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St Patrick

14 15 BIshoP PatrIck spreading the gospel A British church synod must have later elected Patrick as bishop and Irish mission leader. He says he converted thousands, including slaves and women, and like bishops Martin of Tours d. 397 and Victiricius of Rouen brought monastic and ecclesiastical organisation to backward rural societies. He says he ordained many priests and monks, women became virgins of Christ an individual ascetic observance and reputedly his disciple Mochta, another Briton, founded the first known Irish monastery at Louth. Patrick states that he took the Gospel to remote areas where no Christians had ever been, and that he returned to Voclut. The only other clear information he gives us is that he worked amongst the Scoti, a north Irish tribal group it is therefore most intriguing that St Jerome says Pelagius is a Scotus. Patrick says the Scoti had worshipped only idols and unclean things, but now a people of the Lord has been made, and are called sons of God. Sons and daughters of Scoti chieftains are openly monks and virgins of Christ. Even a young Scota woman of very high birth, he says, had become a Christian virgin. He was imprisoned, threatened with death and put in fetters, but also held high status, for he gave gifts to kings and judges, brehons. Great men did not take gifts from inferiors, so this was significant, as was his refusal to accept potentially compromising gifts from those he ordained. He gave the price of at least fifteen men, a huge sum, to the brehons, and paid kings sons to walk with me, to try and make his journeys safer.
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