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PATRICIUS.

his coadjutor Abramius lived, nothing can be de­ termined, except that they were of later date than Isaac himself, whose period has been mentioned. If we adopt the reading of the Vienna MS. evprj- 0eyres, which, however, is most likely a trans­ criber's error for epwvevOej/res, we must place them late enough for the works of Isaac, in the Greek version at least (of which, in such case, they Avould be not the authors, but only the discoverers), to have been previously lost. (Assemani, I.e.; Lam- becius, I. c.; Nicephorus, I. c.; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad ann. 430, 440, 540, vol. i. pp. 415, 434, 519, ed. Oxford, 1740—1743 ; Fabric. Bibl. Grace, vol. xi. pp. 119, £c. and p. 706.) [J. C. M.]

PATRICIUS, the apostle and patron saint of Ireland. The legends and traditions respecting this celebrated personage, preserved in the Acta Sanctorum, in his life by Jocelin, a monk of Fur-ness abbey, in Lancashire, who flourished during the twelfth century, and in the Irish annals and ecclesiastical records, present such a mass of contra­dictions and improbabilities, that many critics have been induced to deny his very existence, while others have sought to remove a portion of the diffi­culties which embarrass the inquiry, by supposing that there were two, three, four, or even five indi­viduals who flourished at periods not very remote from each other, who-all bore the name Patricius, and who were all more or less concerned in the conversion of Ireland from paganism. The only document in which we can repose any confidence is an ancient tract entitled Confessio S. Patricii^ a sort of autobiography, in which he gives an outline of his life and conversation. If we admit that this curious piece is genuine, we may perhaps learn from it that the author was a native of Scotland, born in the vil­lage of Benaven or Bonavem Taberniae, which is generally believed to have occupied the site of the modern Kilpatrick, situated on the right bank of the river Clyde, a few miles above Dumbarton, very near the point which marked the termination of the Roman wall. He was the son of Calpornius, a deacon, the grandson of Potitus, a presbyter. At the age of sixteen he was taken prisoner by pirates, and conveyed along with a number of his countrymen to Ireland, where he was employed as a shepherd. Having made his escape, he reached home in safety ; but in the course of a few years was again carried off, and in two months again obtained his freedom. During his first captivity he was led to meditate upon his own depraved and lost condition, was gradually awakened to a sense of the truth, and became filled with an earnest desire to proclaim the promises of the Gospel to the heathen by whom he was surrounded. Visions were vouchsafed to him from on ^ high, on several occasions he was empowered to work miracles, and at length, under the conviction that he was directly summoned by Heaven, determined to de­vote his life to the task thus imposed upon him by God. No allusion whatsoever is made to his visit to France and Italy or to his ordination by Pope Coelestinus, upon which so much stress is laid in the later and more formal monkish compilations.

It must not be concealed, however, that although a lively local tradition supports the opinion that Kilpatrick in Dumbartonshire was the birth-place of the saint, and although the inhabitants of that district still point out a miraculous fountain and a rock bearing his name, many of the most learned Irish historians maintain that the epithet JBrito,

PATRICIUS.

upon which so much has been founded, refers not to Britain but to Armorica, and bring forward strong evidence to prove that Bonavem Taberniae is Boulogne-sur-mer on the coast of Picardy. The arguments are stated very fully in Lanigan's Eccle­siastical History of Ireland, chapter iii.

According to several of the most ancient national authorities the mission of St. Patrick commenced during the reign of Laoghaire, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages (a. d. 429—458) ; but the book of Lecan places him under Lughaidh, a son of the former (a. d. 484—508), while the Annals of Gonnaught assign his birth to a. d. 336, and his captivity to a.d. 352. Mr. Petrie, in his learned dissertation on the History and Antiquities of Tara Hill, enters deeply into the investigation, and arrives at the conclusion that if we assume that there was a second Patrick in Ireland during the fifth century, and that many of the acts of the first or great St. Patrick have been falsely ascribed to his namesake and successor, then Irish as well as foreign testimonies nearly concur in the follow­ing facts : — 1. That he was born in the year 372. 2. That he was brought captive into Ireland in the sixteenth year of his age, in 388, and that after four or seven years' slavery he was liberated in 392 or 395. 3. That on the death of Pal-ladius, in 432, he was sent to Ireland as arch­bishop, having been first, according to some autho­rities, consecrated by Pope Coelestinus, or, as others state, in Gaul, by the archbishop Amatorex, or Amator. 4. That he arrived in Ireland in 432, and after preaching there for sixty years, died in the year 492 or 493, at the age of about one hun­dred and twenty years. 5. That he was interred either at Saul or Down.

Several works still extant bear the name of Pa­tricius.

I. Confessio S. Patricii de Vita et Conversatione sua. This, as may be gathered from what has been said above, is not, like many ecclesiastical Confessiones, to be regarded as an exposition of the views of the author upon difficult points of doc­trine and discipline, but as a sketch of his own religious life, and especially as an account of the mental process by which he was first roused to spiritual exertion, the narrative being addressed to the people among whom he preached the Word. It was first published by Ware, in his edition of the Opuscula attributed to St. Patrick, from seve­ral MSS. preserved in different parts of England and Ireland ; among which is the renowned Book of Armagh, long believed to have been traced by the hand of the saint himself. To inquire into the authenticity of the Confession when so little can be ascertained with regard to the supposed author would be a mere waste of time ; but it ought to be remarked that it is composed in a very rude style, and although evidently inter­polated here and there, is to a considerable extent free from the extravagance which characterises the collections of the Bollandists and the memoir of Jocelin. The writer, whoever he may have been, alludes repeatedly to his own want of education and to his literary deficiencies.

II. Epistola ad Coroticum, or rather Epistola ad Christianas Corotici tyranni subditos. On the wickedness of a Welsh prince, Coroticus, who, in a descent upon Ireland, had taken many Christian prisoners, and was keeping them in cruel slavery. This letter is expressly mentioned by Jocelin, and

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