids but nothing compared to the hostility he faced from his fellow Christians.
After a close friend exposed a dark secret of Patrick’s, it is believed he was ordered to
leave his mission and return to Britain.
Patrick had to choose – obey God or obey man?