Sunday, March 15, 2015

St. Patrick's Confessio: Sections 48 - 53

I spend myself for you, so that you may have me for yours. I have traveled everywhere among you for your own sake, in many dangers, and even to the furthest parts where nobody lived beyond, and where nobody ever went to baptize and to ordain clerics or to bring people to fulfillment. It is only by God’s gift that I diligently and most willingly did all of this for your good.~ St. Patrick

These passages are the most fascinating I've read in the Confessio, as they give details of St. Patrick's ministry and the people he ministered in. Here St. Patrick defends himself from what seems to be a question of possible financial motives to his ministry, explaining the various ways that he was careful in the way he handled money and gifts--not taking payment for Baptisms or Ordinations, and returning gifts he was given....

 A brooch as used by the Celtic people around the time

When they would throw some of their ornaments on the altar, I would give them back to them. They were hurt at me that I would do this. But it was because of the hope of the eternal gift, that I was careful in all things, in case unbelievers would trap me or my ministry of service for any reason. 
He also talked about how he had to give gifts to kings and pay for their sons to travel with him, and in spite of this he still saw his companions imprisoned and feared for his life.

A stained glass window in Carlow Cathedral of the Assumption
portraying St. Patrick Preaching to Kings.  

The ruins of Dunseverick Castle, allegedly a place St. Patrick visited.
(CC licened by Anne Burgess)

Click below to find the entire text of
St. Patrick's Confessio

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