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The Scottish Nation

PATRICK, ST., the patron saint of Ireland, was born in 373 at a village called Bonaven Taberniae, supposed to be the town of Kilpatrick, on the Clyde, between Dumbarton and Glasgow. Jones, in his ‘Historical Account of the Welsh Bards,’ states his birth-place to have been the Vale of Rhos, Pembrokeshire. He is also said by some to have been a native of Cornwall, and by others of Brittany. All the information recorded of him is founded on conjecture, except what may be traced in his own writings, his ‘Confessions,’ and a letter which he addressed to Corotic, a Welsh prince. He styles himself both a Briton and a Roman, and says his father was of a good family, named Calphurnius, who appears to have come to Scotland in a civil capacity with the Roman troops. His mother’s name was Concha, or Conchessa, the niece of St. Martin, bishop of Tours.

In his sixteenth year he was carried captive to Ireland by a band of the wild Irish, who had made an excursion into Scotland. After passing six years in keeping sheep, he made his escape to France, and by his mother’s uncle at Tours, was ordained a canon regular of his church. At the age of sixty, being moved by visions, and other signs, to undertake the conversion of the pagan Irish, he repaired to Rome, to receive the Pope’s sanction and authority for this holy purpose. His original name is stated to have been Saccuthus, or (according to Nennius, abbot of Bangor) Maur; that of Patricius being given to him by Pope Celestine, when he consecrated him a bishop, and sent him into Ireland in 433. The greatest success is said to have attended his missionary efforts. He converted and baptized the kings of Ulster and Munster, and the seven sons of the king of Connaught. He fixed his metropolitan see at Armagh, and founded monasteries, established schools, planted churches, and ordained priests in various parts of the country. Several miracles are attributed to him. He died at Down in Ulster, according to Usher, in 493, to Tillemont, about 455, and to Nennius, in 464. His works, or at least those attributed to him, were published, with remarks, by Sir James Ware, in 1658.

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