Sheila R. Lamb
St. Patrick and the Rise of Christianity in Ireland
St. Patrick Brings a New Religion to Ireland
Eventually, he does escape and make it home to Britain. Later he travels to France, where he enters
the seminary to become a priest. He studies with St. Germain in Auxerre, France. It’s also believed he studies with St. Martin of Tours. After several years, a voice calls to him, telling him to return to Ireland. There is debate over whether he received the proper permissions from the
He returns to Ireland where he drives paganism from the land, converting the kings and his former master, to Christianity. He established a monastery in Armagh and successfully defeats the druids of Ireland.
Even so, there is an unmentioned sin, according to his Confessions. There is something in Patrick’s past that causes consternation among the bishops and higher church authorities in Britain.
“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.”
We don’t know what his sin was, or how serious it may have been. Was it a true crime? Or a political move by someone wishing to block his appointment?
Ironically, Brigid was ordained as Bishop by mistake. Would the ease of her appointment caused some anger or rivalry? Would Patrick have seen her as a true Bishop, a title he worked so hard to earn?