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                          SAINT PATRICK

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           Title: The Confession of St. Patrick
      Creator(s): Patrick. St. (c. 390-c. 461
          Rights: Public Domain
   CCEL Subjects: All
      LC Call no: BR1720.P26A3
   LC Subjects:

   Christianity

   Biography
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 The "Confessio" of Saint Patrick

 From [1]The Robot Wisdom Pages
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   1. 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.

   2. And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief,
   in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and
   turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my
   insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And he watched over
   me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished
   between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a
   father would his son.

   3. Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so
   many favours and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the
   land of my captivity. For after chastisement from God, and recognizing
   him, our way to repay him is to exalt him and confess his wonders
   before every nation under heaven.

   4. For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be
   hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in
   whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught;
   and his son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the
   Father, before the beginning of time in the spirit with the Father,
   indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and
   invisible were made by him. He was made man, conquered death and was
   received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every
   name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should
   confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we
   look to his imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the
   dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured
   out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of
   immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of
   God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in
   the Trinity of holy name.

   5. He himself said through the prophet: `Call upon me in the day of'
   trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.' And again: `It
   is right to reveal and publish abroad the works of God.'

   6. I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless I want my brethren and
   kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my
   soul's desire.

   7. I am not ignorant of what is said of my Lord in the Psalm: `You
   destroy those who speak a lie.' And again: `A lying mouth deals death
   to the soul.' And likewise the Lord says in the Gospel: `On the day of
   judgment men shall render account for every idle word they utter.'

   8. So it is that I should mightily fear, with terror and trembling,
   this judgment on the day when no one shall be able to steal away or
   hide, but each and all shall render account for even our smallest sins
   before the judgment seat of Christ the Lord.
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   9. And therefore for some time I have thought of writing, but I have
   hesitated until now, for truly, I feared to expose myself to the
   criticism of men, because I have not studied like others, who have
   assimilated both Law and the Holy Scriptures equally and have never
   changed their idiom since their infancy, but instead were always
   learning it increasingly, to perfection, while my idiom and language
   have been translated into a foreign tongue. So it is easy to prove
   from a sample of my writing, my ability in rhetoric and the extent of
   my preparation and knowledge, for as it is said, `wisdom shall be
   recognized in speech, and in understanding, and in knowledge and in
   the learning of truth.'

   10. But why make excuses close to the truth, especially when now I am
   presuming to try to grasp in my old age what I did not gain in my
   youth because my sins prevented me from making what I had read my own?
   But who will believe me, even though I should say it again? A young
   man, almost a beardless boy, I was taken captive before I knew what I
   should desire and what I should shun. So, consequently, today I feel
   ashamed and I am mightily afraid to expose my ignorance, because,
   [not] eloquent, with a small vocabulary, I am unable to explain as the
   spirit is eager to do and as the soul and the mind indicate.

   11. But had it been given to me as to others, in gratitude I should
   not have kept silent, and if it should appear that I put myself before
   others, with my ignorance and my slower speech, in truth, it is
   written: `The tongue of the stammerers shall speak rapidly and
   distinctly.' How much harder must we try to attain it, we of whom it
   is said: `You are an epistle of Christ in greeting to the ends of the
   earth ... written on your hearts, not with ink but with the Spirit of
   the living God.' And again, the Spirit witnessed that the rustic life
   was created by the Most High.

   12. I am, then, first of all, countryfied, an exile, evidently
   unlearned, one who is not able to see into the future, but I know for
   certain, that before I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep
   mire, and he that is mighty came and in his mercy raised me up and,
   indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall. And from
   there I ought to shout out in gratitude to the Lord for his great
   favours in this world and for ever, that the mind of man cannot
   measure.

   13. Therefore be amazed, you great and small who fear God, and you men
   of God, eloquent speakers, listen and contemplate. Who was it summoned
   me, a fool, from the midst of those who appear wise and learned in the
   law and powerful in rhetoric and in all things? Me, truly wretched in
   this world, he inspired before others that I could be--if I
   would--such a one who, with fear and reverence, and faithfully,
   without complaint, would come to the people to whom the love of Christ
   brought me and gave me in my lifetime, if I should be worthy, to serve
   them truly and with humility.

   14. According, therefore, to the measure of one's faith in the
   Trinity, one should proceed without holding back from danger to make
   known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, to spread God's
   name everywhere with confidence and without fear, in order to leave
   behind, after my death, foundations for my brethren and sons whom I
   baptized in the Lord in so many thousands.

   15. And I was not worthy, nor was I such that the Lord should grant
   his humble servant this, that after hardships and such great trials,
   after captivity, after many years, he should give me so much favour in
   these people, a thing which in the time of my youth I neither hoped
   for nor imagined.
     _________________________________________________________________

   16. But after I reached Ireland I used to pasture the flock each day
   and I used to pray many times a day. More and more did the love of
   God, and my fear of him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so
   that in a day [I said] from one up to a hundred prayers, and in the
   night a like number; besides I used to stay out in the forests and on
   the mountain and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow,
   in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any
   slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at
   that time.
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   17. And it was there of course that one night in my sleep I heard a
   voice saying to me: `You do well to fast: soon you will depart for
   your home country.' And again, a very short time later, there was a
   voice prophesying: `Behold, your ship is ready.' And it was not close
   by, but, as it happened, two hundred miles away, where I had never
   been nor knew any person. And shortly thereafter I turned about and
   fled from the man with whom I had been for six years, and I came, by
   the power of God who directed my route to advantage (and I was afraid
   of nothing), until I reached that ship.

   18. And on the same day that I arrived, the ship was setting out from
   the place, and I said that I had the wherewithal to sail with them;
   and the steersman was displeased and replied in anger, sharply: `By no
   means attempt to go with us.' Hearing this I left them to go to the
   hut where I was staying, and on the way I began to pray, and before
   the prayer was finished I heard one of them shouting loudly after me:
   `Come quickly because the men are calling you.' And immediately I went
   back to them and they started to say to me: `Come, because we are
   admitting you out of good faith; make friendship with us in any way
   you wish.' (And so, on that day, I refused to suck the breasts of
   these men from fear of God, but nevertheless I had hopes that they
   would come to faith in Jesus Christ, because they were barbarians.)
   And for this I continued with them, and forthwith we put to sea.

   19. And after three days we reached land, and for twenty-eight days
   journeyed through uninhabited country, and the food ran out and hunger
   overtook them; and one day the steersman began saying: `Why is it,
   Christian? You say your God is great and all-powerful; then why can
   you not pray for us? For we may perish of hunger; it is unlikely
   indeed that we shall ever see another human being.' In fact, I said to
   them, confidently: `Be converted by faith with all your heart to my
   Lord God, because nothing is impossible for him, so that today he will
   send food for you on your road, until you be sated, because everywhere
   he abounds.' And with God's help this came to pass; and behold, a herd
   of swine appeared on the road before our eyes, and they slew many of
   them, and remained there for two nights, and the were full of their
   meat and well restored, for many of them had fainted and would
   otherwise have been left half dead by the wayside. And after this they
   gave the utmost thanks to God, and I was esteemed in their eyes, and
   from that day they had food abundantly. They discovered wild honey,
   besides, and they offered a share to me, and one of them said: `It is
   a sacrifice.' Thanks be to God, I tasted none of it.

   20. The very same night while I was sleeping Satan attacked me
   violently, as I will remember as long as I shall be in this body; and
   there fell on top of me as it were, a huge rock, and not one of my
   members had any force. But from whence did it come to me, ignorant in
   the spirit, to call upon `Helias'? And meanwhile I saw the sun rising
   in the sky, and while I was crying out `Helias, Helias' with all my
   might, lo, the brilliance of that sun fell upon me and immediately
   shook me free of all the weight; and I believe that I was aided by
   Christ my Lord, and that his Spirit then was crying out for me, and I
   hope that it will be so in the day of my affliction, just as it says
   in the Gospel: `In that hour', the Lord declares, `it is not you who
   speaks but the Spirit of your Father speaking in you.'

   21. And a second time, after many years, I was taken captive. On the
   first night I accordingly remained with my captors, but I heard a
   divine prophecy, saying to me: `You shall be with them for two
   months.' So it happened. On the sixtieth night the Lord delivered me
   from their hands.

   22. On the journey he provided us with food and fire and dry weather
   every day, until on the tenth day we came upon people. As I mentioned
   above, we had journeyed through an unpopulated country for
   twenty-eight days, and in fact the night that we came upon people we
   had no food.
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   23. And after a few years I was again in Britain with my parents
   [kinsfolk], and the welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that
   after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go an where
   else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night,
   I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as it 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 the 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 ears the
   Lord bestowed on them according to their cry.
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   Map:
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--~/_-_-/~'~

   24. And another night--God knows, I do not, whether within me or
   beside me--... most words ... which I heard and could not
   understand, except at the end of the speech it was represented thus:
   `He who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks within you.' And
   thus I awoke, joyful.

   25. And on a second occasion I saw Him praying within me, and I was as
   it were, inside my own body , and I heard Him above me--that is, above
   my inner self. He was praying powerfully with sighs. And in the course
   of this I was astonished and wondering, and I pondered who it could be
   who was praying within me. But at the end of the prayer it was
   revealed to me that it was the Spirit. And so I awoke and remembered
   the Apostle's words: `Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness;
   for we know not how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit Himself
   intercedes for us with sighs too deep for utterance.' And again: 'The
   Lord our advocate intercedes for us.'

   26. And then I was attacked by a goodly number of my elders, who
   [brought up] my sins against my arduous episcopate. That day in
   particular I was mightily upset, and might have fallen here and for
   ever; but the Lord generously spared me, a convert, and an alien, for
   his name's sake, and he came powerfully to my assistance in that state
   of being trampled down. I pray God that it shall not be held against
   them as a sin that I fell truly into disgrace and scandal.
     _________________________________________________________________

   27. They brought up against me after thirty years an occurrence I had
   confessed before becoming a deacon. On account of the anxiety in my
   sorrowful mind, I laid before my close friend what I had perpetrated
   on a day--nay, rather in one hour--in my boyhood because I was not yet
   proof against sin. God knows--I do not--whether I was fifteen years
   old at the time, and I did not then believe in the living God, nor had
   I believed, since my infancy; but I remained in death and unbelief
   until I was severely rebuked, and in truth I was humbled every day by
   hunger and nakedness.

   28. On the other hand, I did not proceed to Ireland of my own accord
   until I was almost giving up, but through this I was corrected by the
   Lord, and he prepared me so that today I should be what was once far
   from me, in order that I should have the care of--or rather, I should
   be concerned for--the salvation of others, when at that time, still, I
   was only concerned for myself.

   29. Therefore, on that day when I was rebuked, as I have just
   mentioned, I saw in a vision of the night a document before my face,
   without honour, and meanwhile I heard a divine prophecy, saying to me:
   `We have seen with displeasure the face of the chosen one divested of
   [his good] name.' And he did not say `You have seen with displeasure',
   but `We have seen with displeasure' (as if He included Himself) . He
   said then: `He who touches you, touches the apple of my eye.'

   30. For that reason, I give thanks to him who strengthened me in all
   things, so that I should not be hindered in my setting out and also in
   my work which I was taught by Christ my Lord; but more, from that
   state of affairs I felt, within me, no little courage, and vindicated
   my faith before God and man.

   31. Hence, therefore, I say boldly that my conscience is clear now and
   hereafter. God is my witness that I have not lied in these words to
   you.

   32. But rather, I am grieved for my very close friend, that because of
   him we deserved to hear such a prophecy. The one to whom I entrusted
   my soul! And I found out from a goodly number of brethren, before the
   case was made in my defence (in which I did not take part, nor was I
   in Britain, nor was it pleaded by me), that in my absence he would
   fight in my behalf. Besides, he told me himself: `See, the rank of
   bishop goes to you'--of which I was not worthy. But how did it come to
   him, shortly afterwards, to disgrace me publicly, in the presence of
   all, good and bad, because previously, gladly and of his own free
   will, he pardoned me, as did the Lord, who is greater than all?

   33. I have said enough. But all the same, I ought not to conceal God's
   gift which he lavished on us in the land of my captivity, for then I
   sought him resolutely, and I found him there, and he preserved me from
   all evils (as I believe) through the in-dwelling of his Spirit, which
   works in me to this day. Again, boldly, but God knows, if this had
   been made known to me by man, I might, perhaps, have kept silent for
   the love of Christ.

   34. Thus I give untiring thanks to God who kept me faithful in the day
   of my temptation, so that today I may confidently over my soul as a
   living sacrifice for Christ my Lord; who am I, Lord? or, rather, what
   is my calling? that you appeared to me in so great a divine quality,
   so that today among the barbarians I might constantly exalt and
   magnify your name in whatever place I should be, and not only in good
   fortune, but even in affliction? So that whatever befalls me, be it
   good or bad, I should accept it equally, and give thanks always to God
   who revealed to me that I might trust in him, implicitly and forever,
   and who will encourage me so that, ignorant, and in the last days, I
   may dare to undertake so devout and so wonderful a work; so that I
   might imitate one of those whom, once, long ago, the Lord already
   pre-ordained to be heralds of his Gospel to witness to all peoples to
   the ends of the earth. So are we seeing, and so it is fulfilled;
   behold, we are witnesses because the Gospel has been preached as far
   as the places beyond which no man lives.

   35. But it is tedious to describe in detail all my labours one by one.
   I will tell briefly how most holy God frequently delivered me, from
   slavery, and from the twelve trials with which my soul was threatened,
   from man traps as well, and from things I am not able to put into
   words. I would not cause offence to readers, but I have God as witness
   who knew all things even before they happened, that, though I was a
   poor ignorant waif, still he gave me abundant warnings through divine
   prophecy.

   36. Whence came to me this wisdom which was not my own, I who neither
   knew the number of days nor had knowledge of God? Whence came the so
   great and so healthful gift of knowing or rather loving God, though I
   should lose homeland and family.

   37. And many gifts were offered to me with weeping and tears, and I
   offended them [the donors], and also went against the wishes of a good
   number of my elders; but guided by God, I neither agreed with them nor
   deferred to them, not by my own grace but by God who is victorious in
   me and withstands them all, so that I might come to the Irish people
   to preach the Gospel and endure insults from unbelievers; that I might
   hear scandal of my travels, and endure man persecutions to the extent
   of prison; and so that I might give up my free birthright for the
   advantage of others, and if I should be worthy, I am ready [to give]
   even m life without. hesitation; and most willingly for His name. And
   I choose to devote it to him even unto death, if God grant it to me.

   38. I am greatly God's debtor, because he granted me so much grace,
   that through me many people would be reborn in God, and soon a after
   confirmed, and that clergy would be ordained everywhere for them, the
   masses lately come to belief, whom the Lord drew from the ends of the
   earth, just as he once promised through his prophets: `To you shall
   the nations come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Our
   fathers have inherited naught hut lies, worthless things in which
   there is no profit.' And again: `I have set you to be a light for the
   Gentiles that you may bring salvation to the uttermost ends of' the
   earth.'

   39. And I wish to wait then for his promise which is never
   unfulfilled, just as it is promised in the Gospel: `Many shall come
   from east and west and shall sit at table with Abraham and Isaac and
   Jacob.' Just as we believe that believers will come from all the
   world.

   40. So for that reason one should, in fact, fish well and diligently,
   just as the Lord foretells and teaches, saying, `Follow me, and I will
   make you fishers of men,' and again through the prophets: `Behold, I
   am sending forth many fishers and hunters, says the Lord,' et cetera.
   So it behoved us to spread our nets, that a vast multitude and throng
   might be caught for God, and so there might be clergy everywhere who
   baptized and exhorted a needy and desirous people. Just as the Lord
   says in the Gospel, admonishing and instructing: `Go therefore and
   make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
   Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe
   all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always to the end
   of time.' And again he says: `Go forth into the world and preach the
   Gospel to all creation. He who believes and is baptized shall be
   saved; but he who does not believe shall be condemned.' And again:
   `This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached throughout the whole
   world as a witness to all nations; and then the end of the world shall
   come.' And likewise the Lord foretells through the prophet: `And it
   shall come to pass in the last days (sayeth the Lord) that I will pour
   out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall
   prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall
   dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those
   days I will pour out my Spirit and they shall prophesy.' And in Hosea
   he says: `Those who are not my people I will call my people, and those
   not beloved I will call my beloved, and in the very place where it was
   said to them, You are not my people, they will be called 'Sons of the
   living God'.
     _________________________________________________________________

   41. So, how is it that in Ireland, where they never had any knowledge
   of God but, always, until now, cherished idols and unclean things,
   they are lately become a people of the Lord, and are called children
   of God; the sons of. the Irish [Scotti] and the daughters of the
   chieftains are to be seen as monks and virgins of Christ.
     _________________________________________________________________

   42. And there was, besides, a most beautiful, blessed, native-born
   noble Irish [Scotta] woman of adult age whom I baptized; and a few
   days later she had reason to come to us to intimate that she had
   received a prophecy from a divine messenger [who] advised her that she
   should become a virgin of Christ and she would draw nearer to God.
   Thanks be to God, six days from then, opportunely and most eagerly,
   she took the course that all virgins of God take, not with their
   fathers' consent but enduring the persecutions and deceitful
   hindrances of their parents. Notwithstanding that, their number
   increases, (we do not know the number of them that are so reborn)
   besides the widows, and those who practise self-denial. Those who are
   kept in slavery suffer the most. They endure terrors and constant
   threats, but the Lord has given grace to many of his handmaidens, for
   even though they are forbidden to do so, still they resolutely follow
   his example.

   43. So it is that even if I should wish to separate from them in order
   to go to Britain, and most willingly was I prepared to go to my
   homeland and kinsfolk--and not only there, but as far as Gaul to visit
   the brethren there, so that I might see the faces of the holy ones of
   my Lord, God knows how strongly I desired this--I am bound by the
   Spirit, who witnessed to me that if I did so he would mark me out as
   guilty, and I fear to waste the labour that I began, and not I, but
   Christ the Lord, who commanded me to come to be with them for the rest
   of my life, if the Lord shall will it and shield me from every evil,
   so that I may not sin before him.

   44. So I hope that I did as I ought, but I do not trust myself as long
   as I am in this mortal body, for he is strong who strives daily to
   turn me away from the faith and true holiness to which I aspire until
   the end of my life for Christ my Lord, but the hostile flesh is always
   dragging one down to death, that is, to unlawful attractions. And I
   know in part why I did not lead a perfect life like other believers,
   but I confess to my Lord and do not blush in his sight, because I am
   not lying; from the time when I came to know him in my youth, the love
   of God and fear of him increased in me, and right up until now, by
   God's favour, I have kept the faith.

   45. What is more, let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes. I am not
   keeping silent, nor am I hiding the signs and wonders that were shown
   to me by the Lord many years before they happened, [he] who knew
   everything, even before the beginning of time.

   46. Thus, I should give thanks unceasingly to God, who frequently
   forgave my folly and my negligence, in more than one instance so as
   not to be violently angry with me, who am placed as his helper, and I
   did not easily assent to what had been revealed to me, as the Spirit
   was urging; and the Lord took pity on me thousands upon thousands of
   times, because he saw within me that I was prepared, but that I was
   ignorant of what to do in view of my situation; because many were
   trying to prevent this mission. They were talking among themselves
   behind my back, and saying: `Why is this fellow throwing himself into
   danger among enemies who know not God?' Not from malice, but having no
   liking for it; likewise, as I myself can testify, they perceived my
   rusticity. And I was not quick to recognize the grace that was then in
   me; I now know that I should have done so earlier.

   47. Now I have put it frankly to my brethren and co-workers, who have
   believed me because of what I have foretold and still foretell to
   strengthen and reinforce your faith. I wish only that you, too, would
   make greater and better efforts. This will be my pride, for `a wise
   son makes a proud father'.

   48. You know, as God does, how I went about among you from my youth in
   the faith of truth and in sincerity of heart. As well as to the
   heathen among whom I live, I have shown them trust and always show
   them trust. God knows I did not cheat any one of them, nor consider
   it, for the sake of God and his Church, lest I arouse them and [bring
   about] persecution for them and for all of us, and lest the Lord's
   name be blasphemed because of me, for it is written: `Woe to the men
   through whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed.'

   49. For even though I am ignorant in all things, nevertheless I
   attempted to safeguard some and myself also. And I gave back again to
   my Christian brethren and the virgins of Christ and the holy women the
   small unasked for gifts that they used to give me or some of their
   ornaments which they used to throw on the altar. And they would be
   offended with me because I did this. But in the hope of eternity, I
   safeguarded myself carefully in all things, so that they might not
   cheat me of my office of service on any pretext of dishonesty, and so
   that I should not in the smallest way provide any occasion for
   defamation or disparagement on the part of unbelievers.

   50. What is more, when I baptized so many thousands of people, did I
   hope for even half a jot from any of them? [If so] Tell me, and I will
   give it back to you. And when the Lord ordained clergy everywhere by
   my humble means, and I freely conferred office on them, if I asked any
   of them anywhere even for the price of one shoe, say so to my face and
   I will give it back.

   51. More, I spent for you so that they would receive me. And I went
   about among you, and everywhere for your sake, in danger, and as far
   as the outermost regions beyond which no one lived, and where no one
   had ever penetrated before, to baptize or to ordain clergy or to
   confirm people. Conscientiously and gladly I did all this work by
   God's gift for your salvation.

   52. From time to time I gave rewards to the kings, as well as making
   payments to their sons who travel with me; notwithstanding which, they
   seized me with my companions, and that day most avidly desired to kill
   me. But my time had not yet come. They plundered everything they found
   on us anyway, and fettered me in irons; and on the fourteenth day the
   Lord freed me from their power, and whatever they had of ours was
   given back to us for the sake of God on account of the indispensable
   friends whom we had made before.

   53. Also you know from experience how much I was paying to those who
   were administering justice in all the regions, which I visited often.
   I estimate truly that I distributed to them not less than the price of
   fifteen men, in order that you should enjoy my company and I enjoy
   yours, always, in God. I do not regret this nor do I regard it as
   enough. I am paying out still and I shall pay out more. The Lord has
   the power to grant me that I may soon spend my own self, for your
   souls.

   54. Behold, I call on God as my witness upon my soul that I am not
   lying; nor would I write to you for it to be an occasion for flattery
   or selfishness, nor hoping for honour from any one of you. Sufficient
   is the honour which is not yet seen, but in which the heart has
   confidence. He who made the promise is faithful; he never lies.

   55. But I see that even here and now, I have been exalted beyond
   measure by the Lord, and I was not worthy that he should grant me
   this, while I know most certainly that poverty and failure suit me
   better than wealth and delight (but Christ the Lord was poor for our
   sakes; I certainly am wretched and unfortunate; even if I wanted
   wealth I have no resources, nor is it my own estimation of myself, for
   daily I expect to be murdered or betrayed or reduced to slavery if the
   occasion arises. But I fear nothing, because of the promises of
   Heaven; for I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, who
   reigns everywhere. As the prophet says: `Cast your burden on the Lord
   and he will sustain you.'

   56. Behold now I commend my soul to God who is most faithful and for
   whom I perform my mission in obscurity, but he is no respecter of
   persons and he chose me for this service that I might be one of the
   least of his ministers.

   57. For which reason I should make return for all that he returns me.
   But what should I say, or what should I promise to my Lord, for I,
   alone, can do nothing unless he himself vouchsafe it to me. But let
   him search my heart and [my] nature, for I crave enough for it, even
   too much, and I am ready for him to grant me that I drink of his
   chalice, as he has granted to others who love him.

   58. Therefore may it never befall me to be separated by my God from
   his people whom he has won in this most remote land. I pray God that
   he gives me perseverance, and that he will deign that I should be a
   faithful witness for his sake right up to the time of my passing.

   59. And if at any time I managed anything of good for the sake of my
   God whom I love, I beg of him that he grant it to me to shed my blood
   for his name with proselytes and captives, even should I be left
   unburied, or even were my wretched body to be torn limb from limb by
   dogs or savage beasts, or were it to be devoured by the birds of the
   air, I think, most surely, were this to have happened to me, I had
   saved both my soul and my body. For beyond any doubt on that day we
   shall rise again in the brightness of the sun, that is, in the glory
   of Christ Jesus our Redeemer, as children of the living God and
   co-heirs of Christ, made in his image; for we shall reign through him
   and for him and in him.

   60. For the sun we see rises each day for us at [his] command, but it
   will never reign, neither will its splendour last, but all who worship
   it will come wretchedly to punishment. We, on the other hand, shall
   not die, who believe in and worship the true sun, Christ, who will
   never die, no more shall he die who has done Christ's will, but will
   abide for ever just as Christ abides for ever, who reigns with God the
   Father Almighty and with the Holy Spirit before the beginning of time
   and now and for ever and ever. Amen.

   61. Behold over and over again I would briefly set out the words of my
   confession. I testify in truthfulness and gladness of heart before God
   and his holy angels that I never had any reason, except the Gospel and
   his promises, ever to have returned to that nation from which I had
   previously escaped with difficulty.
     _________________________________________________________________

   62. But I entreat those who believe in and fear God, whoever deigns to
   examine or receive this document composed by the obviously unlearned
   sinner Patrick in Ireland, that nobody shall ever ascribe to my
   ignorance any trivial thing that I achieved or may have expounded that
   was pleasing to God, but accept and truly believe that it would have
   been the gift of God. And this is my confession before I die.
     _________________________________________________________________

           This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal
              Library at Calvin College, http://www.ccel.org,
                   generated on demand from ThML source.

References

   1. http://www.robotwisdom.com/

 
 

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