Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick
Side Altar of "Our Lady of Victory" Basilica
Lackawanna, New York

The Dansville Express

Thursday March 17, 1881

Page 1

St. Patrick


A Short Account of the Life and Times

Of Ireland’s Patron Saint.


St. Patrick the Apostle of

Ireland was born in a small town in

the south of France Called Armoric

Gaul and lived there with his parents

until he was sixteen years old.

His father’s name was Calphurnus

and his mother was Cochessa,

and his own baptismal name was,

Succoth, which is the French word

for stock of a tree; very appropriate

name, for that Holy stock of tree

bore numberless exemplary branches.

In those days the islands of The

Atlantic ocean being thinly inhabited,

there would occasionally a

gang of pirates, better known as

the Northern Hordes, scour the

country adjacent to the coast and

take captive the young folk, and

carry them to the neighboring

islands and sell them into servitude.

In one of these expeditions, Succoth,

afterwards the great St. Patrick,

was taken captive by those

desperados and carried to the

north of Ireland and sold into

servitude to Milco McHuan, a pagan

prince of that country. St. Patrick

served him faithfully in

the capacity of a slave for seven

years. Coming to Ireland in that

youthful stage of life he acquired

the vernacular with a great proficiency.

It was called the Celtic, or more

properly the Keltic language

spoken by the inhabitants of those

islands at the time . When he had

served the Prince seven years he

escaped from servitude and got

back to France, and to his native

town, where his parents and friends

were overjoyed to meet him. St.

Martin, Bishop of Tours being his

uncle he educated him for the clergy,

and in due time he received the

Holy Order of Priesthood. Shortly

afterwards he set sail for Rome

and on his arrival was received very

kindly by his Holiness Pope Celestine

who conferred on him the order

of Patriti or Patritius, hence

the name Patrick. Patriti was the

title of a religious order that existed

in Rome and Kings and Nobles

Belonged. After due preparation

St. Patrick was ordained Bishop in

Rome and at his own request sent

back to Ireland to convert the Irish

people among whom he had suffered

severe trials in his recent captivity.

He was first brought to Ireland

as a captive in the year 432,

and in the year of 465 left Rome

with forty monks on his arduous

mission of converting the Irish to

the truth faith, and on the last day

of April 465, he entered Strongford

Lough and landed at the mouth

of the Slaney, at a place then called

Firtifirtigh, now called Rian Bawn,

which is the Celtic word for White

Point. They cast there tents on

the shore the next day being the

first of May, according to the Druidish

Laws on the first day of May

no fire would be allowed on the

whole island until the Arch Druid

would kindle the Baal fire in honor

of their God Baal whom the people

worshipped at the time, and on

discovering that St. Patrick started a

fire contrary to their religious laws.

He was immediately summoned to

Tara, where King Loaghaire, King

Paramount of Ireland, or Ard Ri and

the nobles, Druids and representatives

of the people were assembled

in their legislative hall making

laws for Ireland. Ireland at that

time was divided into four Provinces,

in each Province a King ruled,

and Meath was set apart for the

Royal Residence of the Ard Ri, or High King

over all Ireland, and all the other

kings was subject to him

in the general government. Ireland

at the time St. Patrick landed

on his mission was a confederation

of states and governed on the same

principle of our American government.

When our Saint arrived at the

Palace of Tara on the king’s mandate,

the king demanded of him the his

mission. St Patrick said his mission

was to preach the knowledge of

the true God, the crucified Savior,

the Triune God , the union of

the Blessed Trinity, one God in

three Divine Persons. King Loaghaire

thought the doctrine too absurd

to believe that one God could

be divided in three persons and yet

only one God. The king said that

he must explain his new doctrine

in a more satisfactory manner. Our

Saint ordered one of the monks to

go and get a shamrock and take it

to him which he exposed to the

view of the king and nobles the

three distinct leaves growing out of

one stock by which he proved the

doctrine of the blessed Trinity the

forcible and divine preaching of the Holy

man convinced the king. He got

converted and was baptized, and so

were many of the nobles of Tara

on that day. Hence the veneration

and respect an Irishman had for

The shamrock. Then the king

granted St. Patrick and his monks

permission to go over all Ireland

and preach the true and living God.

It seems that he was on his way to

the county Antrim with the intention

of converting to the true faith

Milcho, under whom he had suffered

so long and miserable captivity.

But, Providence had otherwise decreed.

On their way they were

observed by a swine herd of Dichu,

the prince of that country. The

swine herd imagined that they were

robbers and at once gave the alarm.

Dichu coming to the spot , and

being impressed with the same

idea, set his dog on the clerics. St.

Patrick having quoted the verse of

the psalm - “you shall not deliver

us over to the beasts,” the dog at

once became silenced and ceased to

molest them. Dichu became greatly

moved with the bearing of Patrick,

and his heart expanding at

the words of truth as they flowed

from the saintly lips, he renounced

his paganism and was baptized. It

was at that time that Dichu gave

to St. Patrick the site of the celebrated

“Scubbole Patrick.” The

Saint it is related said, “The blessing

of God on Dichu, who gave

me the Scubbole. May he be hereafter

heavenly, joyous, Glorious.

The blessing of God on Dichu

with full folds. No one of his sept

or kindred shall die, except after a

Long life.”

The ancient Irish churches were

generally built from east to west,

but it seems that Dichu, when

presenting the site , expressed a desire

that the church should be built like

his barn from north to south, and

that St. Patrick complied with his

request. Hence Scubbole Patrick,

the barn of Patrick. The word

Scubbole was afterwards called

Saul, the name which that Parish

bears at the present day. Thus

was founded in Down the first

Church erected in Ireland. And on

that new and virgin soil where the

deluge of paganism was fast subsiding,

and the glorious light of

hHeaven was breaking, did St. Patrick,

like Noah of old, erect an altar. For

the first time in Ireland was the

awful sacrifice offered before the

eternal throne.

The work of converting the people

proceeded with good fruit, and

soon on every hillside and in every

glen churches, monasteries and

convents arose as if by magic. The

Druid mummeries faded away and

were not. Beside the cromlech arose

the cross . The bards ceased their

wild and superstitious chants, and

turned their harps to praise that

God whose wonders they beheld;

whilst a delighted people knelt at

every altar thanking God for the

gift of their apostle. Shortly after

the erection of Scubhall Pharick,

our saint founded a monastery of

Cannon Regular in Saul, and

appointed As its abbot St. Dunins or

Meduin, whose festival was celebrated

on the 27th of May. This

monastery seems to have suffered

greatly from the incursions of the

Deans who, in their ravages , considered

nothing sacred or venerable

for plunder, so the after history of

the abbey was lost down until a little

before the time of the great St. Malachi,

St. Patrick according to

the Monastricon. Hebernicum

also founded an abbey of Cannons

Regular in Down Patrick, where

by his own request, after death, he

should be buried. Any one who

had visited Down Patrick, may

have remarked the great rath or

mound from which the place takes

its name. It was formerly called

Rath Cheiltchar, or the Fort of

Cheiltehar. Rath Dunn, or Doon,

are the Celtic words for Fort,

or Fortress, Latinized Dunun, hence

the modern name Down.

Our glorious saint had the great

happiness and pleasure to see all

Ireland converted from paganism

to Christianity through his own Great

and marvelous labors, accompanied

by the grace of God, which

never for moment deserted him

since his conversion. He tells us

In his confession when eighteen

years old he did not know God. He

died on the 17th day of March,

538, aged 122 years, and was buried

in Down Patrick, County Down,

north of Ireland. The birthday of

St. Patrick is unknown to the

Irish, therefore the anniversary of

his death we celebrate. M.

(Michael Murphy, my Great, Great, Great
Grandfather; was resident of Dansville, who
wrote articles for the local newspapers in
Dansville, NY. Signing them M. or M.M.)

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