The Ultimate St.Patrick
|First things First:
March 17.=His Day
Name: Maewyn Succat (He adopted Patrick or Patricius upon becoming a priest)
Nationality: Roman Briton
Born: Around 415 AD
Travels: At the age of 16 he was brought to Ireland. He later returned to his home in Wales, travelled to France and eventually came back to Ireland.
Died: March 17th, 493 (Disputed)
Education: Very little in his early life. He later trained as a cleric in France
Occupation: Sheep herder for Milchu on Slemish Mountain in Co Antrim and later preacher, baptiser and bishop
Achievements: Posthumously became Ireland's patron saint Responsible for the conversion of the island to Christianity
Publications: Epistle to Coroticus, Confessio
Hillwalking - once spent forty days of Lent on Croagh Patrick
Legend says that it was here that the saint rang his bell and the snakes of Ireland fled.
At the age of sixteen, just before he was captured, "he committed a fault which appears not to have been a great crime, yet was to him a subject of tears during the rest of his life".( Butler, Lives of the Saints)
Patrick worried about his lack of education and often refers to his inability to express his thoughts clearly in his Confessio.(from Simms, The Real Story of Saint Patrick) -
Source: Irish Times
The Primary Evidence
The Confession of St. Patrick (biography). .. 455 AD
The Epistle to Coroticus, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 456 AD
The Life of St. Patrick by Jocelyn, . . . . . . . . 1185 AD
On the Life of St. Patrick (Leabhar Breac) (Author: Translated by Whitley Stokes)
References in the Annals
of Ireland- the Most important early history
Citation from the Martyrology
of Donegal (written in 1630 completed on April 19)
"Patrick, noble Apostle of the island of Erinn, and head of the religion of the Gaeidhill, the first primate ,and the first legate who was appointed in Erinn; and it was he, moreover, that brought the people of Erinn, both men and women, from the darkness of sins, and vices ,and paganism, tothelight of faith, and piety, and knowledge of the Lord. Three hundred and fifty holy bishops, andthree hundred priests, was the number on whom he conferred orders. Three hundred alphabets he wrote, and three hundred churches he erected, as thes verses prove:
times fifty holy learned bishops
is he, moreover, that remained from Shrovetide till Easter without food,
as is (stated) in his own
of the fort of Mach, loved,
also was the number of signs and miracles he performed; by resuscitating
the dead from death; by curing lepers, and the blind, and the
lame, and people of every disease in like manner. Two years
and six socre was his age when he resigned his spirit
in the year 493. Bishop Tasach was he who gave the body of Christ
Other Irish Saints of March 17-
Gobban-son of Nasc
(from the Martyrology of Donegal)
The Egyptian "Coptic" Orthodox Church was one of the first established Christian Churches, together with the Churches of Jerusalem and Antioch. In the first centuries of Christianity, the Egyptian Church was very active and was working to spread Christianity, beyond Egypt. Egyptian monks and laymen, were everywhere. This was well documented by historians and the history of the church.
The Connection to France
A community of Coptic monks went to Gaul where they founded a community on an island called "Lerins" in the Mediterranean Sea . The island was nearGaul.
David Marshall, Ph.D. of the University of Hull, England, has written a book which discusses the strong connection between the St. Patrick and the Coptic Monks in Lerins.
In "Liturgics" Fr. Dmitri Ross, OSJ . SSBM. MA. Th. L. EM; discussed the Celtic Church. Fr. Dmiti Ross, of St. Dunstan of Canterbury Orthodox Parish, Cromwell, New Zealand, also has written of how monasticism strongly influenced the Celtic Church and was a reason for its quick success. Ross tells how monastisicism came to the Celtic Church from the Egyptian Church, "Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria". The connection came through Gaul,( France), where a good number of Egyptian monks were living including those in the Monastery at Lerins.
During this time , there were not many Christians
in Ireland and the British Isles in general, but Christianity was foundt
there that is, before the time of St. Patrick.
The writers and philosophers, Origan and Hippoluus of the third century,
wrote that of those who attended the First Ecumenical Council, "Nicea
Council", there were people from the British Isles.
The Egyptian Church had many
monks in Lerins. St. Patrick, of the Celtic Church,
was born in Britain and was a Roman citizen
St. Patrick lived with these monks learning the "Coptic Christianity of Egypt". The Coptic Church originated directly from the Church of Jerusalem, rather than from Rome and was also not like the Byzantine Church.
Dr. David Marshall writes that the "Celtic Christianity owes something to the Copts." Patrick's residency with the Coptic monks on the Island of Lerins, "accounted for his independence of Rome. St. Patrick prefered follow true orthodoxy.
Patrick returned eventually to Ireland. Amator Bishop Auxerre ordained Patrick a priest and the church prospered during his life. After the death of St. Patrick Rome turned against the Celtic Church, because he had organized it according to Coptic teaching. Were in the Liturgy and Baptism because the Egyptians followed the Church of Jerusalem and not Rome.
Features the Celtic Church shared with the Coptic Church were :
The priest faces the altar [to the East]
Bishops officiate in vestments of oriental character: in gold and silver.
fasting occurs on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Daily prayers, Mattins, Vespers etc.
Monks stay in separate cells.
Baptism is by immersion.
These are known as the rules of "Columba".
Rome held these practices to be unacceptable Irish customs and strongly attacked the Celtic Church. Rome was worried about the rapid growth of the Celtic Church in Ireland and Britain and its expansion to Europe. The Roman Pope sent Augustine and eighty Benedictine monks to the south of England in order to counter the Celtic movement. By mid 598AD, Augustine had established a base in Canterbury. Thousands from the Celtic Church were rebaptized again- in the Church of Rome.
Patrick used a shamrock to explain the Trinity:
Patrick drove the snakes out of the country:
3. Patrick was the first to preach Christianity in Ireland: It is known that there were Christians in Ireland before his time
4. Patrick is thought to have been born and died on his feast day, March 17th. Unlikely!
then again saints have always called upon us to
About the St. Patrick's Cross
First, the St. Patrick's Cross, as it is termed, incorporated in the Union Jack, is of comparatively modern introduction as the national cross. When the Knightly Order of St. Patrick was established in 1788, the red salitre on a white field charged with a trefoil, was adopted as the badge or device of the order. The Royal Irish Academy adopted the same cross charged with a royal crown, and the Royal Society of Antiqualies followed suit by adopting the red saltire, with the arms of the provinces in the four quarters. As to the reason of the adoption of this form of cross, it is »imply the arms of the Fitz Geralds, Dukes of Leinster ; and on the legislative Union the red saltire adopted by the Order of St. Patrick was naturally and appropriately joined with the crosses of SS. George and Andrew, funning a trio of the three national saints. I have been unable to trace the adoption of the red saltire to an earlier period ; undoubtedly the shield of "Ireland's only Duke" met the requirements to perfection! As an instance of its (St. Patrick's Cross) modern adoption—Cromwell abolished all the royal emblems on the Seal of the Commonwealth, and in plaae of the Plantagenet and Scottish emblems, adopted the crosses of St. George, first and fourth ; St. Andrew in second quarter ; but for Ireland— the Harp, clearly showing that the red taltire was not known at the time.-The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, The Society, 1903, p.416.