The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6191   Message #35846
Posted By: Joe Offer
24-Aug-98 - 04:26 PM
Thread Name: Half way to St. Patrick's Day party
Subject: RE: Half way to St. Patrick's Day party
Sad to say, Zorro, but Bob Bolton is quite possibly correct. I looked up St. Patrick in Richard McBrien's Encyclopedia of Catholicism, and McBrien agrees with Bob. McBrien is thought of as iconoclastic, but he usually has his facts straight. Here's an excerpt:
Patrick, St., ca. 390-ca. 461, bishop and apostle to Ireland. Born the son of a deacon and the grandson of a priest in England, he spent some years in slavery in Ireland after having been captured by border raiders. Returning to England (perhaps after spending time in Gaul), he was ordained to the priesthood and returned to Ireland to evangelize the country from his see in the north (Armagh), where he seems to have had a residence and a school...
The traditional folk tales about Patrick (e.g., his using the shamrock to illustrate the concept of the Trinity, driving snakes from the island) are all pious elaborations of a later time. Feast day: March 17.
Now, I'm wondering what was the ethnic makeup of Ireland and England at the time? If the Irish weren't Celts and the British weren't Britons at the time, does Patrick's English birth make any insult to the Irish?
-Joe Offer-