The lives of Saint Patrick : an original screenplay.

Date of Award


Document Type



Caspersen School of Graduate Studies

Degree Name

Doctor of Letters


Saint Patrick is a well-recognized figure, as he is celebrated annually on and around March 17th all over the world. However, the historical Patrick has been obscured by centuries of propagandistic hagiography and nationalistic appropriation, making him more myth than man to the general populace. This is evidenced by the filmic representations of the saint (or "hagiopics") produced to date, which are few, unavailable, and inadequate. Since 1912, these motion pictures have done more to portray legend than history, and do not go far enough beyond the traditional purposing of the life of the saint. The story of Patrick deserves to be adapted in a way that makes his history transparent, and his significance more universal for a contemporary audience. The Lives of Saint Patrick is an original feature film screenplay which modernizes the Patrick narrative and creates an alternative hagiopic. It symbolically represents the saint by creating the 21st century characters Sullivan and Erin Servantes, young Irish/Mexican-Americans who signify how America has changed demographically. It is through Sullivan that the screenplay both relates the known history of Patrick, and also illustrates how conventional hagiopics mislead an audience through the addition of legend and invention of material. It is through Erin that the screenplay explores the humanity within the legacy of Patrick. Erin is abducted and escapes, then joins the present-day anti-human trafficking movement, thereby demonstrating how Patrick's ancient dedication to service and anti-slavery stance are still relevant today. Overall, The Lives of Saint Patrick constructs a modern screen story, remedying misconceptions while popularizing and universalizing Patrick's significance.