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St Patrick

44 45 glastonBury an English home In the English West Country, where Patricks life may well have begun, several tales connect him with Glastonbury abbey. It was home to a plethora of cults, and was the goal of many pilgrims in the Middle Ages. Arthurs tomb is here, and Joseph of Arimathea stuck his staff into the ground near the abbey, during his visit, where it grew into the Glastonbury Thorn. Patrick, they said, spent his last thirty years here and was one of its founders, along with Joseph, Jesus, and saints Phagan, Deruvian and Glasteing of the eightfooted pig. Glastonbury claimed several impressive connections with Ireland, though sadly these seem to be mainly the product of some profitable monastic wishful thinking. Saint Bridget lived nearby for a long time, they said, and three highly suspect tenth century copies of early Anglo Saxon charters dedicate the church to Patrick as well as Mary. Indeed Patricks tomb was close to the high altar. It was explained that there had been two Patricks in Ireland, and that Glastonbury was the final home of the senior one, Palladius, whose mission, they said, had failed. Patrick was the first teacher of the Irish, they say, but as he could not correct them he left on pilgrimage. He came to Glastonbury monastery and here finished his life, famous for his miraculous powers. So it is that his bones are here. Left entrance to Glastonburys Mary chapel, site of the first church in Britain. Above The Holy Thorn, brought by Joseph of Arimathea. Below Bligh Bonds fanciful drawing of the first church at Glastonbury in 37 AD.
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