Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 35

Thread: Saint Patrick/Naomh Pádraig

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dublin West
    Posts
    10,302
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default Saint Patrick/Naomh Pádraig

    Saint Patrick/Naomh Pádraig is one of the most influential figures in Irish History but we seem to be unable to quite grasp even the most essentials details of his Life with any great degre of certainty.

    I put this together over the last few days as a starter but if anyone has any further angles on him it would be interesting to hear them.

    Serious discussion only please.



    17 March 493: Saint Patrick/Naomh Pádraig died on this day. Or as the Annals might say ‘according to some.’ For while Patrick is certainly the most famous saint associated with Ireland he remains something of a man of mystery to us – his persona and character definitive in some respects while his origins and obit are a matter of some speculation to those who have written on him.

    Patrick (Patricius) was born in Britain, as the collapse of Roman rule on that island began. He was from a settlement called Bannaventa, probably a locale near or beside the sea along the western coast. His father Calpurnius was a well to do landowner and a minor figure in the local administration called a ‘Decurion’. His own father Potitus had held the same position before him. Calpurnius and Potitus were also Deacons of the Church. Thus Patrick would have been brought up in a household where Christianity was part and parcel of his life, however he was not very religious himself. When he was about sixteen Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and brought to Ireland as a Slave. Where exactly he spent his captivity is not known but the hills of Antrim and the coast of Mayo are the most probable locations. He worked as a Shepard while in captivity. In despair he turned to Jesus Christ to sustain him and heard his Voice speak to him. Eventually after about seven years he escaped and returned home. Patrick also followed his father and grandfather into the Church and became an administrator of ecclesiastical affairs. He may have spent time in France or indeed in Rome as he worked his way up the clerical ladder. He seems to have done well. The years drifted by but Patrick never forgot his time here and longed to return to preach the Word. In a dream he heard the Irish call to him and determined to go back.

    Fortunately the Papacy had taken an interest in the full conversion of the Gaels of Hibernia. Following the demise of Palladius, the first Bishop to the Irish, it was decided to send Patrick (presumably after some gentle lobbying on his part) to Ireland to continue the Mission. Later writers attribute his selection to the influence St Germain of Auxerre under whose patronage he studied for many years. He may indeed have already gained some missionary experience amongst the Morini of Gaul.

    Though the evidence is loose it would seem that Patrick’s arrival ‘shook up’ a rather low-key effort to convert the Irish. While Palladius was dead or had perhaps fled there were more than likely a few centres of Christianity in the province of Leinster anyway. The names of such early missionaries as Auxilius, Secundinus and Iserninus are associated with sites that perhaps predate the Patrician Mission.

    So when Patrick arrived a Christian presence was already established here. He seems to have made a point of trying to win over the powerful kings and chieftains of Ireland to at least tolerate his proselytising. He had quite a success in getting many of the younger sons and daughters of these men to follow him. Legend has it that he lit the Paschal Fire at Easter on the Hill of Slane in defiance of the King Laoghaire of Tara – the most sacred site in Ireland. The King and his Druids were astounded by his temerity. St Patrick then proceeded to Tara where he challenged the Druids in magical displays and overthrew them. Now whatever the veracity or otherwise of these stories it would seem probable that Patrick did indeed follow a traditional Christian approach to missionary work in trying to win over or at least neutralise the Royal families of any area they entered. This was to allow a Mission to proceed without hindrance and such an approach served the Church well over many centuries. Nevertheless Patrick did face many trails and tribulations in his years on the roads of Ireland. Twelve times he tells us that he was held in captivity and once in actual chains. He seems to have made a point of moving from place to place, baptising as many converts as he could and founding churches. He was greatly in favour of monasticism and a believer in celibacy.

    He did three great things in his Mission: he ensured that Christianity went from a minor to the major religion of the Irish; he converted and ordained thousands of people and priests and spread the Word across the island to the furthers kingdoms of the western seaboard; and he ensured that Ireland, in its own particular way, through the medium of the Latin language, came within the fold of the Christian World.

    Many places around Ireland are associated with his name incl St Patrick’s (Cathedral) in Dublin, Croagh Patrick in Mayo (on which he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights) and Saul and Downpatrick in Co Down. He never seemed to have founded a great monastery but in later centuries Armagh became closely associated with his name and its claim to fame is probably though by no means definitely based on good grounds. In recognition of its claim it is still holds the Primacy of the Irish Church.

    Yet for all his great work the written contemporary record is meagre and all in his own hand. His 'Confessio' and the 'Epistola ad Coroticum' are the only extant documents we have. The first is a detailed confession and denial of unspecific charges against Patrick that he felt compelled to refute. It is written in plain but unsophisticated Latin and throws some light on how Patrick viewed himself spiritually and psychologically. The ‘Letter to Coroticus’ is a condemnation addressed to a British king excommunicating a group of his armed retainers for killing and kidnapping recently converted Christians. All else we have was written after the Saint passed from this World and while much of it is probably well founded there is no way to confirm or cross check the veracity of the material. Scholars are cautious to attribute ‘facts’ to Patrick’s Life that cannot be verified and with good reason – but while a critical approach is wise there is a line between Criticism and Cynicism that it can be useful to avoid as well.

    Traditionally the Saint ended his days at Saul (Sabhall), Co Down. St. Tassach is said to have administered the last sacraments to him. His remains were then wrapped in a shroud woven by St. 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 chieftain’s Dun or Fort two miles from Saul, where in after times arose the Cathedral of Down where his reputed burial site can still be seen. But of Patrick nothing remains for his bones are long since gone from where he was laid to rest.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dublin West
    Posts
    10,302
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Hey its St Patricks day and no one is interested in Saint Patrick?

    Er...Ok

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Newbie
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    26
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    I don't really know how i feel about the guy..... The snakes he drove from ireland were in fact the pagan druids, the snake being the symbol used to represent them , the high priests of our own native culture and was just a another purveyor of the catholic indoctrination the suppressed generation after generation in this country....

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dublin West
    Posts
    10,302
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by collinsite81 View Post
    I don't really know how i feel about the guy..... The snakes he drove from ireland were in fact the pagan druids, the snake being the symbol used to represent them , the high priests of our own native culture and was just a another purveyor of the catholic indoctrination the suppressed generation after generation in this country....
    So the Druids never 'indocrinated' anyone?

    Anyway that is really an argument for another day.

    I'm really more interested here on discussing St Patrick as an historical personage and his Mission as an historical event.

    BTW the Irish were not forcibly converted nor was anyone martyred for the Faith either.

    All the indicators are that the Irish took to Christianity like ducks to water

    - and knowing the Irish Character its easy to see why.

    But thanks for the reply anyway.

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,561
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    St Patrick is a fine patron saint we can all be proud of. What I like especially about him is that he is one of the first commentators in Europe to criticize and denounce slavery. I'd personally love to see this theme celebrated more so than the excuse for inebriation which the festival has become closely associated with. Perhaps this could be achieved in terms of joining an anti-Slavery day with that of the St Patrick's day celebrations?

    La le Phadraig Shona Dhuit!
    The love of equality in a democracy, limits ambition to the sole desire, to the sole happiness, of doing greater services to our country than the rest of our fellow citizens - Montesquieu

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,561
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Patrick’s suffering left him with a desire to end the practice of slavery and to spread the truths of his religion.

    These convictions were so deep that he voluntarily returned years later to share his convictions with the Irish. Despite the fact that his letters express a concern for the victims of slavery, it is also likely that Patrick worked directly with the leaders of the slave trade to persuade them of the evils of their awful practice.
    St. Patrick's Day is for all of us | ajc.com
    The love of equality in a democracy, limits ambition to the sole desire, to the sole happiness, of doing greater services to our country than the rest of our fellow citizens - Montesquieu

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa View Post
    Hey its St Patricks day and no one is interested in Saint Patrick?

    Er...Ok
    You mention that his Latin wasn't all that good.I suppose his own native tongue would have been some form of Old Welsh if he was born in Britain?
    The letter to King Coroticus would seem to support his familiarity with that country.Knock off the Latin suffix and you get Corotic.Caradoc/Ceredog were common names of Welsh kings especially in what is now the Lothians and Scottish Borders area.Maybe he even originates from that part - a seaside location like Dumfries and Galloway?
    You are quite correct that there was no forced conversion.St Colmcill even had a druid teacher.He said 'Christ is my Druid.'
    No doubt the Church kept up a lot of pagan practices.Holy Wells,sacred hills ,patterns and whatnot.Who cares? OK Presbyterians do! But they think we are all doomed anyway.

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    12,851
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aggressivesecularist View Post
    There's so much that isn't history in the OP. That wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't claiming to be history.
    In fairness, much of what Catalpa stated is to be found in the Confessio and the Letter to Coroticus. Where it delves into legend, he admits so. The only thing that stands out to me not to be historical, is the comment about Patrick fasting on Croagh Patrick which does not seem to be supported by any evidence, and is perhaps a fabrication of Tirechán's from when Armagh was trying to gain primacy over the Connacht churches.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member myk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    406
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Nice original post!

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    31,336
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)

    Default

    Its an interesting post, personally I like legends/myths, especially the one about driving out the snakes - imagine my horror when a guy showed me a lizard he found in Dalkey quarry.
    Beer is proof that God loves us - Benjamin Franklin

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •