A Conversation for St Patrick's Day

He's Welsh, you know

Post 1

I Am Iron Man

Apparently, St. Patrick was born in Wales, but at the age of 16 he was kidnapped by Turkish pirates who took him to Ireland. This sort of thing happens all the time, apparently.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 2

The Cow

He apparently did some cool stuff with snakes, as I recall. The Oxford dictionary of Saints beckons...


He's Welsh, you know

Post 3

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Ummm...no. Actually, he was a Gaulish Celt, and a slave to a Roman family. He escaped slavery and fled to the Emerald Isle, where he brought the Christian religion. But, since it was being brought over by an uneducated slave, some of the details weren't quite right. Not only that, but, unlike the fully indoctrinated Roman Catholic monks, he was quite open minded, and so a lot of the pagan influences found their way into the Irish Catholic faith. His greatest legacy was a platoon of scholar-monks, who sought to preserve the classical works of Greece and Rome. So, at the same time the Roman Catholics were burning down the Great Library at Alexandria, Irish Catholics were faithfully copying much of what was being lost. When Roman Catholics disagreed with a certain text, they burned it, but Irish Catholics copied it word for word, but made editorials in the margins like "this is pure rubbish, here."


He's Welsh, you know

Post 4

Woodpigeon

There is a precedent for this - In the small town of Baltimore in West Cork sometime in the 16th century (I think) a crowd of Algerian Pirates decended on the place and took away all the townsfolk. It's absolutely true. I have not heard of too many Algerian people called O'Flaherty and Murphy, but there you are.

CR


He's Welsh, you know

Post 5

Demon Drawer

His remains are assumed to be buried in a grave at Down Cathederal in Downpatrick.

His most famous visual aid was the shamrock. He used this three leaved clover to help explain the Trinity, how God could be three persons yet one at the same time. This is the reason that the Shamrock is a national emblem for Ireland.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 6

violagirl

You're right about Baltimore and the Algerians. They seem to be quite proud of it. There's a pub there called the Algiers too!


He's Welsh, you know

Post 7

violagirl

Ok, here's the basic story as learned by Irish kids at school. St. Patrick was Welsh (or English or from Brittany - we're never quite sure), and was kidnapped by pirates (one of whom was called Niall of the Nine Hostages) and brought to Ireland. There he worked minding pigs up a mountain, as you do. To comfort himself he prayed and stuff, and got a vision telling him that there was a boat in the harbour that would take him home.
When he got back to Wales (or England or Brittany)he started getting these dreams where the children of Ireland called him to go back. So, he went back to Ireland where he brought Christianity.

there were actually TWO St. Patrick's. Before the Welsh one arrived in Ireland there had been a bishop sent from Rome whose name was also Patrick - his job was to convert the pagan Irish, but he didn't succeed.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 8

Dudemeister

Now I understand why on St. Patricks day in Montreal, many of even Algerian descent become Irish for a day. They may only be harking back a few generations. Probably more Irish than most, then.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 9

The Cow

Actually, he wasn't a slave to a Roman family originally. Aparently, according to The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, he was the son of some relatively important Roman and got kidnapped, sold as a slave, found God, ran off, and was sent to Ireland by the Catholic Church to finish off the previous Patrick's work.
Interestingly, it puts his work with Shamrocks on the same level as his work on snakes - ie: pure thaumology / magic / balls.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 10

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Sounds like there are as many theories on his true history, then, as there are legends. The stuff I read had him originating as a slave to a Christianized Roman family in Gaul (France), and escaping slavery to Ireland. He was literate, but poorly educated, and that was how so much of the Catholic doctrine got mucked up on the way. A much nicer version, I'd say. What is odd is that the Roman Catholics treated the Irish Catholics so well throughout history, when Irish Catholicism is completely heretical to them.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 11

The Cow

On Roman vs. Irish:
This is quite rare, actually. The Roman Catholic church don't really seem to like anyone: it was still heretical to believe that the earth orbited the sun until around 1960.
He learnt to read and write and stuff from some Catholic teaching, but apparently it was very rustic latin.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 12

Demon Drawer

Hmm Hmm. Patrick was one of the Saints of the Celtic tradition. The Celtic church actually reached mainland Britain before the church of Rome. Holy Island and Lindasfarne being Celtic Monasteries before Augustus came to become Archbishop of Canterbury.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 13

Aine

About the snakes -

Not only did St Patrick get rid of all the snakes from Ireland, he also got rid of all fossilized remains of snakes AND any references to snakes in the ancient literature and legends.
He's what we call a thorough saint (or the village liar, whichever you prefer!)


He's Welsh, you know

Post 14

Dudemeister

If anyone today exterminated an entire species, or worse a genus, they would be labelled an environmental terrorist. If all the snakes suddenly bought the farm, what would happen to the species that they predated on, and so on?


He's Welsh, you know

Post 15

Woodpigeon

Actually there is a kind of snake in Ireland - known as the slow worm. It is found somewhere off the western seaboard - Kerry or Clare I think. Strictly speaking it is not a snake, but it is reptilian, and has no arms or legs. Sounds like a snake to me but I am not a reptile enthusiast.

As for Patrick, the name comes from Patricius, which derives from Father-figure (Patrician, patron, patronise etc.). It is a Latin word.

CR


He's Welsh, you know

Post 16

The Cow

I think the first Patrick (the unfamous one) was called Patronus, but the main one was called Patrick.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 17

violagirl

Yep, that sounds familiar to me.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 18

Demon Drawer

Patrick was born sometime around 380 in Scotland or Wales. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies. His real name was believed to be Maewyn Succat.

He tended pigs on Mt. Slemish County Antrim for Milchu an Irish Cheiftain.


He's Welsh, you know

Post 19

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

If he was born to a pair of Romans, with Roman names, why would he have a Gaelic name?


He's Welsh, you know

Post 20

Demon Drawer

They were trying to adapt to the people they were living amongst, I guess.


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