17 March 2014

'Ego Patricius peccator rusticissimus . . . Mise Pádraig, peacach róthuatach . . . I Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman . . .'

St Benin's Church, Kilbennan, County Galway, Ireland [Wikipedia]

'Ego Patricius peccator rusticissimus . . . Mise Pádraig, peacach róthuatach . . . I Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman . . .'

The opening words of St Patrick's Confession in Latin, Irish and English.

Please pray earnestly to St Patrick for a renewal of the Christian faith in Ireland. 

Extracts from St Patrick's Confessio 

I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many, had for father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a priest, of the settlement [vicus] of Bannavem Taburniae; he had a small villa nearby where I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners.

The Angel Victoricus over Glendalough, Ireland

One of a set of four airmail stamps used in Ireland between 1948 and 1965 featuring the Angel Victoricus  carrying the words of the beginning of the letter mentioned by St Patrick below, 'Vox Hiberniae', Latin for 'The Voice of Ireland'. The stamps were designed by Richard J. King who died in Dublin on St Patrick's Day 1974.

And after a few years I was again in Britain with my parents [kinsfolk], and they welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go anywhere else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night, I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish’; and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. Thanks be to God, because after so many years the Lord bestowed on them according to their cry.

St Patrick's Breastplate is attributed to the saint but was probably written some centuries after his death.

Collect of Mass on St Patrick's Day (in Ireland)

Lord, through the work of Saint Patrick in Ireland 
we have come to acknowledge the mystery of the one true God 
and give thank for our salvation in Christ; 
grant by his prayers 
that we who celebrate this festival 
may keep alive the fire of faith he kindled.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, 
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever.

Collect (elsewhere)

O God, who chose the Bishop Saint Patrick
to preach your glory to the peoples of Ireland,
grant through his merits and intercession,
that those who glory in the name of Christian
may never cease to proclaim your wondrous deeds to all.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Again I ask, please pray earnestly to St Patrick for a renewal of the Christian faith in Ireland. We contemporary Irish have not kept alive the fire of faith he kindled. We have to a great extent let die this precious gift given to our ancestors more than 1,500 years ago through a great missionary bishop who when a teenager had pretty much lost the faith, was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave where he re-discovered it and later came back to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in answer to Vox Hiberniae, 'The Voice of Ireland'.

Dóchas Linn Naomh Pádraig: by Irish Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus

Dóchas linn Naomh Pádraig,
St Patrick is our hope
Aspal mór na hÉireann,
The great apostle of Ireland
Ainm oirirc gléigeal,
A bright and splendid name
Solas mór an tsaoil é.
The great light of the world
D'fhill le soiscéal grá dúinn 
Returned with the gospel of loved
ainneoin blianta 'ngéibheann, 
despite years in captivity,

Grá mór Mhac na páirte 
The great love of the dear Son
d'fhuascail cách ón daorbhroid.
freed all from bondage

Sléibhte, gleannta, mánna.
The hills, glens and plains
'S bailte móra na h-Éireann,
And the towns of Ireland
Ghlan sé iad go deo dúinn
He cleansed them for ever for us
Míle glóir dár Naomh dhíl.
A thousand glories to our beloved saint
Iarraimíd ort, a Phádraig,
We ask you, Patrick,

Guí orainne, Gaela,
To pray for us, Irish
Dia linn lá 'gus óiche
May God be with us day and night
'S Pádraig Aspal Éireann.
And Patrick apostle of Ireland

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!
Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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