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I, Patrick, a sinner and unlearned, have been appointed a bishop in

Ireland, and I accept from God what I am.  I dwell amongst barbarians

as a proselyte and a fugitive for the love of God.  He will testify

that it is so.  It is not my wish to pour forth so many harsh and

severe things; but I am forced by zeal for God and the truth of Christ,

who raised me up for my neighbors and sons, for whom I have forsaken my

country and parents, and would give up even life itself, if I were

worthy.  I have vowed to my God to teach these people, though I should

be despised by them, to whom I have written with my own hand to be

given to the soldiers to be sent to Coroticus--I do not say to my

fellow-citizens, nor to the fellow-citizens of pious Romans, but to the

fellow-citizens of the devil, through their evil deeds and hostile

practices.  They live in death, companions of the apostate Scots and

Picts, blood-thirsty men, ever ready to redden themselves with the

blood of innocent Christians, numbers of whom I have begotten to God

and confirmed in Christ.


On the day following that in which they were clothed in white and

received the chrism of neophytes, they were cruelly cut up and slain

with the sword by the above mentioned; and I sent a letter by a holy

priest, whom I have taught from his infancy, with some clerics, begging

that they would restore some of the plunder or the baptized captives;

but they laughed at them.  Therefore I know not whether I should grieve

most for those who were slain, or for those whom the devil insnared

into the eternal pains of hell, where they will be chained like him.

For whoever commits sin is the slave of sin, and is called the son of

the devil.


Wherefore let every man know who fears God that they are estranged from

me, and from Christ my God, whose ambassador I am--these patricides,

fratricides, and ravening wolves, who devour the people of the Lord as

if they were bread; as it is said: "The wicked have dissipated thy

law," wherein in these latter times Ireland has been well and

prosperously planted and instructed.  Thanks be to God, I usurp

nothing; I share with these whom He hath called and predestinated to

preach the Gospel in much persecution, even to the ends of the earth.

But the enemy hath acted invidiously towards me through the tyrant

Coroticus, who fears neither God nor His priests whom He hath chosen,

and committed to them the high, divine power: "Whomsoever they shall

bind on earth shall be bound in heaven."


I beseech you, therefore, who are the holy ones of God and humble of

heart, that you will not be flattered by them, and that you will

neither eat nor drink with them, nor receive their alms, until they do

penance with many tears, and liberate the servants of God and the

baptized hand-maids of Christ, for whom he was crucified and died.  "He

that offereth sacrifice of the goods of the poor, is as one that

sacrificeth the son in the presence of the father."  "Riches, he saith,

which the unjust accumulate shall be vomited forth from his belly, the

angel of death shall drag him away, he shall be punished with the fury

of dragons, the tongue of the adder shall slay him, inextinguishable

fire shall consume him."  Hence, "Woe to those who fill themselves with

things which are not their own."  And "what doth it profit a man if he

gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?"  It were too

long to discuss one by one, or to select from the law, testimonies

against such cupidity.  Avarice is a mortal sin.  "Thou shall not covet

thy neighbor's goods."  "Thou shall not kill."  The homicide cannot

dwell with Christ.  "He who hateth his brother is a murderer," and "and

he who loveth not his brother abideth in death."  How much more guilty

is he who hath defiled his hands with the blood of the sons of God,

whom He hath recently acquired in the ends of the earth by our humble



Did I come to Ireland according to God or according to the flesh?  Who

compelled me?  I was led by the Spirit, that I should see my relatives

no more.  Have I not a pious mercy towards that nation which formerly

took me captive?  According to the flesh, I am of noble birth, my

father being a Decurio.  I do not regret or blush for having bartered

my nobility for the good of others.  I am a servant in Christ unto a

foreign people for the ineffable glory of eternal life, which is in

Christ Jesus my Lord; though my own people do not acknowledge me: "A

prophet is without honor in his own country."  Are we not from one

stock, and have we not one God for our Father?  As He has said: "He

that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me

scattereth."  Is it not agreed that one pulleth down and another

buildeth?  I seek not my own.


Not to me be praise, but to God, who hath put into my heart this desire

that I should be one of the hunters and fishers whom, of old, God hath

announced should appear in the last days.  I am reviled--what shall I

do, O Lord?  I am greatly despised.  Lo! thy sheep are torn around me,

and plundered by the above-mentioned robbers, aided by the soldiers of

Coroticus: the betrayers of Christians into the hands of the Picts and

Scots are far from the charity of God.  Ravening wolves have scattered

the flock of the Lord, which, with the greatest diligence, was

increasing in Ireland; the sons of the Irish and the daughters of kings

who are monks and virgins of Christ are too many to enumerate.

Therefore the oppression of the great is not pleasing to thee now, and

never shall be.


Who of the saints would not dread to share in the feasts or amusements

of such persons?  They fill their houses with the spoils of the

Christian dead, they live by rapine, they know not the poison, the

deadly food, which they present to their friends and children; as Eve

did not understand that she offered death to her husband, so are all

those who work evil: they labor to work out death and eternal



It is the custom of the Christians of Rome and Gaul to send holy men to

the Franks and other nations, with many thousand solidi, to redeem

baptized captives.  You who slay them, and sell them to foreign nations

ignorant of God, deliver the members of Christ, as it were, into a den

of wolves.  What hope have you in God?  Whoever agrees with you, or

commands you, God will judge him.  I know not what I can say, or what I

can speak more of the departed sons of God slain cruelly by the sword.

It is written: "Weep with them that weep."  And again: "If any member

suffers anything, all the members suffer with it."  Therefore the

Church laments and bewails her sons and daughters, not slain by the

sword, but sent away to distant countries, where sin is more shameless

and abounds.  There free-born Christian men are sold and enslaved

amongst the wicked, abandoned, and apostate Picts.


Therefore I cry out with grief and sorrow.  O beautiful and

well-beloved brethren and children! whom I have brought forth in Christ

in such multitudes, what shall I do for you?  I am not worthy before

God or man to come to your assistance.  The wicked have prevailed over

us.  We have become outcasts.  It would seem that they do not think we

have one baptism and one Father, God.  They think it an indignity that

we have been born in Ireland; as He said: "Have ye not one God?  Why do

ye each forsake his neighbor?"  Therefore I grieve for you--I grieve, O

my beloved ones!  But, on the other hand, I congratulate myself I have

not labored for nothing--my journey has not been in vain.  This

horrible and amazing crime has been permitted to take place.  Thanks be

to God, ye who have believed and have been baptized have gone from

earth to paradise.  Certainly, ye have begun to migrate where there is

no night or death or sorrow; but ye shall exult like young bulls loosed

from their bonds and tread down the wicked under your feet as dust.


Truly, you shall reign with the apostles and prophets and martyrs, and

obtain the eternal kingdom, as He hath testified, saying: "They shall

come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and

Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."  Without are dogs, and

sorcerers, and murderers, and liars, and perjurers, and they shall have

their part in the everlasting lake of fire.  Nor does the apostle say

without reason: "If the just are scarcely saved, where shall the

sinner, the impious, and the transgressor of the law appear?"  Where

will Coroticus and his wicked rebels against Christ find themselves

when they shall see rewards distributed amongst the baptized women?

What will he think of his miserable kingdom, which shall pass away in a

moment, like clouds or smoke, which are dispersed by the wind?  So

shall deceitful sinners perish before the face of the Lord, and the

just shall feast with great confidence with Christ, and judge the

nations, and rule over unjust kings, for ever and ever.  Amen.


I testify before God and His angels that it shall be so, as He hath

intimated to my ignorance.  These are not my words that I have set

forth in Latin, but those of God and the prophets and apostles, who

never lied: "He that believeth shall be saved, but he that believeth

not shall be condemned."


God hath said it.  I entreat whosoever is a servant of God that he be a

willing bearer of this letter, that he be not drawn aside by any one,

but that he shall see it read before all the people in the presence of

Coroticus himself, that, if God inspire them, they may some time return

to God, and repent, though late; that they may liberate the baptized

captives, and repent for their homicides of the Lord's brethren; so

that they may deserve of God to live and to be whole here and

hereafter.  The peace of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy

Ghost.  Amen.

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