The Apostle of Ireland was worn out and isolated himself for 40 days to renew his strength.
St. Patrick spent many years establishing Christianity in Ireland, and it wasn’t an easy task. He was constantly on the move and it used up much of his strength.
This is why he would frequently practice “social distancing,” and isolate himself from any human contact for extended periods of time.
He used this time for prayer and communion with God. It became an important part of his life and renewed his strength, allowing him to return to ministry and resume his preaching of the Gospel.
The Catholic Encyclopedia explains his favorite places of solitude.
From time to time he withdrew from the spiritual duties of his apostolate to devote himself wholly to prayer and penance. One of his chosen places of solitude and retreat was the island of Lough Derg, which, to our own day, has continued to be a favorite resort of pilgrims, and it is known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory. Another theater of his miraculous power and piety and penitential austerities in the west of Ireland merits particular attention … This mountain was known in pagan times as the Eagle Mountain, but ever since Ireland was enlightened with the light of Faith it is known as Croagh Patrick, i.e. St. Patrick’s mountain, and is honored as the Holy Hill, the Mount Sinai, of Ireland.
It is believed that St. Patrick ascended Croagh Patrick and remained there for the 40 days of Lent. During one of these times it is believed that God gave St. Patrick a glimpse of the many saints who would be formed in this country because of his efforts, giving strength to a weary missionary.
St. Patrick’s life reminds us that solitude can be a positive addition to our lives and give us the strength we need to boldly live our lives for Jesus Christ.