Didjaredit & Didjawatchit or didjasleep?
What happened to St. Patrick when he was 16?
How many people were kidnapped with Patrick?
a. 6
b. 50
c. 100
d. 500
e. 1000s
How did Patrick feel about his educational background?
When did Patrick first “find God” in his life?
What happened when Patrick first attempted to board the boat back home to
How did God respond to Patrick when he prayed for the men traveling with
him who were starving?
A man named Victorious appeared to Patrick and begged Patrick to do
How did Patrick’s good friend betray him to the British Bishops?
What is the “Breastplate” of St. Patrick? (a one-word answer will suffice.)
What happened in the movie to finally convert the Irish King to God?
Extra credit: According to the Confessio, how many times was Patrick abducted
and taken captive?
• Read life & poems of St. Columban for
tomorrow. Download online – class files in
folder for test #1.
First, a little background about
• Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic to the west of
Great Britain, from which it is separated by the North
Channel, the Irish Sea, and St Georges Channel, and after
which it is the largest island of the British Isles archipelago
(archipelago = a group of islands). It is the third-largest
island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth.
• Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of
Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and
Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which
covers the remaining area and is located in the north-east
of the island.
• Traditionally, Ireland is
subdivided into four provinces:
Connacht (west), Leinster
(east), Munster (south), and
Ulster (north). In a system that
developed between the 13th
and 17th centuries. Ireland has
32 traditional counties. Twentysix of these counties are in the
Republic of Ireland and six are
in Northern Ireland. The six
counties that constitute Northern
Ireland are all in the province of
Ulster (which has nine counties
in total).
• In the Republic of Ireland (unlike
Northern Ireland), counties form
the basis of the system of local
• Two main languages are spoken in Ireland: Irish and English.
• Erin is a Hiberno-English (or Irish-English) derivative of the Irish
word "Éirinn". "Éirinn" is the dative case of the Irish word for Ireland.
“Erin Go Bragh” means “Ireland Forever!”
• The island's geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains
surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending
inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but
changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature.
Thick woodlands covered the island during Patrick’s time and last
until the Middle Ages. Now only 11% of the island is covered in
During Patrick’s Time…
• The Romans came to refer Ireland by its Latinised form,
Hibernia or Scotia.
• The language spoken during Patrick’s time was
morphing into “Old Irish.”
• Patrick and Columban (we’ll study him next) brought
literacy to the people of Ireland during the Dark Ages
(after the fall of Rome.)
• Ireland was patchwork of rival kingdoms but, beginning
in the 7th century AD, a concept of national kingship
gradually became articulated through the concept of a
High King of Ireland. Thus there was no “high king” of
Ireland during Patrick’s time…rather many kings of
smaller kingdoms.
Video 
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0q_gWOYjY
• Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius; Modern Irish: Pádraig)
was a 5th-century Romano-British Christian missionary
and bishop in Ireland.
• Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary
patron saint of the island along with Saints Brigit and
Popular Pilgrimage spot “Slieve William” in Ireland
during June. Built to celebrate
the 1500th Anniversary of
Patrick’s arrival in Ireland.
Patrick: The Man & the Myth
• Patrick, originally named Maewyn Succat, was born in 387 AD in
southwestern Britain to noble and wealthy parents Calpernius and
Conchessa. He lived a childhood in his father’s villa and as any
other of the day and engaged in the sins that young people do. He
confessed these sins to a beloved friend who later in life exposed
him and cast question upon his legitimacy as Bishop of Ireland.
• Kidnapped by Irish pirates at sixteen, he spent six years as a slave
tending sheep in County Mayo near Sligo.
• During his time in captivity Saint Patrick became
fluent in the Irish language and culture.
• As he states in the Confessio, it is during this time
he grew to know and love God.
• Patrick probably made his escape from Mayo to the
coast of Wexford and returned home to Britain.
• On his way back to Britain Saint Patrick was captured again and spent
60 days in captivity in Tours, France. During his short captivity within
France, Saint Patrick learned about French monasticism. At the end of
his second captivity Saint Patrick had a vision of Victoricus giving him
the quest of bringing Christianity to Ireland.
• Following his second captivity Saint Patrick returned to Ireland and,
using the knowledge of Irish language and culture that he gained during
his first captivity, increased Christianity and monasticism in Ireland in
the form of more than 300 churches and over 100,000 Irish baptized.
• Upon his return, it is believed Patrick studied in a monastery in Gaul
(France) under a famous Bishop, Germanus from Auxerre in Gaul.
Some scholars believe Patrick never went to Gaul but studied in Britain.
• Patrick was not sent to Ireland by the Pope, but by church authority in
• The 17 of March, popularly known today as St. Patrick's Day, is
believed to be his death date and is the date celebrated as his Feast
• St. Patrick is said to be buried at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick,
County Down, alongside St. Brigid and St. Columba, although this has
never been proven.
St. Patrick’s Isle just off Peel, by oral tradition, is where St. Patrick landed
and made his “head quarters” as he witnessed to the Manx people.
Allegedly there is a stone here with two round holes in it where Patrick put
his knees when he first knelt on Irish land upon his return.
• Patrick did not introduce Christianity to
Ireland. Rather he kindled the fire of
Christianity and was responsible for the
conversion of thousands to the faith.
• In 431, before Patrick began preaching
in Ireland, Pope Celestine reportedly
sent a bishop known as Palladius “to
the Irish believing in Christ”—an
indication that some residents of the
Emerald Isle had already converted by
• Patrick wore no miter as they weren't
invented for another 500 years
• Patrick never met a High-King at Tara
as there were no High Kings in Ireland
during his lifetime.
Croagh Patrick In County Mayo
• Croagh (pronounced “crow”) Patrick in County Mayo was a sacred
place before Christianity arrived there. Ancient Celts considered it one
of the principal sites for the harvest festival of Lughnasa. According to
tradition, St. Patrick allegedly spent 40 days and nights on the summit
banishing snakes, dragons and demons. Today almost one million
pilgrims climb to the summit each year.
So many myths – what is true?
• Upon Patrick's arrival in Ireland, he led a successful mission,
anointing clergy and baptizing thousands.
• An outcast among the stratified classes of Irish society he endured
many hardships and wrote "I daily expect either assassination or
trickery or reduction to slavery".
• The defining event of Patrick's life was his abduction. Ripped from a
comfortable upbringing and forced into servitude, Patrick never
recovered from the trauma. Upon his return to Britain many of his
friends had gone on to fine educations and prominence whereas
Patrick, an outsider as a slave in Ireland, became an outsider in his
home society. To his dismay, Patrick was neither a great orator nor
did he have a facility with the written word. He wrote late in life "that is
why I am now ashamed and am seriously afraid of revealing my
unskillfulness, the fact that I cannot hold forth in speech to cultivated
people in exact language." As an older man he still regarded himself
as a "poor ignorant orphan" and an "exile and refugee" who was "very
little educated".
• After returning as Bishop to the land that had once
considered him a slave, he never left again, becoming more
closely identified with the Irish people than the British.
• Patrick wrote only two documents which can be found in
The Book of Armagh which is kept in Trinity College, Dublin.
It is a 9th century manuscript written in Latin. The document
is valuable for containing early texts relating to St Patrick
and some of the oldest surviving specimens of Old Irish, and
for being one of the earliest manuscripts produced by an
insular church to contain a near complete copy of the New
Testament. Significant sections (even pages) are missing.
• The Book of Armagh contains his Confessio which is the
earliest piece of writing in Irish history. The Book of Armagh
also contains a copy of his letter to Coroticus: he was a
prince whose soldiers had carried off a number of newly
converted Christians and sold them as slaves.
Page from the Book of Armagh.
Illustration from the book
showing Celtic Knotwork:
Augustine’s Confessions Vs.
Patrick’s Confessio
• Both are Theological
• Both written to glorify God, proclaim their faith,
humble themselves as sinners and inspire others to
• Augustine’s addressed to God. Patrick’s
addressed to the people of Ireland in order to build
foundation for future of his ministry before he died.
• Augustine high intellectual with deeply
philosophical writing – very long. Patrick’s
presentation simple and not overly learned – very
Why Was He Accepted?
• Patrick did not enjoy much influence in Irish society and in
many ways, it was the similarity of the Christian myth to
existing pagan beliefs that gradually made converts of the
Irish people.
• Both systems believed in a supreme spirit and taught survival
of the soul after death.
• The pagan druids had a spirit named "Hesus" who, being
associated with the oak tree, was remarkably similar to Jesus
on the cross.
• They also had worshipped an old goddess Maire – and thus
the idea of Mary was easier to grasp.
• Once Christianity took hold through Patrick’s mission work,
the older druid tradition collapsed in the face of the new
Pious legend credits St. Patrick with
banishing snakes from the island, however all evidence
suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes.
There are probably at least two sources for the snakes
which Patrick "drove" out of Ireland. A symbol for the
goddess worship practiced in Ireland prior to Christianity
was the snake or serpent. The conversion of Ireland to
Christianity symbolically banished the "snake" from the
Secondly, the bloody cult of Crom Cruaich in County
Caven demanded human sacrifice to a serpent deity and
the dismantling of this cult by Christianity is now
remembered as the "snakes being driven from Ireland."
The Battle for the Body of Patrick
"There was a rising of battle, and a cause of dissension in the province
contending for the body of Patrick after his death. The Uí Néill and
the Airgíalla attempting to bring it to Armagh; the Ulaid to keep it with
And the Uí Néill and the Oirghialla came to a certain water, and the river
swelled against them so that they were not able to cross it in consequence of
the greatness of the flood. When the flood had subsided these hosts united on
terms of peace, i.e. the Ui Neill and the Ulaid, to bring the body of Patrick with
them. It appeared to each of them that each had the body conveying it to their
respective territories, so that God separated them in this manner, without a
fight or battle.
The body of Patrick was afterwards interred at Dun Da Lethglas with great
honour and veneration; and during the twelve nights that the religious seniors
were watching the body with psalms and hymns, it was not night in Magh Inis
or the neighbouring lands, as they thought, but as if it were the full undarkened
light of day.
Of the year of Patrick's death was said: Since Christ was born, a correct
enumeration/Four hundred and fair ninety/Three years add to these/Till the
death of Patrick, chief Apostle.
Reputed site of burial of Saint Patrick, in churchyard of cathedral in
Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
The Shamrock
• Legend also credits St. Patrick with teaching the Irish about
the concept of the Holy Trinity by showing people
the shamrock, a three-leaved clover, using it to highlight the
Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God.
• The shamrock had been seen as sacred in the pre-Christian
days in Ireland. Due to its green color and overall shape,
many viewed it as representing rebirth and eternal life
• This anecdote about the shamrock first appears in writing in
1726, though it may be older. In pagan Ireland, three was a
significant number and the Irish had many triple deities. The
triple spiral symbol, or Triskelion, appears at many ancient
megalithic and Neolithic sites in Ireland.
St. Paddy’s Day
• Until the 1700s, St. Patrick’s Day was a Roman
Catholic feast only observed in Ireland—and
without the raucous revelry of today’s celebrations.
Instead, the faithful spent the relatively somber
occasion in quiet prayer at church or at home.
• That started to change when Irish immigrants living
in the United States began organizing parades and
other events on March 17 as a show of pride. For
many people around the world, St. Patrick’s Day
has evolved into a secular ode to Irish culture (or at
least an oversimplified version of it), characterized
by parties, music and iconic foods…such as corned
beef and green beer.
Chicago River on St. Paddy’s Day
“Deer’s Cry”
• Other names: Breastplate of St. Patrick,
"Faeth Fiada,” Lorica of St. Patrick, Prayer
of St. Patrick
• Saint Patrick's Breastplate is a Christian
hymn whose original Old Irish lyrics were
traditionally attributed to Saint Patrick
during his Irish ministry in the 5th century;
however, it was probably actually written
later, in the 8th century; although Christian
in content, it shows druidic influence.
• It is part of the Liber Hymnorum, a
collection of hymns found in two
manuscripts kept in Dublin.
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGHWi

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