Saint Patrick and Irish Christianity
Extract of ICS newsletter, March 1991
Artical by Jim Lavelle
Saint Patrick and Irish Christianity
I, Patrick, sinner, am the most illiterate and inconsiderable of
all the Faithful, and despised in the hearts of marry... so began
the writing of the saintly man whom we call Patrick in his
What is it to be Irish?
Why on Saint Patrick's Day, to be Irish
is to know more glory, adventure
magic, victory, exultation, gratitude and
gladness than any other person can
experience in a lifetime.
May Saint Patrick guard you wherever
you go and guide you in
whatever you do - and may his loving
protection be a blessing to you always.
Patrick, Where Were You Born? The most ancient possibility was
Kilpatrick, Lennox diocese of Glasgow. Some scholars have said
Boulogne, France. Patrick in his Confessions tells us that it was
the village of Bannavem, Tabemiae. Other scholars mentioned
Dumbarton Castle Rock, while others Strathclyde. Most authorities
favored regions further south Cumbria, South Wales or southeast
England as his place of birth.
May the good Saint Patrick love you
And ask Our Lord to bless
You and all your dear ones
With health and happiness.
Local tradition says erroneously that Patrick was buried in his
"native place" but the Irish chroniclers tell us that he lies in
In Down three saints one tomb fill
Patrick, Bridget and Columkille
Saint Patrick's Confessions and his Letter to Coroticus are the only
documents that have survived from the British Isles in the century
after the fall of Rome.
May your days be very happy
May your life be free from cares
May Saint Patrick ask Our Blessed Lord
To answer all your prayers.
Patrick at the age of sixteen was carried off into slavery quite
possibly by Niall, the High King of Ireland. He was a slave in the
house of Miliucc a harsh Celtic chieftain at Slemish in Co Antrim.
Back in the 4th century, a kid growing up with a name like Magonus
Sucatus had to be tough. That stood Patrick in good stead when he
was captured by Irish raiders, who overlooking any early signs that
he might be saint material, set him to herding swine. After six
years of slavery, God appeared to Patrick in a dream, telling him
May our blessed* good Saint Patrick
Whom we all so dearly love
Intercede and bring you
Many blessings from above.
Both the father and grandfather of Saint Patrick were in Holy
Orders. His father Calpumius was a deacon; his grandfather
Poitus a priest. It is an interesting observation that had
celibacy been imposed upon the clergy in Britain in the 4th
century Ireland would have lost her patron saint.
You who are bent and bald and blind
With a heavy heart and a wandering mind,
Have known three centuries, poets sing,
Of dalliance with a demon thing.
St. Patrick to Usheen.
As for the New York Saint Patrick's Day parade, this year (1991)
it will be the 229th consecutive year, having begun on the 17th of
March 1762, 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was
adopted. Although this parade started in colonial times, the day
did not begin to take on the nature of a civic holiday until the
mass immigrations of the 1840's and '50s. By 1871 the annual March
event had been transformed into a lavish extravaganza of floats and
banners. The parade this year will consist of over one hundred
thousand marchers with a viewing crowd in excess of one million
and will take five hours to complete.
An incomplete list of churches dedicated to Saint Patrick throughout
the world compiled in 1932 revealed the enormous total of 461 in the
US, 166 in Ireland, 164 in Australia, 73 in Britain, 65 in Canada
besides others in New Zealand, Africa, India, China, South America
and the Pacific Islands.
Of the nineteen bells which greet New Yorkers at 8 o'clock each
morning from Saint Patrick's Cathedral, sound the Angelus at noon
and speed workers from their offices at 5 o'clock, the largest
bell is named after the saint. On it is inscribed
Your Patrick, I;
As your sires, so also ye;
Ever be, Emulators, imitators of me.
Patrick, Sixteen Centuries With Ireland's Patron Saint compiled and
edited by Alice Boyd Proudfoot
I Follow Saint Patrick by Oliver St. John Gogarty.