Skip to comments.Saint Patrick [Apostle Of Ireland]
Posted on 03/17/2002 3:36:13 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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Made my Consecration to Our Lady during our Legion of Mary Acies today. It was inspiring.
Have a Blessed week.
That's fantastic that you made your concecration to Our Lady. I made mine,several years ago(De Montort version).
BTTT on Memorial of St. Patrick, 03-17-05!
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Many myths surround St. Patrick. One of the best knownand most inaccurateis that Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland into the Irish Sea, where the serpents drowned. (Some still say that is why the sea is so rough.)
But snakes have never been native to the Emerald Isle. The serpents were likely a metaphor for druidic religions, which steadily disappeared from Ireland in the centuries after St. Patrick planted the seeds of Christianity on the island.
And another BTTT!
Many years ago I added a verse to the hymn "By All Your Saints in Warfare" (CMD) to pay tribute to St. Patrick. It is the middle stanza:
By all your saints in warfare
For all your saints at rest
Your holy name, O Jesus
For-ev-er more be blest
For you have won the battle
That they might wear the crown
And now they shine in glory
Re-flect-ed from your throne.
All praise for him whose mission
Was to the emrald isle
Who preached the peace of Jesus
To tribes hed once re-viled.
Like him who used the shamrock
To teach your mys-ter-y
Let us be ever faithful
To you, blessd Trin--it-y.
Then let us praise the Father
And worship God the Son
And sing to God the Spirit
E-ter-nal Three in One
Til all the ransomed number
Fall down before the throne
As-crib-ing powr and glory
And praise to God alone.
|Lorica of Saint Patrick
I arise today
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
March 17, 2005
Legends about Patrick abound; but truth is best served by our seeing two solid qualities in him: He was humble and he was courageous. The determination to accept suffering and success with equal indifference guided the life of Gods instrument for winning most of Ireland for Christ.
Details of his life are uncertain. Current research places his dates of birth and death a little later than earlier accounts. Patrick may have been born in Dunbarton, Scotland, Cumberland, England, or in northern Wales. He called himself both a Roman and a Briton. At 16, he and a large number of his fathers slaves and vassals were captured by Irish raiders and sold as slaves in Ireland. Forced to work as a shepherd, he suffered greatly from hunger and cold.
After six years, Patrick escaped, probably to France, and later returned to Britain at the age of 22. His captivity had meant spiritual conversion. He may have studied at Lerins, off the French coast; he spent years at Auxerre, France, and was consecrated bishop at the age of 43. His great desire was to proclaim the Good News to the Irish.
In a dream vision it seemed all the children of Ireland from their mothers wombs were stretching out their hands to him. He understood the vision to be a call to do mission work in pagan Ireland. Despite opposition from those who felt his education had been defective, he was sent to carry out the task. He went to the west and north, where the faith had never been preached, obtained the protection of local kings and made numerous converts.
Because of the islands pagan background, Patrick was emphatic in encouraging widows to remain chaste and young women to consecrate their virginity to Christ. He ordained many priests, divided the country into dioceses, held Church councils, founded several monasteries and continually urged his people to greater holiness in Christ.
He suffered much opposition from pagan druids, and was criticized in both England and Ireland for the way he conducted his mission.
In a relatively short time the island had experienced deeply the Christian spirit, and was prepared to send out missionaries whose efforts were greatly responsible for Christianizing Europe.
Patrick was a man of action, with little inclination toward learning. He had a rocklike belief in his vocation, in the cause he had espoused.
One of the few certainly authentic writings is his Confessio, above all an act of homage to God for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.
There is hope rather than irony in the fact that his burial place is said to be in strife-torn Ulster, in County Down.
Truly a fascinating article.
Nine years ago today, my son Patrick was baptised. We commemorated today by going to Mass where both my boys served on the altar. (My great-grandfather came from Letterkenny to the US at the turn of the century.)
Yes, from this person who is half Irish!
The only animals in Ireland are those that could swim there or pay fare on a boat!
Snakes didn't make it.
Now, if they'd really like there are karstlands throughout American where the residents would be glad to gather up rattlesnakes and ship them off to Ireland.
Mercy is a funny thing. Some have it, others don't. To be absent any mercy subjects one to living amongst a class of sub-humans, much like the animal kingdom. Yet at times, one's survival must depend upon showing no mercy to an enemy bent upon your destruction.
The large tent of 'love, mercy, and forgiveness' swallowed the shallow pagan tent of clan survival by any means. That an idea can unify large masses is truly a miracle. However, the messages that transcend must still be tested on the battlefield. It's where the 'rubber meets the road' so to speak, and in 2005 we ain't dealing with druids. Then again, maybe we are. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Happy Shamrock Day 2005!
BTTT on the Optional Memorial of St. Patrick, March 17, 2006!
|ST PATRICK, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, APOSTLE OF IRELANDA.D. 464|
|Feast: March 17
|The Irish have many lives of their great apostle, whereof the two principal are, that compiled by Jocelin, a Cistercian monk, in the twelfth century who quotes four lives written by disciples of the saint; and that by Probus, who, according to Bollandus, lived in the seventh century. But in both are intermixed several injudicious popular reports. We, with Tillemont, chiefly confine ourselves to the saint's own writings, his Confession, and his letter to Corotic, which that judicious critic doubts not to be genuine. The style in both is the same, he is expressed in them to be the author, his "Confession" is quoted by all the authors of his life, and the letter was written before the conversion of the Franks under King Clovis, in 496. See Tillemont, t. xvi. 455, and Britannia Sancta.
If the virtue of children reflects an honour on their parents, much more justly is the name of St. Patrick rendered illustrious by the innumerable lights of sanctity with which the church of Ireland, planted by his labours in the most remote corner of the then known world, shone during many ages; and by the colonies of saints with which it peopled many foreign countries; for, under God, its inhabitants derived from their glorious apostle the streams of that eminent sanctity by which they were long conspicuous to the whole world. St. Patrick was born in the decline of the fourth century, and, as he informs us in his "Confession," in a village called Bonaven Taberniae, which seems to be the town of Kilpatrick, on the mouth of the river Cluyd, in Scotland, between Dunbriton and Glasgow. He calls himself both a Briton and a Roman, or of a mixed extraction, and says his father was of a good family, named Calphurnius, and a denizen of a neighbouring city of the Romans, who not long after abandoned Britain, in 409. Some writers call his mother Conchessa, and say that she was niece to St. Martin of Tours. At fifteen years of age he committed a fault, which appears not to have been a great crime, yet was to him a subject of tears during the remainder of his life. He says that when he was sixteen he lived still ignorant of God, meaning of the devout knowledge and fervent love of God, for he was always a Christian; he never ceased to bewail this neglect, and wept when he remembered that he had been one moment of his life insensible of the divine love. In his sixteenth year he was carried into captivity by certain barbarians, together with many of his father's vassals and slaves taken upon his estate. They took him into Ireland, where he was obliged to keep cattle on the mountains and in the forests, in hunger and nakedness, amidst snows, rain, and ice. Whilst he lived in this suffering condition, God had pity on his soul, and quickened him to a sense of his duty by the impulse of a strong interior grace. The young man had recourse to him with his whole heart in fervent prayer and fasting; and from that time faith and the love of God acquired continually new strength in his tender soul. He prayed often in the day, and also many times in the night, breaking off his sleep to return to the divine praises. His afflictions were to him a source of heavenly benedictions, because he carried his cross with Christ, that is, with patience, resignation, and holy joy. St. Patrick, after six months spent in slavery under the same master, was admonished by God in a dream to return to his own country, and informed that a ship was then ready to sail thither. He repaired immediately to the sea-coast, though at a great distance, and found the vessel; but could not obtain his passage, probably for want of money. Thus new trials ever await the servants of God. The saint returned towards his hut, praying as he went; but the sailors, though pagans, called him back and took him on board. After three days' sail they made land, probably in the north of Scotland; but wandered twenty-seven days through deserts, and were a long while distressed for want of provisions, finding nothing to eat. Patrick had often entertained the company on the infinite power of God; they therefore asked him why he did not pray for relief. Animated by a strong faith, he assured them that if they would address themselves with their whole hearts to the true God, he would hear and succour them. They did so, and on the same day met with a herd of swine. From that time provisions never failed them, till, on the twenty-seventh day, they came into a country that was cultivated and inhabited. During their distress, Patrick refused to touch meats which had been offered to idols. One day a great stone from a rock happened to fall upon him, and had like to have crushed him to death, whilst he was laid down to take a little rest. But he invoked Elias, and was delivered from the danger. Some years afterwards he was again led captive, but recovered his liberty after two months. When he was at home with his parents, God manifested to him by divers visions that he destined him to the great work of the conversion of Ireland. He thought he saw all the children of that country from the wombs of their mothers stretching out their hands and piteously crying to him for relief.
Some think he had travelled into Gaul before he undertook his mission, and we find that, while he preached in Ireland, he had a great desire to visit his brethren in Gaul, and to see those whom he calls the saints of God, having been formerly acquainted with them. The authors of his life say that after his second captivity he travelled into Gaul and Italy, and had seen St. Martin, St. Germanus of Auxerre, and Pope Celestine, and that he received his mission and the apostolical benediction from this pope, who died in 432. But it seems, from his Confession, that he was ordained deacon, priest, and bishop for his mission in his own country. It is certain that he spent many years in preparing himself for those sacred functions. Great opposition was made, against his episcopal consecration and mission, both by his own relations and by the clergy. These made him great offers, in order to detain him among them, and endeavoured to affright him by exaggerating the dangers to which he exposed himself amidst the enemies of the Romans and Britons, who did not know God. Some objected, with the same view, the fault which he had committed thirty years before as an obstacle to his ordination. All these temptations threw the saint into great perplexities, and had like to have made him abandon the work of God. But the Lord, whose will he consulted by earnest prayer, supported him and comforted him by a visionso that he persevered in his resolution. He forsook his family, sold, as he says, his birthright and dignity, to serve strangers, and consecrated his soul to God, to carry his name to the end of the earth.
He was determined to suffer all things for the accomplishment of his holy design, to receive in the same spirit both prosperity and adversity, and to return thanks to God equally for the one as for the other, desiring only that his name might be glorified, and his divine will accomplished to his own honour. In this disposition he passed into Ireland, to preach the gospel, where the worship of idols still generally reigned. He devoted himself entirely for the salvation of these barbarians, to be regarded as a stranger, to be contemned as the last of men, to suffer from the infidels imprisonment and all kinds of persecution, and to give his life with joy, if God should deem him worthy to shed his blood in his cause. He travelled over the whole island, penetrating into the remotest corners, without fearing any dangers, and often visited each province. Such was the fruit of his preachings and sufferings that he consecrated to God, by baptism, an infinite number of people, and laboured effectually that they might be perfected in his service by the practice of virtue. He ordained everywhere clergymen; induced women to live in holy widowhood and continence; consecrated virgins to Christ, and instituted monks. Great numbers embraced these states of perfection with extreme ardour. Many desired to confer earthly riches on him who had communicated to them the goods of heaven; but he made it a capital duty to decline all self-interest, and whatever might dishonour his ministry. He took nothing from the many thousands whom he baptized, and often gave back the little presents which some laid on the altar, choosing rather to mortify the fervent than to scandalize the weak or the infidels. On the contrary; he gave freely of his own, both to pagans and Christians, distributed large alms to the poor in the provinces where he passed, made presents to the kingsjudging that necessary for the progress of the gospeland maintained and educated many children, whom he trained up to serve at the altar. He always gave till he had no more to bestow, and rejoiced to see himself poor, with Jesus Christ, knowing poverty and afflictions to be more profitable to him than riches and pleasures. The happy success of his labours cost him many persecutions.
A certain prince named Corotick, a Christian, though in name only, disturbed the peace of his flock. He seems to have reigned in some part of Wales, after the Britons had been abandoned by the Romans. This tyrant, as the saint calls him, having made a descent into Ireland, plundered the country where St. Patrick had been just conferring the holy chrism, that is, confirmation, on a great number of Neophytes, who were yet in their white garments after baptism. Corotick, without paying any regard to justice or to the holy sacrament, massacred many, and carried away others, whom he sold to the infidel Picts or Scots. This probably happened at Easter or Whitsuntide. The next day the saint sent the barbarian a letter by a holy priest whom he had brought up from his infancy, entreating him to restore the Christian captives, and at least part of the booty he had taken, that the poor people might not perish for want, but was only answered by railleries, as if the Irish could not be the same Christians with the Britons; which arrogance and pride sunk those barbarous conquerors beneath the dignity of men, whilst by it they were puffed up above others in their own hearts. The saint, therefore, to prevent the scandal which such a flagrant enormity gave to his new converts, writ with his own hand a public circular letter. In it he styles himself a sinner and an ignorant man; for such is the sincere humility of the saints (most of all when they are obliged to exercise any acts of authority), contrary to the pompous titles which the world affects. He declares, nevertheless, that he is established Bishop of Ireland, and pronounces Corotick, and the other parricides and accomplices, separated from him and from Jesus Christ, whose place he holds, forbidding any to eat with them, or to receive their alms, till they should have satisfied God by the tears of sincere penance and restored the servants of Jesus Christ to their liberty. This letter expresses the most tender love for his flock and his grief for those who had been slain, yet mingled with joy because they reign with the prophets, apostles, and martyrs. Jocelin assures us that Corotick was overtaken by the divine vengeance. St. Patrick wrote his Confession as a testimony of his mission when he was old. It is solid, full of good sense and piety, expresses an extraordinary humility and a great desire of martyrdom, and is wrote with spirit. The author was perfectly versed in the holy scriptures. He confesses everywhere his own faults with a sincere humility, and extols the great mercies of God towards him in this world, who had exalted him, though the most undeserving of men; yet, to preserve him in humility, afforded him the advantage of meeting with extreme contempt from others, that is from the heathens. He confesses, for his humiliation, that, among other temptations, he felt a great desire to see again his own country, and to visit the saints of his acquaintance in Gaul, but durst not abandon his people; and says that the Holy Ghost had declared to him that to do it would be criminal. He tells us that a little before he wrote this, he himself and all his companions had been plundered and laid in irons for his having baptized the son of a certain king against the will of his father, but were released after fourteen days. He lived in the daily expectation of such accidents and of martyrdom, but feared nothing, having his hope as a firm anchor fixed in heaven, and reposing himself with an entire confidence in the arms of the Almighty. He says that he had lately baptized a very beautiful young lady of quality, who some days after came to tell him that she had been admonished by an angel to consecrate her virginity to Jesus Christ, that she might render herself the more acceptable to God. He gave God thanks, and she made her vows with extraordinary fervour six days before he wrote this letter.
St. Patrick held several councils to settle the discipline of the church which he had planted. The first, the acts of which are extant under his name in the editions of the councils, is certainly genuine. Its canons regulate several points of discipline, especially relating to penance. St. Bernard and the tradition of the country testify that St. Patrick fixed his metropolitan see at Armagh. He established some other bishops, as appears by his Council and other monuments. He not only converted the whole country by his preaching and wonderful miracles, but also cultivated this vineyard with so fruitful a benediction and increase from heaven as to render Ireland a most flourishing garden in the church of God and a country of saints. And those nations which had for many ages esteemed all others barbarians did not blush to receive from the utmost extremity of the uncivilized or barbarous world their most renowned teachers and guides in the greatest of all sciences, that of the saints.
Many particulars are related of the labours of St. Patrick, which we pass over. In the first year of his mission he attempted to preach Christ in the general assembly of the kings and states of all Ireland, held yearly at Taraghe, or Themoria, in East-Meath, the residence of the chief king, styled the monarch of the whole island, and the principal seat of the Druids or priests, and their paganish rites. The son of Neill, the chief monarch, declared himself against the preacher; however, he converted several, and, on his road to that place, the father of St. Benen, or Benignus his immediate successor in the see of Armagh. He afterwards converted and baptized the Kings of Dublin and Munster, and the seven sons of the King of Connaught, with the greatest part of their subjects, and before his death almost the whole island. He founded a monastery at Armagh; another called Domnach-Padraig, or Patrick's Church; also a third, named Sabhal-Padraig, and filled the country with churches and schools of piety and learning; the reputation of which, for the three succeeding centuries, drew many foreigners into Ireland. Nennius, Abbot of Bangor, in 620, in his history of the Britons, published by the learned Thomas Gale, says that St. Patrick took that name only when he was ordained bishop, being before called Maun; that he continued his missions over all the provinces of Ireland during forty years; that he restored sight to many blind, health to the sick, and raised nine dead persons to life. He died and was buried at Down, in Ulster. His body was found there in a church of his name in 1185, and translated to another part of the same church. His festival is marked on the 17th of March in the Martyrology of Bede, &c.
The apostles of nations were all interior men, endowed with a sublime spirit of prayer. The salvation of souls being a supernatural end, the instruments ought to bear a proportion to it, and preaching proceed from a grace which is supernatural. To undertake this holy function without a competent stock of sacred learning, and without the necessary precautions of human prudence and industry, would be to tempt God. But sanctity of life and the union of the heart with God are a qualification far more essential than science, eloquence, and human talents. Many almost kill themselves with studying to compose elegant sermons, which flatter the ear ye. reap very little fruit. Their hearers applaud their parts, but very few are converted. Most preachers, now-a-days, have learning, but are not sufficiently grounded in true sanctity, and a spirit of devotion. Interior humility. purity of heart, recollection, and the spirit and the assiduous practice of holy prayer, are the principal preparation for the ministry of the word, and the true means of acquiring the science of the saints. A short devout meditation and fervent prayer, which kindle a fire in the affections, furnish more thoughts proper to move the hearts of the hearers, and inspire them with sentiments of truer virtue, than many years employed barely in reading and study. St. Patrick and other apostolic men were dead to themselves and the world, and animated with the spirit of perfect charity and humility, by which they were prepared by God to be such powerful instruments of his grace, as, by the miraculous change of so many hearts, to plant in entire barbarous nations not only the faith, but also the spirit of Christ. Preachers who have not attained to a disengagement and purity of heart suffer the petty interests of self-love secretly to mingle themselves in their zeal and charity, and have reason to suspect that they inflict deeper wounds in their own souls than they are aware, and produce not in others the good which they imagine.
(Taken from Vol. III of "The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints" by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)
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Just about everyone knows about Saint Patrick, just like everyone knows about Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. In the same way, that some people forget that Santa Claus is really a saint in Heaven who will pray for us if we ask him, and instead tell us stories about elves and reindeer, Saint Patrick is also a saint in Heaven who will help us if we ask. He has nothing to do with green food or leprechauns, even though those are fun ways to celebrate Saint Patricks Day.
Patrick was not Irish to begin with. He was born in Scotland at a time when Ireland was a land of pagan kings and warriors. His parents were Romans, probably there as merchants or administrators of a Roman Colony.
When Patrick was sixteen years old, Irish warriors raided Scotland and carried captives back to Ireland to be slaves. Patrick was among them. His head was shaved and he was put to work as a shepherd for an Irish Druidic high priest named Milchu. He must have been very scared and lonely.
For the next six years, Patrick learned the language and customs of the Irish people. This knowledge helped him later when he returned to Ireland as a missionary. Patrick also grew in love and devotion to God, often praying one hundred prayers a day and more at night.
One night, in a dream, God told Saint Patrick to escape his master and go to the coast, two hundred miles away. Patrick did as he was told and made the journey safely. He found a ship about to sail for Britain, but the sailors refused to take him with them. After a silent prayer to God, they agreed.
After three days of sailing, they landed and began to walk. It was a hard trip, they had no food or shelter. The others laughed at Patrick's belief in God but he told them; 'Turn in good faith and with all your heart to the Lord my God to whom nothing is impossible.' Suddenly they came across a herd of pigs and after killing them, had enough food for the rest of their trip.
In another dream, Patrick heard the people of Ireland crying out to him:' We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.' Patrick was willing but not ready for such a big job, so he began to study to be a priest and eventually was ordained. Pope Saint Clestine sent a man named Palladius to bring the Gospel to Ireland, but Palladius died. Saint Patrick was recommended for the job and willingly accepted it. He was ordained a bishop (so that he could ordain priests while he was there.)
Saint Patrick arrived back in Ireland on March 25, 433 and immediately began his work of teaching and preaching the Good News to the people of Ireland. Patrick used the shamrock's three leaves on one stem to explain the Trinity, and it has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.He converted chieftains, the family of the King, and many others. Some of these people donated land and buildings to him for churches. God performed many miracles and healings through Saint Patrick, so that everyone could see the power and mercy of God. The sick were healed, the dead were raised, the lame could walk and many miraculous flows of water still fill wells today.
It wasn't easy though. Patrick and his followers were imprisoned and sentenced to death several times, people conspired against him to the Kings, an entire county was plundered by enemies of Saint Patrick and many people were killed. Saint Patrick never gave up his work though, and by the time he was an old man all of Irleand was Christian. What a great life and work to offer to God, what a great thing God had done through Saint Patrick!
Saint Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints. Along with Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) and Saint Valentine, Saint Patrick's feast day is celebrated, or at least recognised, by almost everyone in the world. There are many legends and stories about the life and works of Saint Patrick.
Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably at or near Kilpatrick. His parent's names were Calpurnius and Conchessa. They were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.
As a boy of sixteen, he was captured during a raid and taken to Ireland, a land of Druids and pagans, as a slave to herd and tend sheep. For six years, he lived in slavery, tending sheep alone on the hills. During his captivity he learned the language and practices of the Irish people.
Though not raised as a Christian, and probably quite ignorant of the Christian faith, during his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote:
"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."
Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty-two. At that time, he was instructed in a dream, 'your ship is ready'. From this he understood that he was to walk to the coast and return home to Scotland. He walked 200 miles to the coast, where he found a ship preparing to sail. After some reluctance from the sailors, he was permitted to board and he sailed to Britian where he reunited with his family.
The journey was long and difficult, at one point, he and his travelling companions had no food. They mocked his Christianity and asked why does your God not help you, if He is so great and powerful? Patrick replied with confidence that the Lord would help them all. Soon after, they came across a herd of wild pigs and had a feast wihich lasted for two days. Some time after he finally returned to the arms of his family, he had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more."
Convinced that he was not ready to take on such a task, he began to prepare himself for it. He began studies for the priesthood, and was ordained by Saint Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.
Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. Pope Celestine I had originally assigned Palladius to the task, but he, through fear or death (accounts vary on this point), was unable to carry out his instructions. St Germanus then recommended his student Patrick, to the Pope. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.
Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He defeated all who were sent against him, overthrew or banished the priests of pagan religions, survived many persecutions and fearlessly and joyfully went wherever he was needed to spread God's Word. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and built churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick's message.
Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He would stay in an area just long enough to plant the seeds of a church, then move on. By the end of his life, Ireland was almost completely Christian. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.
(Adapted from the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Saint Patrick, we are truly fortunate that so much information and recording of this influential saint's life has been preserved through the centuries.)
Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 493. His father Calphurnius belonged to a Roman family of high rank and held the office of decurio in Gaul or Britain.and Conchessa. His mother Conchessa was a near relative of the great patron of Gaul, Saint Martin of Tours.
Kilpatrick still retains many memorials of Saint Patrick, and frequent pilgrimages continued far into the Middle Ages. In his sixteenth year, Patrick was carried off by Irish marauders and sold as a slave to a chieftan named Milchu. For six years he tended his master's flocks.
He relates in his "Confessio" that during his captivity while tending the flocks he prayed many times in the day: "the love of God", he added, "and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me."
The six years of Patrick's captivity became preparation for his future work. He gained knowledge of the Celtic tongue and, since his master Milchu was a druidical high priest, he became familiar with the details of Druidism so that he had the knowledge to effectively teach against it and counter their claims, charms and arguments later.
After six years, instructed in a dream by an angel he fled his master and travelled about 200 miles to the west. His journey was probably towards Killala Bay and onwards to Westport. He found a ship ready to set sail and thought the sailors originally refused to accept him, he was eventually allowed to board.
In a few days he was reunited with his family in Britain, but his heart was slowly filled with the conviction that he should devote himself to the service of God. He travelled to Saint Martin's monastery at Tours, and later to the island sanctuary of Lerins which had widespread renown for learning and piety, seeking education and training towards becoming a priest.
Saint Germain of Auxerre was Patrick's tutor, spiritual director and guide for many years. It was at that great bishop's hands that Saint Patrick was ordained to the priesthood. Patrick's thoughts continued to turn towards Ireland, and from time to time he was favoured with visions of the children from Focluth, by the Western sea, who cried to him: "O holy youth, come back, and walk once more amongst us."
Pope Saint Celestine I entrusted Saint Patrick with the mission of gathering the Irish race into the one fold of Christ. Palladius (q.v.) had already received that commission, but terrified by the fierce opposition of a Wicklow chieftain had abandoned the sacred enterprise, and later died in France. Saint Germain, Bishop of Auxerre commended Patrick to the pope.
It was probably in the summer months of the year 433 that Patrick and his companions landed in Ireland. The Druids and chieftains were all against him, but Patrick was undeterred. He set out first to visit his old master, to pay his ransom, and stayed in that area for some time to preach the Gospel to his former fellow slaves and captors. He performed his first miracle on Irish soil to confirm the honour due to the Blessed Virgin, and the Divine birth of our Saviour. A chieftain, named Dichu, drew his sword against the saint, but his arm became rigid as a statue and continued so until he declared himself obedient to Patrick. Overcome by the saint's meekness and miracles, Dichu asked for instruction and made a gift of a large sabhall (barn, pronounced Saul). This was the first sanctuary dedicated by Saint Patrick in Ireland. It became in later years a chosen retreat of the saint.
Saint Patrick learned from Dichu that the chieftains had been summoned to celebrate a special feast at Tara by Leoghaire, who was the Supreme Monarch of Ireland. Patrick saw this as a great opportunity; he would present himself before the assembly, to strike a decisive blow against the Druidism that held the nation captive, and to secure freedom for the glad tidings of Redemption.
It was on 26 March, Easter Sunday, in 433, that the kingdom was to meet at Tara. A royal decree went forth that fires throughout the kingdom were to be extinguished until a signal blaze was kindled at the royal mansion. Saint Patrick arrived at the hill of Slane (pronounced Slay-ne), at the opposite extremity of the valley from Tara, on Easter Eve, and on the summit of the hill kindled the Paschal fire. The druids at once told the king. "O King", (they said) "live for ever; this fire, which has been lighted in defiance of the royal edict, will blaze for ever in this land unless it be this very night extinguished."
Repeated attempts were made to extinguish the blessed fire and to punish with death the intruder who had disobeyed the royal command. But the kings and druid's efforts were in vain. The fire was not extinguished and Patrick shielded by the Divine power. On Easter Day the missionary band proceeded in processional order to Tara.
It was on this occasion that Saint Patrick picked a shamrock, to explain by its triple leaf and single stem, in some rough way, to the assembled chieftains, the great doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. On that bright Easter Day, the triumph of religion at Tara was complete. The Ard-Righ granted permission to Patrick to preach the Faith throughout the length and breadth of Erin, and the druidical prophecy like the words of Balaam of old would be fulfilled: the sacred fire now kindled by the saint would never be extinguished.
Saint Patrick remained during Easter week at Slane and Tara, teaching everyone gathered in the area lessons of Divine truth. Meanwhile the national games were being celebrated a few miles distant at Tailten (now Telltown) in connection with the royal feast. Saint Patrick went there to baptise brother of the Ard-Righ Leoghaire, on Wednesday, 5 April. Others had already been privately gathered into the fold of Christ, but this was the first public administering of baptism, recognized by royal edict, and hence in the ancient Irish Kalendars to the fifth of April is assigned "the beginning of the Baptism of Ireland." He spent seven years visiting every district of Connaught, organizing parishes, forming dioceses, and instructing the chieftains and people.
In 440 Saint Patrick entered on the special work of the conversion of Ulster. In 444 a site for a church was granted at Armagh by Daire, the chieftain of the district. Saint Patrick next proceeded to Munster. As usual, his efforts were directed to combat error in the chief centres of authority, knowing well that, in the paths of conversion, the kings and chieftains would soon be followed by their subjects.
While engaged in the baptism of the royal prince Aengus, son of the King of Munster, the saint, leaning on his crosier, peirced with its sharp point the prince's foot. Aengus bore the pain unmoved. When Saint Patrick, at the close of the ceremony, saw the blood flow, and asked him why he had been silent, he replied, with genuine heroism, that he thought it might be part of the ceremony, a penalty for the joyous blessings of the Faith that were imparted. The saint admired his heroism, and, taking the chieftain's shield, inscribed on it a cross with the same point of the crozier, and promised that that shield would be the signal of countless spiritual and temporal triumphs.
Saint Patrick continued until his death to visit and watch over the churches which he had founded in all the provinces in Ireland. He comforted the faithful in their difficulties, strengthened them in the Faith and in the practice of virtue, and appointed pastors to continue his work among them. It is recorded in his Life that he consecrated no fewer than 350 bishops.
It is sometimes supposed that Saint Patrick's apostolate in Ireland was an unbroken series of peaceful triumphs, and yet it was quite the opposite. The saint was subjected to frequent trials at the hands of the druids and of other enemies of the Faith. He tells us in his "Confessio" that no fewer than twelve times he and his companions were seized and carried off as captives, and on one occasion in particular he was loaded with chains, and his death was decreed. It is on account of the many hardships which he endured for the Faith that, in some of the ancient Martyrologies, he is honoured as a martyr.
Saint Patrick, having now completed his triumph over Paganism, and gathered all of Ireland into the fold of Christ, prepared for the summons to his reward. Saint Brigid came to him with her chosen virgins, bringing the shroud in which he would be enshrined.
At Saul (Sabhall), Saint Patrick received the summons to his reward on 17 March, 493. Saint Tassach administered the last sacraments to him. His remains were wrapped in the shroud woven by Saint Brigid's own hands. The bishops and clergy and faithful people from all parts crowded around his remains to pay due honour to the Father of their Faith. Some of the ancient Lives record that for several days the light of heaven shone around his bier. His remains were interred at the chieftan's Dun or Fort two miles from Saul, where in after times arose the cathedral of Down.
For Saint Patrick's own account of his conversion and life of service, read: The Confessio of Saint Patrick
Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.
God our Father, You sent Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the people of Ireland.
By the help of his prayers, may all Christians proclaim Your love to all people.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs, In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and a near,
Alone or in a mulitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.
Saint Patrick (ca. 377)
Saint Patrick, Bishop
Hail, Glorious Saint Patrick, dear saint of our isle
On us, thy poor children, bestow a sweet smile
And now thou art high in the mansions above
On Erin's green valleys look down in thy love.
(Father F. W. Faber)
Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, was born near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387. When he was about sixteen, Patrick was taken captive by Irish marauders and sold as a slave to a chieftain. For six years he was a shepherd in the valley of the Braid and on the slopes of Slemish.
He relates in his "Confessions" that during his captivity while tending the flocks he prayed many times in the day. "The love of God", he wrote, "and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the Spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and I felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the Spirit was then fervent within me."
Patrick's captivity became a preparation for his future apostolate. He acquired a perfect knowledge of the Celtic tongue in which he would one day announce the glad tidings of Redemption. His master, Milchu, was a Druid high priest, and this allowed Patrick to become familiar with all of the details of Druidism.
After six years, on the advice of an angel, Patrick fled from his master. He traveled until he found a ship ready to set sail. In a few days he was in Britain, but now his heart was set on devoting himself to the service of God in the sacred ministry. He went to France where he joined Saint Germain, bishop of Auxerre, and put himself under the bishop's guidance and was ordained to the priesthood. Saint Germain was sent by the pope to Britain to combat the Pelagian heresy, and took Patrick with him to be one of his missionary companions in Rome.
Pope Saint Celestine I, who had called the Council of Ephesus to address the Nestorian and Pelagian heresies, sent Patrick as a missionary to Ireland on the recommendation of St. Germain. On his journey from Rome, Patrick was consecrated bishop by St. Masimus at Turin, then returned to St. Germain in Auxerre to prepare for the missionary journey to Ireland.
His arrival in Ireland (ca. 433) was greeted with opposition from Druid chieftans. He returned to Dalaradia where he had been a slave to pay the price of ransom to his former master, and to bring him to Christ but as he approached he saw the castle burning in the distance. The word of Patrick's miraculous powers had preceded him, and the frenzied Milchu gathered his treasures into his mansion, set it on fire, and cast himself into the flames. An ancient record adds: "His pride could not endure the thought of being vanquished by his former slave."
The druids and magicians fought to maintain their control over the Irish, but Patrick's prayer and faith triumphed. On Easter Day 433, after winning the Irish Chieftains over to Christianity, Saint Patrick is said to have plucked a shamrock to explain by its triple leaf and single stem the Blessed Trinity. This trefoil, called "Patrick's Cross," became the symbol both of the saint and of Ireland itself.
Saint Patrick's Breast-Plate
Saint Patrick's prayer, popularly known as "Saint Patrick's Breast-Plate" (or "Lorica"), is believed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over paganism.
Click HERE for the complete hymn with music from the Adoremus Hymnal.
Following is a literal translation of the old Irish text:
I bind to myself to-day
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself to-day
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day.
I bind to myself to-day
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I bind to myself to-day
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.
I bind to myself to-day
God's power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seduction of vices,
Against the lust of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.
I invoke to-day all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.
Christ, protect me to-day
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I bind to myself to-day
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity.
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
St. Patrick's Farewell Blessing
St. Patrick spent seven years in Munster where he founded monastic cells and churches, performed ordinations, healed the sick, and, according to legend, resuscitated the dead. This is his farewell and blessing, as recorded in the bishop's Life:
"A blessing on the Munster people
Men, youths, and women;
A blessing on the land
That yields them fruit.
"A blessing on every treasure
That shall be produced on their plains,
Without any one being in want of help,
God's blessing be on Münster.
"A blessing be on their peaks,
On their bare flagstones,
A blessing on their glens,
A blessing on their ridges.
"Like the sand of the sea under ships,
Be the number of their hearths;
On slopes, on plains,
On mountains, on hills, a blessing."
Saint Patrick continued until his death to visit and watch over the churches which he had founded. It is recorded in his Life that he consecrated no fewer than 350 bishops.
He died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 493.
God our Father,
You sent Saint Patrick
to preach Your glory
to the people of Ireland.
By the help of his prayers,
may all Christians proclaim Your love to all men.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen
Father in heaven,
You sent the great bishop Patrick
to the people of Ireland to share his faith
and to spend his life in loving service.
May our lives bear witness
to the faith we profess,
and our love bring others
to the peace and joy of Your Gospel.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. +Amen.
First reading: Peter 4:7b-11
Keep a calm and sober mind. Above all, never let your love for each other grow insincere, since love covers over many a sin. Welcome each other into your houses without grumbling. Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others. If you are a speaker, speak in words which seem to come from God; if you are a helper, help as though every action was done at God's orders; so that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to Him belong all glory and power for ever and ever. +Amen.
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
While the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And He saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, He asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when He had ceased speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.
Wearin' o' the Green.
During "penal times" when Catholics in Ireland were persecuted, and frequently had to hide, it was a crime to wear the color green, which symbolized Irish independence and defiance of their oppressors. But Irish-Americans today make a point of wearing something green on Saint Patrick's Day to signify pride in their Irish heritage. Parades and parties are commonly held on Saint Patrick's Day. Though these usually bear no resemblance to a religious celebration, they often feature traditional Irish music and dancing -- even people with no Irish ancestors wear green and join the festivities.
Sadly, there are still divisions in Ireland, and ancient hostilities between Irish Catholic "greensmen" and Protestant "orangemen" have persisted even into our own time and although the disputes are far more political than religious, this is a particularly sad example of the divisions that have existed among Christians for centuries.
Many brave souls have tried hard to bring peace and unity to the country and we can join in their prayers for peace.
Besides potatoes, Irish-Americans customarily eat corned beef and cabbage, "Irish stew", and soda bread or oatmeal bread on Saint Patrick's Day. Recipes we use follow.
Irish Oatmeal Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
1 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp. butter
Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, stirring until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
Pour in a greased loaf pan, and bake about 1 hour and a quarter. Remove loaf to rack, and brush generously with butter.
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vinegar
and add to sugar and egg mixture
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raisins
1 tsp. caraway seed
Knead a few times and form into a round loaf. Placed into 9-10" well-greased cast iron skillet. Cut cross in top. Brush with orange juice and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in skillet at 350 degrees F for 30 - 40 minutes until golden brown.
Joanna Bogle, a British Catholic journalist, gives this recipe for boiled bacon and cabbage in her 1988 book, Feasts and Seasons.
Boiled Bacon and Cabbage
To serve four (multiply as needed):
1 1/2 lbs. boiling bacon or ham
Wash the bacon and if it is very salty, steep it in cold water for a few hours. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to a boil and simmer, allowing 25 minutes to each pound and 25 minutes extra at the end of cooking. When cooked, remove the bacon, and cook the cabbage in the same water, chopped up. Remove the rind from the bacon. Sprinkle bacon with bread crumbs an place under the grill for a few minutes to brown. Slice the bacon and serve hot with the freshly cooked cabbage. Hot parsley sauce can be served with the bacon, if desired.
Shamrock or Snake Cookies
Use either your favorite sugar cookie recipe, or a prepared cookie dough roll. If you make your own dough, color it green with food coloring. If you use ready-made dough, it may be easier to add green color with icing or colored sugar.
Either use a clover shaped cookie cutter, or, lacking that slice round dough into 1/4" thick slices, pressing three circles together to form a clover, adding a pinch of dough rolled into a "stem). Sprinkle with green sugar before baking, or decorate with icing.
You can make these about any size. Roll the dough into a long snake-like roll, then roll the "snake" in green sugar. Form into a snaky coil with the "head" sticking up in the middle and form the "tail" into a point. Place on a prepared cookie sheet. Add "eyes" made of bits of chocolate chip or currants.
Saint Patrick's Day cupcakes
Prepare batter from a white or yellow cake mix, or your own recipe. Sprinkle a few drops of green cake-coloring on top of the batter and cut through the batter with a rubber spatula a few times to give a "marble" effect. Spoon the batter into muffin pans lined with cupcake papers (each about 2/3 full), and bake in 350 degree oven about 15 minutes, or until done. Cool cupcakes on racks.
Prepare butter cream icing (or use canned white icing). Add about three drops green cake coloring and one drop yellow, and mix thoroughly, to give a leafy green.
For "grass": Add about 1/4 teaspoon of green food coloring and about 1 teaspoon water to 1 cup of shredded or flaked sweetened coconut, stirring until coconut is evenly colored.
Ice the cooled cakes with the green icing, and sprinkle them with the coconut "grass".
Adorn the cakes with "gummy worms" to represent the snakes St. Patrick drove out of Ireland, or with gumdrop shamrocks, or with small marzipan potatoes.
If you can't find ready-made shamrocks, you can roll out any green gumdrops on sugared waxed paper to about 1/4" thick, and cut out shamrock shapes with a small sharp knife.
Potatoes: Buy canned, sweetened almond paste, shape into ovals about 1 1/2" long, poke "eyes" with a toothpick or match stick, and brush them with food coloring thinned with a little water (caramel coloring, or mix a brown color by adding a drop of green and yellow to about 4 drops of red food coloring).
Roll the potatoes in powdered cocoa mixed with sugar, and put them on waxed paper to dry.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Note: this topic is from 3/17/2002.