Posted by: Winslie Gomez | 17/03/2008

St Patrick

There is just something courageous and peaceful about the conviction of a person who can return to a place of servitude & abuse and be able to bless the perpetrator. Although I am not a Catholic anymore, there is inspiration to be found in the lives of great people and the wow factor about Maewyn Succat aka St Patrick, is that although he had been a slave as a young man, age 16-22, he goes back to his druid master, Meliuc in Antrim- well, better let you read it all for yourself.

A 4th Century account.

[I]n the ways of a benign Providence the six years of Patrick’s captivity became a remote preparation for his future apostolate. He acquired a perfect knowledge of the Celtic tongue in which he would one day announce the glad tidings of Redemption, and, as his master Milchu was a druidical high priest, he became familiar with all the details of Druidism from whose bondage he was destined to liberate the Irish race.

Patrick and his companions landed at the mouth of the Vantry River close by Wicklow Head. The Druids were at once in arms against him. But Patrick was not disheartened. The intrepid missionary resolved to search out a more friendly territory in which to enter on his mission. First of all, however, he would proceed towards Dalriada, where he had been a slave, to pay the price of ransom to his former master, and in exchange for the servitude and cruelty endured at his hands to impart to him the blessings and freedom of God’s children.

Facts in brief


    • St Patrick really existed
    • Born in Britain (probably in Wales) in 5th century AD
    • His father, Calpurnius, was a Roman official
    • St Patrick was originally a pagan, not a Christian
    • Taken to Ireland as a slave at age 16
    • Escaped after 6 years
    • Became a Christian priest, and later a Bishop
    • Returned to Ireland as a missionary
    • Played a major part in converting the Irish to Christianity
    • Some of his writings survive, the Confessio and the Letter to Coroticus

Doubtful extra facts in brief

    • Born in 387 AD at Banwen in Wales
    • His original name was Maewyn Succat; he became Patrick when he became a bishop
    • Studied in France at the monastery of St Martin’s in Tours
    • Went to Ireland in 432 AD
    • Died either in 461 AD, or 493 AD (unlikely)
    • Taught by Saint Germaine

His captivity means he learns a language and about druidism, but above all he gains a toughness in that servitude. It prepared him for the struggle against paganism.


ST Patrick is associated with the Shamrock or Clover to symbolise Trinity

Ah! The doctrine of Trinity, that’s another story altogether.

This Plant [white clover] is worn by the People in their Hats upon the 17. Day of March yearly (which is called St. Patrick’s Day.) it being a Current Tradition, that by this Three Leafed Grass, he emblematically set forth to them the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Some alleged words of St Patrick

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

So how is St Patrick’s Day celebrated now in modern materialistic times?

Here is Dunmanaway in Co Cork, Ireland last year posted by yellowlabrador (10 minutes long and sounds like a windy day). Thank you.


In Dublin Thanks to ineke62

Seems a far cry from the life of the man who landed on Vantry river, but perhaps he created a feeling of community which is to be cherished and admired about the Irish.

Happy St Patrick’s Day.


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