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St Patrick

COnTenTS Introduction 1 I Patrick 2 Visions 4 RomanoBritish Beginnings 6 On the Worlds Edge 8 Escaping Slavery 10 The Irish Mission 12 Bishop Patrick 14 Accusations 16 Light of the World 18 Into the Dark Ages 20 Trechn and Muirchs Patrick 22 Slemish and Skerry 24 Easter at Tara 26 The End of Pagan Ireland 28 Armagh 30 Voclut 32 Wonder Tales 34 Croagh Patrick 36 Lughnasa Hills Waters 38 Away with the Fairies 40 Holy Ancestors 42 Glastonbury 44 Relics 46 Lough Derg 48 Snakes and Shamrocks 50 St Patricks Day 52 Saint Paddy 54 Sites Associated with St Patrick 56 Chronology 58 To my friend Patrick, a saver of plants, rather than souls. I am deeply indebted to the many scholars past and present who have thought far longer, deeper and harder about Patrick than I, most particularly John Bannerman, Ludwig Bieler, Cormac Bourke, J. Carney, D. A. Binchy, Hubert Butler, R. P. C. Hanson, A. B. E. Hood, D. R. Howlett, Liam de Paor, E. A. Thompson. Patricks own words, the Confession and Letter, have appeared in various editions and translations. I am equally indebted to the superb writings of Elaine Pagels on Gnosticism and early Christianity, which have been of enormous help and inspiration. Who were you, Patrick The names you give pass deftly through our touch, Your village lives on no ones map Were you in Mayo or was it Slemish hill Did burly men press nipples to your lips Somewhere you cried out to your halfknown god And saw him slide within your bodys frame Talking to soothe and urge you on. But who was then the emperor Who called you vile Where did you go We cannot know, though even now Your guardians watch within the mountain peaks and wait.
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