Patrick, Saint

Patrick, Saint
(387-493)
   Although his dates are uncertain, these have been taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia. Born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, he was captured by pirates when he was sixteen and taken to Ireland, where he was sold as a slave. After six years of tending his master's sheep he escaped and made his way to France, to St. Martin's monastery at Tours. Pope St. Celestine I commissioned Patrick to convert the Irish from Druidism and around 433 he and his companions landed at the mouth of the Vantry River close by Wicklow Head. He is credited also with Christianization of the Picts and Anglo-Saxons. Patrick is known only from two short works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians. The 17th of March is St. Patrick's day, when Irish people wear a sprig of shamrock, used by Patrick to symbolize the Holy Trinity. The Cross of St. Patrick is part of the national flag of Britain. Some of his poems: "At Tara today in this fateful hour," "Rune of St. Patrick," "St. Patrick's Breastplate," "The Deer's Cry."
   Sources: An Antholog y of Irish Literature. David H. Greene, ed. H. Modern Library, 1954. Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Earth Prayers from Around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth. Elizabeth Roberts and Elais Amidon, eds. Harper Collins, 1991. Lyra Celtica: An Antholog y of Representative Celtic Poetry. E.A. Sharp and J. Matthay, eds. John Grant, 1924. Miniature Lives of the Saints. Henry Sebastian Bowden, ed. Burns and Oates, 1949. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Faber Book of Children's Verse. Janet Adam Smith, ed. Faber and Faber, 1953.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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