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The Life And Writings Of Saint Patrick -Saint Patrick

INCIPIUNT LIBRI SANCTI PATRICII EPISCOPI.

              HERE BEGIN THE BOOKS OF HOLY PATRICK THE BISHOP.

 

1. Ego Patricius peccator, rusticissimus et minimus omnium fidelium et contemptibilis sum apud plurimos.

Patrem habui Calpornium diaconum, filium quendam Potiti presbyteri, qui fuit uico Bannauem Taberniae. Uillulam enim prope habuit, ubi ego capturam dedi.

              I, Patrick, a sinner, the most rustic and the least of all the faithful, and in the estimation of very many deemed contemptible, had for my father Calpornius, a deacon, the son of Potitus, a presbyter, who belonged to the village of Bannavem Taberniae; for close thereto he had a small villa, where I was made a captive.

 

Annorum eram tunc fere xui. Deum uerum ignorabam, et Hiberione in captiuitate adductus sum, cum tot milia hominum, secundum merita nostra, quia a Deo recessimus et praecepta eius non custodiuimus, et sacerdotibus nostris non oboedientes fuimus, qui nostram salutem admonebant. Et Dominus induxit super nos iram animationis suae et dispersit nos in gentibus multis etiam usque ad ultimum terrae ubi nunc paruitas mea esse uidetur inter alenigenas.

              At the time I was barely sixteen years of age. I knew not the true God; and I was led to Ireland in captivity with many thousand persons according to our deserts, for we turned away from God and kept not His commandments, and we were not obedient to our priests who used to admonish us about our salvation. And the Lord brought upon us the indignation of His wrath, and scattered us amongst many nations even to the utmost part of the earth, where now my littleness may be seen amongst strangers.

 

2. Et ibi Dominus aperuit sensum incredulitatis meae ut uel sero rememorarem dilicta mea et ut conuerterem toto corde ad Dominum Deum meum qui respexit humilitatem meam et missertus est adoliscentiæ, et ignorantiae meae, et custodiuit me antequam scirem eum, et antequam saperem uel distinguerem inter bonum et malum, et muniuit me et consulatus est me ut pater filium,

              And there the Lord opened the understanding of my unbelief, so that at length I might recall to mind my sins and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God, who hath regarded my humility and taken pity on my youth and my ignorance, and kept watch over me before I knew Him, and before I had discretion, or could distinguish between good and evil; and He protected me and consoled me as a father does his son.

 

3. Unde autem tacere non possum, neque expedit quidem, tanta beneficia et tantam gratiam quam mihi Dominus praestare dignatus est in terra captiuitatis meae; quia haec est retributio nostra ut post correptionem uel agnitionem Dei exaltare et confiteri mirabilia eius coram omni natione quae est sub omni caelo.

              Wherefore I cannot conceal, nor is it indeed fitting, the great favours, and the great grace which the Lord has vouchsafed to bestow on me in the land of my captivity; for this is the return we make, that after our chastening or after our recognition of God we should exalt and proclaim His wondrous ways before every nation which is under heaven.

 

4. Quia non est alius Deus, nec umquam fuit, nec ante nec erit post haec, praeter Deum Patrem ingenitum, sine principio, a quo est omne principium, omnia tenentem, ut dicimus, et eius Filium Iesum Christum, qui cum Patre scilicet semper fuisse testamur ante originem saeculi spiritaliter apud Patrem inenarrabiliter genitum ante omne principium. Et per ipsum facta sunt uissibilia et inuisibilia, hominem factum, morte deuicta, in caelis ad Patrem receptum. Et dedit illi omnem potestatem super omne nomen caelestium et terrestrium et infernorum, et omnis lingua confiteatur ei quia Dominus et Deus est Iesus Christus quem credimus. Et expectamus aduentum ipsius mox futurum iudex uiuorum atque mortuorum. Qui reddet unicuique secundum facta sua. Et effudit in nobis habunde Spiritum Sanctum, donum et pignus inmortalitatis, qui facit credentes et oboedientes ut sint filii Dei et coheredes Christi, quem confitemur et adoramus unum Deum in Trinitate Sacri Nominis.

              For there is no other God, nor has there been heretofore, nor will there be hereafter, except God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, upholding all things, as we say, and His Son Jesus Christ, whom we likewise confess to have always been with the Father—before the world’s beginning spiritually and ineffably of the Father begotten before all beginning; and by Him were made all things visible and invisible, (who) was made man and having triumphed over death was taken up to the Father in heaven. And to Him (the Father) gave all power above every name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue should confess to him that Jesus Christ. is the Lord and God in whom we believe, and whose coming we expect will soon take place, the Judge of the quick and the dead, who will render to every one according to his works; and who hath poured out on us abundantly the Holy Ghost, the gift and pledge of our immortality, who maketh those who believe and obey become children of God and joint-heirs with Christ, whom we confess and adore as one God in the Trinity of the Sacred Name.

 

5. Ipse enim dixit per profetam, Inuoca me in die tribulationis tuae et liberabo te et magnificabis me. Et iterum inquit, Opera autom Dei reuelare et confiteri honorificum est.

              For He himself through the prophet saith, ‘call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee; and thou shalt glorify Me.’ And again He saith: ‘But (it is) honourable to reveal and confess the works of God.’

 

6. Tamen etsi in multis inperfectus sum opto fratribus et cognatis meis scire qualitatem meam ut possint perspicere uotum animae meae.

              Yet though in many things I am imperfect I wish my brethren and kinsfolk to know what manner of man I am, so that they may be able to perceive the purpose of my soul.

 

7. Non ignoro testimonium Domini mei qui in psalmo testatur, Perdes eos qui loquntur mendacium. Et iterum inquit, Os quod mentitur occidit animam. Et idem Dominus in euangelio inquit, Verbum otiossum quod locuti fuerint homines reddent rationem de eo in die iudicii.

              I am not ignorant of the testimony of my Lord, who witnesseth in the psalm: ‘Thou wilt destroy those who speak a lie,’ and again He saith: ‘the mouth that belieth killeth the soul.’ And the same Lord (saith): ‘The idle word that men shall speak they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment.’

 

8. Unde autem uehimenter debueram cum timore et tremore metuere hanc sententiam in die illa ubi nemo se poterit subtrahere uel abscondere; sed omnes omnino reddituri sumus rationem etiam minimorum peccatorum ante tribunal Domini Christi.

              Wherefore then, I ought greatly with fear and trembling dread that sentence on that day, when no one shall be able to absent or conceal himself, but when all of us—every one—shall have to give an account of even his smallest sins before the judgment seat of Christ the Lord,

 

9. Quapropter ollim cogitaui scribere, sed et usque nunc hessitaui; timui enim ne incederem in linguam hominum, quia non dedici sicut et caeteri qui optime itaque iura et sacras literas utraque pari modo combiberunt, et sermones illorum ex infantia numquam mutaverunt, sed magis ad perfectum semper addiderunt.

              For this reason I have long been thinking of writing (this Confession), but up to the present I hesitated; for I feared lest I should transgress against the tongue of (learned) men, seeing that I am not learned like others, who in the best style therefore have drunk in both laws and sacred letters in equal perfection; and who from their infancy never changed their mother tongue; but were rather making it always more perfect.

 

Nam sermo et loquela nostra translata est in linguam alienam, sicut facile potest probari ex saliua scripturae meae, qualiter sum ego in sermonibus instructus atque eruditus; quia inquit Sapiens:—Per linguam dinoscetur et sensus et scientia et doctrina ueritatis.

              My speech, however, and my style were changed into the tongue of the stranger, as it can easily be perceived in the flavour of my writings how I am trained and instructed in languages, for as the wise man saith: ‘By the tongue wisdom will be discerned, and understanding, and knowledge, and learning of the truth.’

 

10. Sed quid prodest excussatio iuxta ueritatem, praesertim cum praesumptione? quatinus modo ipse adpeto in senectute mea quod in iuuentute non conparaui; quod obstiterunt peccata mea ut confirmarem quod ante perlegeram. Sed quis me credit etsi dixero quod ante praefatus sum?

              But what availeth an excuse though in accordance with truth, if it is joined to presumption. As if, forsooth, now in my old age I were seeking that (elegance of style) which I did not acquire in my youth, for my sins prevented me from mastering that which I had not acquired earlier in life. But who has given me credence even when I repeat what I have said before?

 

Adoliscens, immo pene puer imberbis, capturam dedi, antequam scirem uel quid adpeterem uel quid uitare debueram. Unde ergo hodie erubesco et uehimenter pertimeo denudare imperitiam meam, quia non desertus breuitate sermonem explicare nequeo; sicut enim Spiritus gestit et animas et sensus monstrat adfectus.

              When a mere youth, nay a beardless boy, I was taken captive before I knew what I ought to seek or to avoid. And therefore even to-day I am ashamed and greatly dread to make known my inexperience, because not being learned I cannot explain it in a few words; for as the Spirit desireth, both mind and sense disclose its affections.

 

11. Sed si itaque datum mihi fuisset sicut et caeteris, uerumtamen non silerem propter retributionem. Et si forte uidetur apud aliquantos me in hoc praeponere cum mea inscientia et tardiori lingua; sed scriptum est, Linguae balbutientes uelociter discent loqui pacem. Quanto magis nos adpetere debemus qui sumus, inquit, aepistola Christi, in salutem, usque ad ultimum terrae, etsi non deserta, sed ratum fortissimum scriptum in cordibus uestris, non atramento sed Spiritu Dei uiui. Et iterum Spiritus testatur, Et rusticationem ab Altissimo creata est.

              Yet even had I that gift of speech like others, still I would not be silent on account of the reward. And if it should seem to some people that I am (unduly) thrusting myself forward in this matter with my want of knowledge and slower tongue, yet it is written: ‘The stammering tongues shall quickly learn to speak peace;’ how much rather should we covet to do this who are ourselves the epistle of Christ for salvation unto the ends of the earth; and although not an eloquent one still an effective and most powerful (letter) written in your hearts, not with ink but by the Spirit of the Living God. And again the Spirit witnesseth: ‘Rusticity, too, was ordained by the Most High.’

 

12. Unde ego primus rusticus, profuga, indoctus scilicet qui nescio in posterum prouidere; sed illud scio certissime quia utique priusquam humiliarer, ego eram uelut lapis qui iacet in luto profundo; et uenit qui potens est, et in sua missericordia sustulit me, et quidem scilicet sursum adleuauit et collocauit me in summo pariete.

Et inde fortiter debueram exclamare ad retribuendum quoque aliquid Domino pro tantis beneficiis eius, hic et in aeternum, quae mens hominum aestimare non potest.

              Whence I, at first a rustic and an exile, unlearned surely as one who knows not how to provide for the future—yet this I do most certainly know, that before I was humbled, I was like a stone which lies in the deep mire, and He that is mighty came and in His mercy lifted me up, and placed me on the top of the wall. And therefore I ought to cry out and render something to the Lord for these benefits so great both here and for eternity, that the mind of man cannot estimate them.

 

13. Unde autem ammiramini magni et pusilli qui timetis Deum, et uos dominicati rethorici, audite et scrutamini. Quis me stultum excitauit de medio eorum qui uidentur esse sapientes et legis periti et potentes in sermone et in omni re? Et me quidem detestabilem huius mundi prae caeteris inspirauit, si talis essem; dummodo autem ut cum metu et reuerantia et sine querella fideliter prodessem genti ad quam caritas Christi transtulit et donauit me, in uita mea, si dignus fuero denique ut cum humilitate et ueraciter deseruirem illis.

              Wherefore, be ye filled with wonder both small and great, who fear God, and ye too, lordly rhetoricians, hear and search out. Who was it that exalted me, fool though I be, from the midst of those who seemed to be wise and skilled in the law, and powerful in word and in everything else? And me truly despicable in this world He inspired beyond others, though being such, that with fear and reverence, and without blame I should faithfully serve the nation to whom the love of Christ transferred me and bestowed me for my life, if I should be worthy—that in humility and truth I should serve them.

 

14. In mensura itaque fidei Trinitatis oportet distinguere, sine reprehensione periculi notum facere donum Dei et consulationem aeternam, sine timore fiducialiter Dei nomen ubique expandere, ut etiam post obitum meum exagallias relinquere fratribus et filiis meis quos in Domino ego babtizaui, tot milia hominum.

              Wherefore in the measure of our faith in the Trinity it is fitting to explain and without censure of rashness make known the gift of God and the everlasting hope, moreover without fear to spread everywhere the name of God with confidence, so that after my death I may leave a legacy to my brethren and my sons whom I baptised in the Lord—so many thousands of men.

 

15. Et non eram dignus neque talis ut hoc Dominus seruulo suo concederet post erumpnas et tantas moles, post captiuitatem, post annos multos, in gentem illam tantam gratiam mihi donaret, quod ego aliquando in iuuentute mea numquam speraui neque cogitaui.

              Neither was I worthy, nor such that the Lord should grant this to His poor servant after calamities, and trials so great, after captivity, after so many years,—that he should bestow on me this great grace in favour of that nation—a thing that formerly in my youth I never hoped for or thought of.

 

16. Sed postquam Hiberione deueneram, cotidie itaque pecora pascebam, et frequens in die orabam; magis ac magis accedebat amor Dei et timor ipsius, et fides augebatur et spiritus agebatur, ut in die una usque ad centum orationes et in nocte prope similiter, ut etiam in siluis et monte manebam. Ante lucem excitabar ad orationem per niuem per gelu per pluiam; et nihil mali sentiebam, neque ulla pigritia erat in me, sicut modo uideo, quia tunc spiritus in me feruebat.

              Now after I came to Hiberione (Ireland) daily I herded flocks, and often during the day I prayed. Love of God and His fear increased more and more, and my faith grew, and my spirit was stirred up, so that in a single day I said as many as a hundred prayers and at night likewise, though I abode in the woods and in the mountain. Before the dawn I used to be aroused to prayer in snow and frost and rain, nor was there any tepidity in me, such as I now feel, because then the spirit was fervent within me.

 

17. Et ibi scilicet quadam nocte in somno audiui uocem dicentem mihi, Bene ieiunas, cito iturus ad patriam tuam. Et iterum post paululum tempus audiui responsum dicentam mihi. Ecce nauis tua parata est. Et non erat prope, sed forte habebat •cc• milia passus Et ibi numquam fueram, nec ibi noium quemquam de hominibus habebam. Et deinde postmodum conuersus sum in fugam, et intermissi hominem cum quo fueram .ui. annis; et ueni in uirtute Dei qui uiam meam ad bonum dirigebat, et nihil metuebam donec perueni ad nauem illam.

              And there truly one night I heard in my sleep a voice saying: ‘Thou fastest well, thou art soon to go to thy fatherland.’ And again after a little time I heard the divine voice saying to me: ‘Lo, thy ship is ready.’ And it was not near at hand but distant about 200 miles. And I had never been there; nor had I knowledge of any person there. And thereupon after a little I betook myself to flight, and left the man with whom I had been for six years, and I came in the strength of God, who prospered my way for good; and I had no cause to fear anything until I came to that ship.

 

18. Et illa die qua perueni profecta est nauis de loco suo. Et locutus sum ut haberem unde nauigarem cum illis; et gubernatori displicuit illi, et acriter cum indignatione respondit, Nequaquam tu nobiscum adpetes ire.

              And on the very day I arrived the ship left its place, and I asked that I might have leave to sail with them; but it displeased the captain, and he replied harshly with anger: ‘on no account seek thou to come with us.’

 

Et cum haec audiissem seperaui me ab illis ut uenirem ad tegoriolum ubi hospitabam; et in itenere caepi orare; et antequam orationem consummarem audiui unum ex illis, et fortiter exclamabat post me, Ueni cito quia uocant te homines isti; et statim ad illos reuersus sum.

              When I heard this, I left them to go to the hut where I was lodging; and on the way I began to pray; and before I had finished my prayer I heard one of them calling loudly after me: ‘Come quickly, these men are calling thee,’ and forthwith I returned to them.

 

Et coeperunt mihi dicere, Ueni, quia ex fide recipi mus te. Fac nobiscum amicitiam quomodo uolueris. Et in illa die itaque reppuli sugere mammellas eorum propter timorem Dei; sed uerumtamen ab illis speraui uenire in fidem Iesu Christi, quia gentes erant, et ob hoc obtinui cum illis, et protinus nauigauimus.

              And they began to say to me: ‘Come, we take thee in good faith, make friendship with us as thou pleasest.’ And on that day I refused to suck their breasts through fear of God;’ but still I hoped that some of them would come to the faith of Christ, for they were heathen, and on that account I stayed with them—and forthwith we set sail.

 

19. Et post triduum terram caepimus, et xxuiii dies per disertum iter fecimus, et cibus defuit illis et fames inualuit super eos. Et alio die coepit gubernator mihi dicere, Quid, Christiane, tu dicis? Deus tuus magnus et omnipotens est; quare ergo pro nobis orare non potes? quia nos a fame periclitamur; difficile est enim umquam ut aliquem hominem uideamus. Ego enim euidenter dixi illis, Conuertemini ex fide et ex toto corde ad Dominum Deum meum, cui nihil esti npossibile, ut hodie cibum mittat uobis in uiam uestram usque dum satiamini, quia ubique habundat illi.

              And after three days we made land, and for 28 days we journeyed through a desert, and food failed them, and hunger overtook them. And one day the shipmaster said to me: ‘What sayest thou, Christian! thy God is great and almighty; why then can you not pray for us? for we are in danger of starvation. It will be hard for us if ever we see a human being again.’ Then I said plainly to them: ‘Turn earnestly and with all your hearts to the Lord my God, to whom nothing is impossible, that He may send you food for your journey until you be filled, for everywhere he hath abundance.’

 

Et adiuuante Deo ita factum est. Ecce grex porcorum in uia ante oculos nostros apparuit, et multos ex illis interecerunt et ibi .ii. noctes manserunt; et bene refecti, et canes eorum repleti sunt, quia multi ex illis defecerunt et secus uiam semiuiui relicti sunt.

              And by God’s help it so came to pass. Lo, a herd of swine appeared on the road before our eyes; and they killed many of them; and spent two nights there; and were well refreshed, and their dogs also were sated, for many of them had fainted (from hunger) and were left half-dead by the way.

 

Et post haec summas gratias egerunt Deo, et ego honorificatus sum sub oculis eorum, et ex hac die abundanter cibum habuerunt. Etiam mel siluistre inuenierunt, et mihi partem obtulerunt. Et unus ex illis dixit, Hoc immolaticum est. Deo gratias, exinde nihil gustaui.

              And thereafter they gave greatest thanks to God, and I became honoured in their eyes; and from that day they had food in abundance. They also found wild honey and offered me a part. But one of them said: ‘It is an idol-offering’—thanks be to God, I took none of it thereafter.

 

20. Eadem uero nocte eram dormiens, et fortiter temptauit me Satanas, quod memor ero quandiu fuero in hoc corpore. Et cicidit super me ueluti saxum ingens, et nihil membrorum meorum praeualui. Sed unde mihi uenit ignoro in spiritum ut Heliam uocarem? Et in hoc uidi in caelum solem oriri, et dum clamarem Heliam, Heliam, uiribus meis, ecce splendor solis illius decidit super me, et statim discussit a me omnem grauitudinem. Et credo quod a Christo Domino meo subuentus sum, et Spiritus eius iam tunc clamabat pro me. Et spero quod sic erit in die presurae meae, sicut in aeuanguelio inquit: In illa die, Dominus testatur, Non uos estis qui loquimini, sed Spiritus Patris uestri qui loquitur in uobis.

              Now on that same night when I was sleeping, Satan tempted me strongly, which I shall remember as long as I am in this body. And there fell on me as it were a huge rock, and I had no power in my limbs. But whence came it into my spirit I know not that I should invoke Helias. And thereupon I saw the sun rise in the heaven, and whilst I kept invoking Helias, Helias, with all my might, lo, the splendour of the sun fell upon me and shook off from me all the weight. And I believe I was aided by Christ my Lord, and that His Spirit was even then calling out on my behalf. And I hope that it will be so in the day of my distress; as in the Gospel He says: ‘In that day it is not you that speak but the Spirit of your father that speaketh in you.’

 

21. Et iterum post annos multos adhuc capturam dedi. Ea nocte prima itaque mansi cum illis. Responsum autem diuinum audiui dicentem mihi; ‘Duobus autem mensibus eris cum illis.’ Quod ita factum est. Nocte illa sexagesima liberauit me Dominus de manibus eorum.

22. Etiam in itenere praeuidit nobis cibum et ignem et siccitatem cotidie donec decimo die peruenimus omnes. Sicut superius insinuaui, xx et. uiii. dies per disertum iter fecimus. Et ea nocte qua peruenimus omni de cibo nihil habuimus.

              And a second time after many years up to that I became a captive. On that first night then I remained with them; I heard a Divine voice saying to me: ‘For two months yet thou shalt be with them.’ And so it came to pass, on the sixtieth night thereafter the Lord delivered me out of their hands. Moreover on our journey He provided us with food and fire and shelter every day until on the tenth day we all reached our destination. As I explained above, for 28 days we marched through a desert. And on that night on which we arrived at our destination, we had no more food left.

 

23. Et iterum post paucos annos in Britannis eram cum parentibus meis, qui me ut filium susciperunt et ex fide rogauerunt me, ut uel modo ego post tantas tribulationes quas ego pertuli nusquam ab illis discederem.

              And (now) once more after some years (of absence) I was in Britain with my family (parentibus) who received me as a son, and earnestly besought me that now at least after so many tribulations which I had endured I should never go away from them.

 

Et ibi scilicet uidi in uisu noctis uirum uenientem quasi de Hiberione, cui nomen Uictoricus, cum aepistolis innumerabilibus. Et dedit mihi unam ex his, et legi principium aepistolae continentem, ‘Uox Hyberionacum’; et dum recitabam principium aepistolae putabam ipso momento audire uocem ipsorum qui erant iuxta siluam Focluti quae est prope mare occidentale; et sic exclamauerunt quasi ex uno ore, Rogamus te, sancte puer, ut uenias et adhuc ambulas inter nos.

              Now there it was I saw, in a vision of the night, a man coming as if from Ireland, whose name was Victorious, with very many letters. And he gave one of them to me, and I read the beginning of the letter purporting to be the ‘Voice of the Irish,’ and whilst I was reading out the beginning of the letter I thought that at that moment I heard the voices of those who dwelt beside the wood of Focluth which is by the western sea; and thus they cried, as if with one mouth: ‘We beseech thee, holy youth, to come and walk once more amongst us.’

 

Et ualde conpunctus sum corde et amplius non potui legere, et sic expertus sum. Deo gratias, quia post plurimos annos praestitit illis Dominus secundum clamorem illorum.

              And I was greatly touched in heart, and could read no more, and so I awoke. Thanks be to God that after very many years the Lord granted to them according to their earnest cry.

 

24. Et, alia nocte, nescio, Deus scit, utrum in me an iuxta me, uerbis peritissimis quos ego audiui et non potui intellegere, nissi ad posterum orationis, sic effatus est, Qui dedit animam suam pro te, ipse est qui loquitur in te. Et sic exper[gefuc]tus sum gaudibundus.

25. Et iterum uidi in me ipsum orantem, et erat quasi intra corpus meum, et audiui super me, hoc est super interiorem hominem, et ibi fortiter orabat gemitibus. Et inter haec stupebam et ammirabam et cogitabam quis esset qui in me orabat; sed ad postremum orationis sic effatus est ut sit Spiritus; et sic exper[gefac]tus sum, et recordatus sum apostolo dicente, Spiritus adiuuat infirmitates orationis nostrae. Nam quod oremus sicut oportet nescimus, sed ipse Spiritus postulat pro nobis gemitibus inenarrabilibus quae uerbis expremi non possunt. Et iterum, Dominus aduocatus noster postulat pro nobis.

              And on another night, whether within or beside me I know not, God knoweth, in the clearest words, which I heard but could not understand until the end of the prayer He spoke out thus: ‘He who laid down His life for thee, He it is who speaketh within thee.’ And so I awoke full of joy. And once more I saw Him praying in me and He was as it were within my body; and I heard him over me, that is over the interior man; and there strongly He prayed with groanings. And meanwhile I was astonished and marvelled, and considered who it was who prayed within me; but at the end of the prayer He spoke out to the effect that he was the Spirit; and so I awoke and remembered the Apostle saying: ‘The Spirit helpeth the infirmities of our prayer. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings, which cannot be uttered in words. And again: ‘The Lord our advocate maketh intercession for us.’

 

26. Et quando temptatus sum ab aliquantis senioribus meis qui uenerunt ob peccata mea contra laboriosum episcopatum meum—utique in illo die fortiter inpulsus sum ut caderem hic et in aeternum; sed Dominus pepercit proselito et peregrino propter nomen suum, benigne et ualde mihi subuenit in hac conculcatione quod in labem et in obprobrium non male deueni. Deum oro, ut non illis in peccatum reputetur occasio.

27. Nam post annos triginta inuenerunt me, et aduersus uerbum quod confessus fueram antequam essem diaconus.—Propter anxietatem mesto animo insinuaui amicissimo meo quae in pueritia mea una die gesseram, immo in una hora, quia necdum praeualebam. Nescio, Deus scit, si habebam tunc annos quindecim, et Deum uiuum non credebam, neque ex infantia mea; sed in morte et in incredulitate mansi donec ualde castigatus sum, et in ueritate humiliates sum a fame et nuditate et cotidie.

28. Contra, Hiberione non sponte pergebam donec prope deficiebam. Sed haec potius bene mihi fuit, quia ex hoc emendatus sum a Domino; et aptauit me ut hodie essem quod aliquando longe a me erat, ut ego curas haberem aut satagerem pro salute aliorum, quando autem tunc etiam de me ipso non cogitabam.

              And when I was tempted by certain of my elders, who came and (urged) my sins against my laborious episcopate—truly in that day I was strongly pushed that I might fall here and for ever; but the Lord graciously had pity on the stranger and sojourner for His name’s sake, and He helped me greatly in that humiliation, so that I did not utterly fall into disgrace and reproach. I pray God that the occasion be not reckoned to them as a sin. For after thirty years they found me and (it was) against a word which I had confessed before I became a deacon—on account of my anxiety with sorrowful mind I confided to my dearest friend what I had done one day in my youth, nay in one hour, for I was not yet strong (in virtue). I cannot tell—God knoweth it—if I was then fifteen years old, and I did not believe in the living God, nor had I from my infancy; but I remained in death and unbelief until I was greatly chastened and humbled in truth by hunger, and nakedness, and that, too, daily. Towards Ireland of my own accord I made no move until I was almost worn out. But these things were rather a gain to me, because thereby I was corrected by the Lord; and he prepared me to become to-day what once was far from me—that I should care for and procure the salvation of others, whereas at that time I did not think even about myself.

 

29. Igitur in illo die quo reprobatus sum a memoratis supradictis, ad noctem illam uidi in uisu noctis. Scriptum erat contra faciem meam sine honore. Et inter haec audiui responsum diuinum dicentem mihi, Male uidimus faciem designati nudato nomine. Nec sic praedixit, Male uidisti, sed Male uidimus; quasi ibi se iunxisset. Sicut dixit, Qui uos tanguit quasi qui tanguit pupillam oculi mei.

              On that day, then, on which I was rejected by the those referred to above, during that night I had a vision of the night. There was a writing opposite my face without honour. And meanwhile I heard a divine voice saying to me: ‘With pain We have seen the face of the (bishop) designate spoiled of his name.’ He did not say ‘Thou hast seen with pain,’ but ‘We have seen with pain,’ as if in that matter He had joined Himself with me; as He hath said: ‘He that toucheth you is as he that toucheth the apple of Mine eye.’

 

30. Idcirco gratias ago ei qui me in omnibus confortauit ut non me inpediret a profectione quam statueram et de mea quoque opera quod a Christo Domino meo didiceram, sed magis ex eo sensi in me uirtutem non paruam, et fides mea probata est coram Deo et hominibus.

              Wherefore I give thanks to Him, who hast strengthened me in all things, so as not to hinder me from that journey on which I had resolved, and from that undertaking which I had learnt from Christ my Lord; nay rather I felt within me no small virtue coming from Him and my faith has been approved before God and men.

 

31. Unde autem audenter dico non me reprehendit conscientia mea hic et in futurum. Testem Deum habeo quia non sum mentitus in sermonibus quos ego retuli uobis.

32. Sed magis doleo pro amicissimo meo cur hoc meruimus audire tale responsum. Cui ego credidi etiam animam! Et comperi ab aliquantis fratribus ante defensionem illam, quod ego non interfui, nec in Brittanniis eram, nec a me orietur, ut et ille in mea absentia pro me pulsaret. Etiam mihi ipse ore suo dixerat, Ecce dandus es tu ad gradum episcopatus. Quo non eram dignus. Sed unde uenit illi postmodum, ut coram cunctis, bonis et malis, et me publice dehonestaret, quod ante sponte et laetus indulserat, et Dominus qui maior omnibus est?

              Wherefore then I say boldly my conscience does not blame me here or hereafter. I call God to witness that I have not lied in those statements I have made to you. But rather do I grieve for my very dear friend, that we should have deserved to hear such a voice from God as that. And I discovered from some of the brethren before that investigation—for I myself was not present, nor was I in Britain, nor was it at my request—that he fought for me in my absence. Even he himself with his own lips had said to me: ‘Lo, thou art to be raised to the rank of bishop, of which I was not worthy. How then did it occur to him afterwards to put me to shame before everybody, good and bad, in respect to that (office) which before of his own accord and gladly he conceded to me, and the Lord, too, did, who is greater than all.

 

33. Satis dico; Sed tamen non debeo abscondere donum Dei quod largitus est nobis in terra captiuitatis meae, quia tunc fortiter inquisiui eum, et ibi inueni illum, et seruauit me ab omnibus iniquitatibus. Sic credo, propter inhabitantem Spiritum eius, qui operatus est usque in hanc diem in me. Audenter rursus. Sed scit Deus si mihi homo hoc effatus fuisset, forsitan tacuissem propter caritatem Christi.

              I have said enough; but yet I ought not conceal the gift of God which he hath bestowed on me in the land of my captivity, because then I zealously sought Him, and there I found Him; and He preserved me from all iniquities, as I believe on account of His indwelling Spirit who hath worked in me until this day. Daringly again (I speak out). But God knoweth, if man had said this to me perchance I would have held my peace for the love of Christ.

 

34. Unde ergo indefessam gratiam ago Deo meo qui me fidelem seruauit in die temptationis meae, ita ut hodie confidenter offeram illi sacrificium, ut hostiam uiuentem, animam meam Christo Domino meo, qui me seruauit ab omnibus angustiis meis, ut et dicam: Quis ego sum, Domine, uel quae est uocatio mea, qui mihi tantam diuinitatem aperuisti? ita ut hodie in gentibus constanter exaltarem et magnificarem nomen tuum ubicumque loco fuero; nec non in secundis, sed etiam in pressuris; ut quicquid mihi euenerit, siue bonum siue malum, aequaliter debeo suscipere, et Deo gratias semper agere, qui mihi ostendit ut indubitabilem eum sine fine crederem, et qui me audierit, ut et ego inscius in nouissimis diebus hoc opus tam pium et tam mirificum adire adgrederer, ita ut imitarem quispiam illos quos ante Dominus iam olim praedixerat praenuntiaturos euangelium suum in testimonium omnibus gentibus ante finem mundi. Quod ita ergo ut uidimus, itaque suppletum est. Ecce testes sumus quia euangelium praedicatum est usque ubi nemo ultra est.

              Hence therefore I render ceaseless thanks to my God who kept me faithful in the day of my temptation, so that to-day with confidence I offer sacrifice to Him, as a living victim, even my soul to Christ my Lord, who hath saved me from all my troubles, so that I can say:—who am I, O Lord, or what is my vocation, that thou hast opened to me this so great dignity, so that to-day amongst the nations I constantly exalt and magnify Thy name wherever I may be, as I will in prosperity as also in adversity; so that whatever befall me, good or bad, I ought to receive with equal mind, and always give thanks to God who showed me that I might to the end put my trust in Him as unfailing; and who hath heard me, so that I, though ignorant, should in these last days undertake to set about this work so holy and so wonderful, and thus I might in some degree imitate those whom the Lord long ago foretold would proclaim his Gospel for a testimony unto all nations before the end of the world. And accordingly, as we see, this too has been fulfilled. So, we are witnesses that the Gospel has been preached to the places beyond which no one dwells.

 

35. Longum est autem totum per singula enarrare laborem meum, uel per partes. Breuiter dicam qualiter piissimus Deus de seruitute sepe [me] liberauit et de periculis xii quibus periclitata est anima mea, praeter insidias multas, et quae uerbis expremere non ualeo, ne iniuriam legentibus faciam; sed Deum auctorem habeo qui nouit omnia etiam antecuam fiant, ut me pauperculum pupillum idiotam tamen responsum diuinum creberrime admon.

              Now it were long to narrate all my labour in all its details, or even partially I shall briefly say in what manner the most gracious God often rescued me from slavery and from the twelve perils by which my life was endangered, besides many ambushes, and plots which I cannot declare in words, lest I should weary my readers. But I have God as much surety who knows all things even before they happen, that His Divine voice very often admonished me, poor, humble, unlearned (as I am).

 

36. Unde mihi haec sapientia, quae in me non erat, qui nec numerum dierum noueram, neque Deum sapiebam? Unde mihi postmodum donum tam magnum tam salubre Deum agnoscere uel diligere, sed ut patriam et parentes amitterem?

              Whence came to me this wisdom which was not in me, who neither knew the number of (my) the days, nor relished God? Whence afterwards came to me that gift, so great and salutary, to know God and love Him, nay, also to give up fatherland and parents?

 

37. Et munera multa mihi offerebantur cum fletu et lacrimis. Et offendi illos, necnon contra uotum, aliquantos de senioribus meis; sed, gubernante Deo, nullo modo consensi neque adquieui illis; non mea gratia, sed Deus qui uincit in me, et resistit illis omnibus ut ego ueneram ad Hibernas gentes euangelium praedicare, et ab incredulis contumelias perferre, ut audirem obprobrium peregrinationis meae et persecutions multas usque ad uincula, et ut darem ingenuitatem meam pro utilitate aliorum; et si dignus fuero promptus sum, ut etiam animam meam incunctanter et libentissime pro nomine eius, et ibi opto inpendere eam usque ad mortem si Dominus mihi indulgeret.

              And many gifts were proferred to me with weeping and tears. And I displeased them, and also, against my wish, some of my elders; but through God’s guidance in no way did I yield them consent or acquiesce (in their desires). Not my grace it was, but God who conquered in me and resisted them all so that I came to the Irish tribes to preach the Gospel and to bear insults from the unbelievers, so as to hear the reproach of my going abroad (amongst them), and (bear) many persecutions even unto bonds, and that I should give up my free state for the profit of others. And if I should be worthy I am ready to (give up) even my life most willingly and unhesitatingly for His name’s sake, and there I desire to spend it until I die, if the Lord would grant it to me.

 

38. Quia ualde debitor sum Deo qui mihi tantam gratiam donauit ut populi multi per me in Deum renascerentur et postmodum consummarentur, et ut clerici ubique illis ordinarentur, ad plebem nuper uenientem ad credulitatem quam sumsit Dominus ab extremis terrae, sicut olim promisserat per profetas suos: Ad te gentes uenient ab extremis terrae, et dicent, Sicut falsa comparauerunt patres nostri idola et non est in eis utilitas. Et iterum: Posui te lumen in gentibus ut sis in salutem usque ad extremum terrae.

              Because I am immensely a debtor to God, who granted me this great grace that many peoples through me should be regenerated unto God, and afterwards confirmed, and that clerics should be everywhere ordained for them—for a people newly come to belief, whom God took from the ends of the earth, as heretofore He foretold by his prophets: ‘To thee the Gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, as our fathers have got for themselves false idols, and there is no profit in them.’ And again: ‘I have set thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be for salvation to the utmost part of the earth.’

 

39. Et ibi uolo expectare promissum ipsius qui utique numquam fallit, sicut in aeuanguelio pollicetur: Uenient ab oriente et occidente et ab austro et ab aquilone, et recumbent cum Abraam et Issac et Iacob; sicut credimus ab omni mundo uenturi sunt credentes.

              And there I wish to wait for His promise who verily never disappoints; as He promises in the Gospel—‘They shall come from the east and the west and from the south and from the north and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob; as we believe that believers will come from all parts of the world.’

 

40. Idcirco itaque oportet bene et dilegenter piscare, sicut Dominus praemonet et docet dicens: Uenite post me et faciam uos fieri piscatores hominum. Et iterum dicit per prophetas: Ecce mitto piscatores et uenatores multos, dicit Deus, et caetera.

              For that reason, then, we ought to fish well and diligently as the Lord forewarns and teaches, saying: ‘Come after me and I will make you fishers of men,’ and again He saith through the prophets: ‘Behold, I send fishers and many hunters,’ and so forth.

 

Unde autem ualde oportebat retia nostra tendere ita ut multitudo copiossa et turba Deo caperetur, et ubique essent clerici qui babtizarent et exhortarent populum indegentem et dissiderantem. sicut Dominus in aeuanguelio ammonet et docet dicens: Euntes ergo nunc docete omnes gentes babtizantes eas in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti; docentes eos obseruare omnia quaecunque mandaui uobis; et ecce ego uobiscum sum omnibus diebas usque ad consummationem saeculi. Et iterum dicit: Euntes ergo in mundum uniuersum praedicate aeuanguelium omni creaturae; qui crediderit et babtizatus fuerit saluus erit, qui uero non crediderit condempnabitur. Et iterum: Praedicabitur hoc euangelium regni in uniuerso mundo in testimonium omnibus gentibus; et tunc ueniet finis.

              Wherefore then it was very necessary that we should spread our nets, so that a great multitude and a throng should be taken for God, and that everywhere there should be clergy to baptise and exhort the poor and needy people, as the Lord in the Gospel warns and teaches, saying: ‘Going, therefore, now teach ye all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world.’ And again he saith: ‘Going, therefore, into the whole world, preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.’ And again: ‘This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come.’

 

Et item Dominus per prophetam praenuntians inquit: Et erit in nouissimis diebus, dicit Dominus, effundam de Spiritu meo super omnem carnem, et prophetabunt filii uestri et filiae uestrae, et filii uestri uisiones uidebunt et seniores uestri somnia somniabunt; et quidem super seruos meos et super ancillas meas in diebus illis effundam de Spiritu meo et prophetabunt. Et in Osee dicit: Uocabo non plebem meam plebem meam, et non misericordiam consecutam misericordiam consecutam. Et erit in loco ubi dictum est: Non plebs mea uos, ibi uocabuntur filii Dei uiui.

              And in like manner the Lord foretelling by the prophet saith: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith the Lord, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and upon my servants, indeed, and upon my handmaids, I will pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy.’ And he saith in Osee: ‘I will call them my people, who were not my people, and her that obtained mercy one which-had-not-obtained-mercy. And it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said, ye are not my people, there shall they be called the children of the living God.’

 

41. Unde autem Hiberione qui numquam notitiam Dei habuerunt, nissi idula et inmunda usque nunc semper coluerunt, quomodo nuper facta est plebs Domini et filii Dei nuncupantur? Filii Scottorum et filiae regulorum monachi et uirgines Christi esse uidentur.

              Whence Ireland, which never had the knowledge of God, but up to the present always adored idols and things unclean—how are they now made a people of the Lord, and are called the children of God? The sons of the Scots and the daughters of their chieftains are seen to become monks and virgins of Christ.

 

42. Et etiam una benedicta Scotta genitiua, nobilis, pulcherrima, adulta erat, quam ego baptizaui; et post paucos dies una causa uenit ad nos; insinuauit nobis responsum accepisse a nutu Dei, et monuit etiam ut esset uirgo Christi et ipsa Deo proximaret. Deo gratias, sexta ab hac die optime et auidissime arripuit illud quod etiam omnes uirgines Dei ita hoc faciunt; non sponte patrum earum, sed et persecutionem patiuntur et inproperia falsa a parentibus suis, et nihilominus plus augetur numerus, et de genere nostro qui ibi nati sunt nescimus numerum eorum, praeter uiduas et continentes.

              And especially there was one blessed lady of Scotic birth, noble rank, very beautiful, of full age, whom I myself baptised, and after a few days she came to me for a certain purpose. She told us in confidence that she had received a secret admonition from God, and it warned her to become a Virgin of Christ and so come nearer to God. Thanks be to God, on the sixth day afterwards, with best dispositions, and most eagerly, she realised that (Divine vocation), as all the virgins of Christ do in like manner, not with the sanction of their fathers, nay rather they endure persecution, and lying reproaches from their parents, and nevertheless their number is all the more increased; and we know not the number of our race who are thus regenerated besides the widows and the continent.

 

Sed et illae maxime laborant quae seruitio detinentur. Usque ad terrores et minas assidue perferunt; sed Dominus gratiam dedit multis ex ancillis meis nam etsi uetantur tamen fortiter imitantur.

              But they who are kept in slavery suffer especially. They constantly endure even unto terrors and threats; but the Lord hath given grace to many of my handmaidens, for although they are forbidden still they courageously follow the example (of the others).

 

43. Unde autem etsi uoluero amittere illas, et ut pergens in Brittanniis—et libentissime paratus eram—quasi ad patriam et parentes, non id solum sed etiam usque ad Gallias, uisitare fratres et ut uiderem faciem sanctorum Domini mei; scit Deus quod ego ualde optabam. Sed alligatus Spiritu qui mihi protestatur si hoc fecero, ut futurum reum me esse designat, et timeo perdere laborem quem inchoaui; et non ego sed Christus Dominus qui me imperauit ut uenirem essemque cum illis residuum aetatis meae, si Dominus uoluerit, et custodierit me ab omni uia mala, ut non peccem coram illo.

              Wherefore then, even if I wished to leave them, and proceeding to Britain—and very ready I was to do so—as (going) to my country and my parents, and not only that (but to go) even unto Gaul to visit the brethren, so that I might see the face of the saints of my God—God knows I greatly desired it. Yet I am bound in the Spirit who testifieth to me that if I should do this He would note me as guilty; and I fear to lose the labour which I began—yet not I would lose it but Christ the Lord, who commanded me that I should come and remain with them for the rest of my life, if the Lord should so will, and who hath preserved me from every evil way, so that I should not sin before Him.

 

44. Spero autem hoc debueram; sed memetipsum non credo quamdiu fuero in hoc corpore mortis, quia fortis est qui cotidie nititur subuertere me a fide et proposita castitate religionis non fictae usque in finem uitae meae Christo Domino meo. Sed caro inimica semper trahit ad mortem, id est, ad inlecebras in infelicitate perficiendas. Et scio ex parte qua re uitam perfectam ego non egi sicut et caeteri credentes; sed confiteor Domino meo et non erubesco in conspectu ipsius, quia non mentior, ex quo cognoui eum a iuuentute mea creuit in me amor Dei et timor ipsius; et usque nunc fauente Domino fidem seruaui.

              Now I hope this as I ought; but I do not trust myself as long as I shall be in this body of death, because he is strong who daily strives to turn me away from the faith and from that chastity of sincere religion which I have proposed to myself (to keep) to the end of my life for Christ my Lord. But our enemy the flesh is always charming us to death, that is, to allurements to be enjoyed in woe. And partly I know in what thing I have not led a perfect life like other Christians; but I confess to my God, and I am not ashamed in His presence, for I lie not, from the time I came to know Him in my youth the love of God and His fear grew in me, and unto this hour through God’s favour I have kept the faith.

 

45. Rideat autem et insultet qui uoluerit, ego non silebo neque abscondo signa et mirabilia quae mihi a Domino ministrata sunt ante multos annos quam fuerunt, quasi qui nouit omnia etiam ante tempora saecularia.

              Let who will laugh and mock, I will not be silent nor conceal the signs and wonders which were ministered to me by God many years before they came to pass, since He knoweth all things even before the world’s beginnings.

 

46. Unde autem debuero sine cessatione Deo gratias agere, qui sepe indulsit insipientiae meae et neglegentiae meae, et de loco non in uno quoque ut non mihi uehementer irasceretur qui adiutor datus sum, et non cito adquieui, secundum quod mihi ostensum fuerat, et sicut Spiritus suggerebat. Et misertus est mihi Dominus in milia milium, quia uidit in me quod paratus eram, sed quod mihi pro his nesciebam de statu meo qudi facerem, quia multi hanc legationem prohibebant. Etiam inter seipsos post tergum meum narrabant et dicebant, Iste quare se mittit in periculum inter hostes qui Deum non nouerunt? Non ut causa malitiae, sed non sapiebat illis, sicut et ego ipse testor, intellegi, propter rusticitatem meam. Et non cito agnoui gratiam, quae tunc erat in me. Nunc mihi sapit quod ante debueram.

              Therefore I ought without ceasing give thanks to God, who oftentimes pardoned my folly and negligence, and moreover not in one place only He might be greatly angry with me who am given as a helper; yet I did not quickly yield assent to what was shown to me, and what the Spirit suggested. And the Lord showed mercy to me thousands of times, because He saw that I was ready, but that I did not know what in my state I should do in return, for many were opposing this embassy of mine. And behind my back they were talking among themselves and kept saying:—‘Why does he expose himself to danger amongst enemies, who know not God?’ Not for malice sake, but because they did not approve it, as I myself can testify, and understood, on account of my rusticity. And I did not quickly recognise the grace that was in me at the time. Now I have that wisdom, which I ought to have had before.

 

47. Nunc ergo simpliciter insinuaui fratribus et conseruis meis, qui mihi crediderunt, propter quod praedixi et praedico ad roborandam et confirmandam fidem uestram. Utinam ut et uos imitemini maiora, et potiora faciatis! Hoc erit gloria mea, quia, Filius sapiens gloria patris est.

48. Uos scitis et Deus qualiter apud uos conuersatus sum a iuuentute mea et fide ueritatis et sinceritate cordis. Etiam ad gentes illas inter quas habito, ego fidem illis praestaui et praestabo. Deus scit, neminem illorum circumueni; nec cogito, propter Deum et ecclesiam ipsius, ne excitem illis et nobis omnibus persecutionem, et ne per me blasphemaretur nomen Domini; quia scriptum est: Uae homini per quem nomen Domini blasphematur.

              Now, therefore, I have simply disclosed (it to you) my brethren and fellow-servants, who have believed in me: for which reason I told you before and foretell to you now for the strengthening and confirming of your faith. Would that you too would imitate greater things and do better things. That will be my glory, for a wise son is the glory of his father. You know, and God also, in what way I have lived from my youth amongst you in faith of the truth and in sincerity of heart. Even towards the Gentiles, amongst whom I dwell, I have kept faith with them, and will keep it. God knoweth, I have defrauded none of them, nor even think (of it) for God’s sake, and the sake of His church, lest I should raise a persecution against them and against all of us, and lest through me the name of God should be blasphemed; for it is written: ‘Woe to the man through whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed.’

 

49. Nam etsi imperitus sum in omnibus, tamen conatus sum quippiam seruare me etiam et fratribus Christianis et uirginibus Christi et mulieribus religiosis, quae mihi ultronea munuscula donabant, et super altare iactabant ex ornamentis suis, et iterum reddebam illis. Et aduersus me scandalizabantur cur hoc faciebam. Sed ego (id faciebam) propter spem perennitatis, ut me in omnibus caute propterea conseruarem, ita ut me in aliquo titulo infideles non caperent uel ministerium seruitutis meae, nec etiam in minimo incredulis locum darem infamare siue detractare.

              But though I be rude in all things, still I have tried to some extent to keep watch over myself—even as regards the Christian brethren, and the Virgins of Christ, and the religious women, who used of their own accord to present me with their little gifts and laid on the altar some of their ornaments, which I returned to them. And they were scandalised because I did so. But I did it on account of my hope of immortality, that I might keep myself cautiously in all things, that the heathen on one ground or another ground might receive me or the ministry of my service, and that I should not even in the smallest thing give occasion to the unbelievers to defame or disparage.

 

50. Forte autem quando baptizaui tot milia hominum sperauerim ab aliquo illorum uel dimidio scriptulae? Dicite mihi et reddam uobis. Aut quando ordinauit ubique Dominus clericos per modicitatem meam et ministerium gratis distribui illis, si poposci ab aliquo illorum uel pretium uel calciamenti mei, dicite aduersus me et reddam uobis magis.

              Perchance then when I baptised so many thousands of men I hoped (to get) from any of them even half a scruple? Tell me, and I shall restore it to you. Or when the Lord ordained clergy everywhere by my mediocrity, and I gave them my ministrations gratis, did I ask from any of them so much as the price of my sandal?—tell it against me and I shall restore you more.

 

51. Ego inpendi pro uobis ut me caperent; et inter uos et ubique pergebam causa uestra in multis periculis etiam usque ad exteras partes ubi nemo ultra erat, et ubi numquam aliquis peruenerat qui baptizaret, aut clericos ordinaret aut populum consummaret, donante Domino, diligenter et libentissime pro salute uestra omnia gessi.

              I spent (myself) for you that you might receive me, and both amongst yourselves and wherever I journeyed for your sake, through many perils even in remote parts where no man dwelt, and where no one had ever come to baptise or ordain clergy, or confirm the people, I have through God’s goodness done everything carefully and most willingly for your salvation.

 

52. Interim praemia dabam regibus praeter quod dabam mercedem filiis ipsorum, qui mecum ambulant et nihilominus comprehenderunt me cum comitibus meis. Et illa die auidissime cupiebant interficere me; sed tempus nondum uenerat. Et omnia quaecumque nobiscum inuenerunt rapuerunt, et me ipsum ferro uinxerunt. Et quarto decimo die absoluit me Dominus de potestate eorum; et quicquid nostrum fuit redditum est nobis propter Deum et necessarios amicos quos ante praeuidimus.

              Sometimes, too, I used to give presents to the kinglets besides the hire I used to give their sons, who accompanied me, and nevertheless they seized me (once) with my companions. And on that day they most eagerly desired to kill me, but my time had not yet come. And everything they found upon us they plundered, and myself they bound in iron bonds. And on the fourteenth day the Lord freed me from their power; and whatever was ours was restored to us for God’s sake, and the sake of the good friends whom I had provided beforehand.

 

53. Uos autem experti estis quantum ego erogaui illis qui indicabant per omnes regiones quos ego frequentius uisitabam; censeo enim non minimum quam pretium quindecim hominum distribui illis, ita ut me fruamini; et ego uobis semper fruar in Deum. Non me poenitet, nec satis est mihi; adhuc inpendo et superinpendam. Potens est Dominus ut det mihi postmodum ut meipsum inpendar pro animabus uestris.

              You know also of your own knowledge how much I spent on those who guided us through all the districts, which I used to visit more frequently, for I think that I distributed to them not less than the price of fifteen men, so that you might enjoy me and I might always enjoy you in God. I am not sorry for it, nor is it enough for me. Still I spend and will spend more. The Lord is powerful to grant me hereafter that I shall myself be spent for your souls.

 

54. Ecce testem Deum inuoco in animam meam quia non mentior. Neque ut sit occassio adulationis uel auaritiae scripserim uobis, neque ut honorem spero ab aliquo uestro. Sufficit enim honor qui nondum uidetur sed corde creditur. Fidelis autem qui promisit; numquam mentitur.

55. Sed uideo iam in praesenti saeculo me supra modum exaltatum a Domino. Et non eram dignus neque talis ut hoc mihi praestaret, dum scio certissime quod mihi melius conuenit paupertas et calamitas quam diuitiae et diliciae. Sed et Christus Dominus pauper fuit pro nobis. Ego uero miser et infelix, etsi opes uoluero iam non habeo, neque meipsum iudico, quia quotidie spero aut internicionem aut circumueniri aut redigi in seruitutem, siue occassio cuiuslibet. Sed nihil horum uereor propter promissa caelorum; quia iactaui meipsum in manus Dei omnipotentis, quia ubique dominatur, sicut propheta dicit: Iacta cogitatum tuum in Deum et ipse te enutriet.

              Behold I call God as witness on my soul that I lie not. Nor was it that it might be an occasion of flattery or gain that I have written to you, nor do I hope for honour from any of you. Sufficient is the honour that is not seen but is believed in the heart. And He that promised is faithful; He never lies. But I see that in this present world I am exalted above measure by the Lord. And I was not worthy, nor am I such that he should grant this to me, since I know for certain that poverty and affliction become me better than riches and luxury. Nay, Christ the Lord was poor for our sake. But I, poor and wretched, even should I wish for wealth I have it not, nor do I judge myself, for daily I expect either a violent death or to be robbed and reduced to slavery, or the occurrence of some such calamity. But I fear none of these things on account of the promises of heaven! I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, for He rules everything, as the prophet saith: ‘Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He Himself will sustain thee.’

 

56. Ecce nunc commendo animam meam fidelissimo Deo meo, pro quo legationem fungor in ignobilitate mea, sed quia personam non accipit et elegit me ad hoc officium ut unus essem de suis minimis minister.

              Behold, now, I commend my soul to my most faithful God, whose ambassador I am in my lowliness, only because He accepteth no person and He chose me for this office that I should be His minister, but amongst the least.

 

57. Unde autem retribuam illi pro omnibus quae retribuit mihi? Sed quid dicam uel quid promittam Domino meo? quia nihil uideo nisi ipse mihi dederit, sed scrutatur corda et renes, quia satis et nimis cupio et paratus eram ut donaret mihi bibere calicem eius sicut indulsit et caeteris amantibus se.

              And now what shall I render to the Lord for all the things He hath rendered to me? Nay what shall I say or what shall I promise to my Lord, for I see nothing except what He Himself has given to me; but He searcheth the heart and reins knoweth that fully and greatly do I desire and have been long ready, that He should grant me to drink of His cup, as He hath granted to others who love Him.

 

58. Quapropter non contingat mihi a Deo meo ut numquam amittam plebem suam quam adquisiuit in ultimis terrae. Oro Deum ut det mihi perseuerantiam, et dignetur ut reddam illi [me] testem fidelem usque ad transitum meum propter Deum meum.

              Wherefore may it never happen to me from my God that I should ever lose His people whom He hath purchased at the ends of the earth. I pray God to grant me perseverance, and deign that I may render myself a faithful witness unto Him until my passing away for the sake of my God.

 

59. Et si aliquid boni umquam initiatus sum propter Deum meum quem diligo, peto illi det mihi ut cum illis proselitis et captiuis pro nomine suo effundam sanguinem meum etsi ipsam etiam caream sepulturam, aut miserissime cadauer per singula membra diuidatur canibus aut bestiis asperis, aut uolucres caeli comederent illud. Certissime reor si mihi hoc incurrisset lucratus sum animam cum corpore meo, quia sine ulla dubitatione in die illa resurgemus in claritate solis, hoc est, in gloria Christi Iesu redemptoris nostri, quasi filii Dei uiui et coheredes Christi, et conformes futurae imaginis ipsius; quoniam ex ipso et per ipsum et in ipso sunt omnia: ipsi gloria in saecula saeculorum, Amen. In illo enim regnaturi sumus.

              And if I ever accomplished anything good for the sake of my God whom I love I ask Him to grant me that I may shed my blood with the strangers and the captives for His name sake, even though I should want burial, or my body should most miserably be divided limb by limb for the dogs and wild beasts, or that the fowls of the air should devour it. For surely, I think, if this should happen to me, I have gained my soul with my body, because without any doubt we shall rise on that day with the brightness of the sun, that is in the glory of Christ Jesus our Redeemer, as sons of the living God and co-heirs with Christ and conformed to His future likeness; for of Him, and through Him, and in Him are all things. To Him be glory for ever and ever, Amen; for in Him we shall all reign.

 

60. Nam sol iste quem uidemus, Deo iubente, propter nos cotidie oritur, sed numquam regnabit neque permanebit splendor eius; sed et omnes qui adorant eum in poenam miseri male deuenient. Nos autem qui credimus et adoramus solem uerum Christum, qui numquam interibit neque qui fecerat uoluntatem ipsius, sed manebit in aeternum, quomodo et Christus manebit in aeternum qui regnat cum Deo Patre omnipotente et cum Spiritu Sancto ante saecula et nunc et per omnia saecula saeculorum, Amen.

              For that sun, which we see, by God’s command rises daily for our sakes, but it will never reign, nor will its splendour endure; but all those who worship it shall go in misery to punishment. But we who believe in and worship Christ the true Sun, who will never perish, nor will anyone who doeth His will, but he will abide for ever, who reigneth with God the Father Almighty, and with the Holy Spirit before the ages now and for ever and ever. Amen.

 

61. Ecce iterum iterumque breuiter exponam uerba confessionis meae. Testificor in ueritate et in exultatione cordis coram Deo et sanctis angelis eius, quia numquam habui aliquam occasionem praeter euangelium et promissa illius ut umquam redirem ad gentem illam, unde prius uix euaseram.

              Lo, again and again, I shall in brief set out the words of my confession. I testify in truth and in the joy of my heart before God and His holy angels that I never had any motive except the Gospel and its promises in ever returning to that nation from which I had previously with difficulty made my escape.

 

62. Sed precor credentibus et timentibus Deum, quicumque dignatus fuerit inspicere uel recipere hanc scripturam quam Patricius peccator indoctus scilicet Hiberione conscripsit, ut nemo umquam dicat quod mea ignorantia, si aliquid pussillum egi uel demonstrauerim secundum Dei placitum, sed arbitramini et uerissime credatur quod donum Dei fuisset. Et haec est confessio mea antequam moriar.

              But I pray those who believe and fear God, whosoever will have deigned to look on this writing which Patrick the sinner and unlearned, no doubt, wrote in Ireland, that no one shall ever say it was my ignorance (did it), if I have done any small thing or showed it (to others) in accordance with God’s will; but think ye, and let it be most firmly believed, that it was the gift of God. And this is my confession before I die.

 






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