HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







The Life And Writings Of Saint Patrick -Saint Patrick

Surely, Patrick, looking over those darkly-wooded hills of Wicklow from the fort of Naas, must have remembered how he landed on the coast far beyond them some fifteen years before, how he was driven away by Nathi, King of Inver Dea, and how a few Christians had remained behind, left there, some by himself and some by Palladius before him, in the wild mountain valleys, which opened yonder to the east. Was Nathi, the fierce king of the Hy Garrchon, alive yet, he would naturally ask. ‘No, Nathi was dead,’ but his son, Dricriu, reigned in his place, and he also was married to one of the daughters of the high-king of Tara.

So Patrick resolved to visit this new king, and, at the same time, see how the scattered Christian communities fared in that pagan land of Wicklow. It must have been a toilsome journey over those pathless hills, but nothing in the way of difficulty or danger deterred Patrick when he had God’s work to do. He could easily procure guides at Naas who would lead him through the passes of the mountains, and he resolved to set out at once. We have no account of his journey, but his way would naturally lie by Ballymore-Eustace and Hollywood through the Wicklow Gap, and so on to Rathnew, or Rath Inver, where, as far as we can judge, the king of Hy Garrchon dwelt at the time. It came to pass that Dricriu just then had a great feast and meeting of his nobles at his royal rath; and perhaps it was the knowledge of this fact that brought Patrick there just in time for the feast.

But the son was, like the sire, as rude as he was irreligious, and as his wife was one of Laeghaire’s daughters we are told that for ‘Laeghaire’s sake he refused to invite Patrick to the feast and the meeting at Rath Inver.’ The hungry Saint and his companions, after their journey through the mountains, were left out in the cold; and, it seems, had nothing to eat. But Cilline, a poor man though a relative of the king, took pity on Patrick, gave him a hearty welcome, and, killing his one cow, gave meat to Patrick, and gave him also the measure of meal which he had brought out of the king’s house for his own use. His wife cooked the meat and baked the bread, and whilst she was cooking, and, at the same time, tending her little son, Patrick said:—

O, woman, cherish that little son,

A great boar comes from a pigling,

A flame comes from a spark,

Thy son will be hale and strong.

The corn is the best of plants,

So Marcan, son of Cilline

Is the best of Garchu’s issue.

This blessing was fruitful for the child, who became the ancestor of the Christian kings of Hy Garrchon, a far braver and better race than their rude and inhospitable sires.

Patrick, however, saw that it was fruitless to hope for the conversion of Dricriu, or of those under his control, so he resolved to return once more to the plains of Kildare. But he doubtless visited the three Palladian churches that still existed in Wicklow. Tigroney (Teach na Roman) was in the parish of Castlemacadam, and, as a fact, we find traces of St. Patrick in the parish immediately to the east—that is at Ennereilly, where there is a Kilpatrick Bridge and a Kilpatrick House, showing that there was a Patrician church there too, which would be situated exactly on the by-road from Rathnew to Tigroney. From Tigroney Patrick would naturally return to Kildare by the Glen of Imaile, which was a famous pass since the earliest times, from east to west, almost parallel to the pass through the Wicklow Gap, but further to the south. There is some reason to think that he was accompanied on this return journey by his host, Cilline, the grandson of Dricriu, and if we can accept the authority of Shearman, it was for him, or his son, Marcan, then merely a child, that Patrick founded the church of Donaghmore, which gives title to a parish at the western end of the Glen. Donard, where, according to Shearman, Sylvester and Solinus, the companions of Palladius, preached and died, was just two miles to the north, so that Patrick would not lose this opportunity of visiting them or their successors in the Palladian church. Killeen Cormac, too, would not be far off, which is, according to Shearman, the Palladian church of Cell Fine; for he makes its site identical with that of an old churchyard ‘three miles south-west of Dunlavin.’ This would be exactly on his road, if not to Naas at least to Kilcullen, and, if it were there at all, would certainly be visited by Patrick. We have, however, our doubts as to this identification, and as to making Donard, north of Donaghmore, identical with Domnach Aird we are still more sceptical, and feel inclined rather to identify it with Dunard, near Redcross, not far from Tigroney—exactly where we should expect it to be.






This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Attribution: Sicarr




Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com