The reasons the Church continues to honor the Apostle of Ireland more than 1,500 years after his death shine forth in the film “I Am Patrick” (CBN), a docudrama screening in theaters for two nights only, March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day — and March 18.

Written and directed by Jarrod Anderson, the profile — subtitled “The Patron Saint of Ireland” — seeks to debunk many of the myths and legends that have grown up around its subject over the centuries. The goal is to capture who Patrick really was as a man and a follower of Christ.

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy) plays Patrick in old age. With his distinctive voice and stately bearing, he brings the patriarch to life as he reflects on his past and writes his “Confession,” laying out the facts about his work to refute the detractors who have arisen during his evangelization of Ireland.

Anderson has brought together an impressive array of people to lay out what is known about Patrick. Those interviewed include historians Charles Doherty and Elva Johnson as well as authors Thomas O’Loughlin and Father Billy Swan. They weave a narrative that reveals Patrick for the amazing missionary he was.

It’s no spoiler to say that Patrick’s evangelizing mission was a great success. And the film does a splendid job of detailing just how much of a change it was for the Irish pagans to become Christian.

Some back in Britain, however, were uncomfortable with Patrick’s efforts and with the way the Church was developing in Ireland. Even after decades of work, Patrick still had his critics. It was for them that he wrote his “Confession,” saying that his only motivation in all the preceding years of labor had been “to bring people to Christ.”

The live-action and documentary elements blend well, keeping the pace moving along as the story unfolds with the help of Moe Dunford’s narration. The actors who portray Patrick at different stages of his life successfully capture the excitement, determination and zeal Patrick consistently displayed.

Anderson gives moviegoers an opportunity to view this popular saint as the lover of Christ and proclaimer of the Gospel that he was. His screen biography thus makes especially apt fare for Lent. Perhaps in witnessing the radical way Patrick responded so fully to God’s calling, we might take a moment to reflect on how we live out our own vocations.

For theater and ticket information, visit:

Full story at The Southern Cross.