St Patrick

posted by: Joan Vine | on: Thursday, 17 March 2016, 13:24

St Patrick

St Patrick

Patrick! A most celebrated Welshman - Patrick was born around 386 A.D. to wealthy parents but his actual birthplace is uncertain. Some scholars believe that he was born in South Wales around the Severn estuary or at St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Little is known about his early life, but it is believed that he was captured and sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders.

Patrick was a slave six years, during which time he lived and worked as a shepherd. During these harsh days of slavery, Patrick prayed often and reinforced his deep Christian faith. His later writings describe his humility and enduring faith in the face of isolation and scorn. Eventually he escaped and sailed back to his family in Britain. Freedom seemed to strengthen his Christian faith and called by God, Patrick went to France where he studied for the priesthood under Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre. He was ordained a priest and within a few years, a Bishop.

Patrick then returned to Ireland and one of his first converts gave Patrick a barn where the first church was built at Saul in County Down. Patrick travelled throughout Ireland converting pagans as he went. Patrick was a fearless and provocative missionary, he deliberately defied Laoghaire, the High King in Tara, introducing the Christian practice of lighting a Paschal fire. Patrick banished the traditional pagan fire lighting ceremony and many of Laoghaire’s own tribe followed Patrick’s example. The king’s son, Conall converted to Christianity, became a devoted follower of Patrick and gave him protection as he travelled around Ireland.

In 445, Patrick established the Seat of Armagh as the centre of Christian learning in Ireland. A monastery church and an Archbishop’s house were built here.

St Patrick died in 493. His remains are believed to be buried in the grounds of Down Cathedral, Downpatrick. A granite stone was laid to mark the grave in 1900.

Photo by Lawrence OP from flickr – Window by CE Kempe from Burford Parish Church of St John the Baptist

 Posted: 17 Mar 2016 | There are 0 comments

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