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The Life And Writings Of Saint Patrick -Saint Patrick

In bright contrast with the strange story related of Lupait is that which tells us later on how Patrick had four holy nuns who spent their lives making vestments and altar clothes for the churches at Armagh and elsewhere. These things could not be purchased at the time, a regular supply could not be got over the sea, so if they were to be had at all Patrick must have them made for himself. The four holy nuns whose names are given as thus working for God and for Patrick are—Cochmaiss and Tigris and Lupait and Darerca. It is not said that they all worked together at Armagh, indeed the contrary would seem to be implied; but they are enumerated amongst those holy workers who devoted their lives to the service of Patrick’s churches. Three of those named were his own sisters, and the fourth seems to have been a royal maiden from Ulidia. The Lupait here referred to was not the Lupait whose sad story has been just recorded. Aubrey de Vere has given us a beautiful picture of their assiduous labour for God:

Beneath a pine three vestals sat close-veiled;

A song these childless sang of Bethlehem’s Child,

Low-toned, and worked their Altar-cloth, a Lamb

All white on golden blazon; near it bled

The Bird that with her own blood feeds her young.

Red drops her holy breast affused. These three

Were daughters of three Kings.

—The Arraignment of St Patrick.






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