Sunday, March 8, 2015

St. Patrick's Confessio: Sections 16 - 22

Public Domain photo of the Irish Coast (Copper Coast)

"More and more the love of God increased, and my sense of awe before God."

This passage (16 - 22*) talks about how St. Patrick's faith grew during the 6 years he was enslaved in Ireland, and how he escaped slavery.   

It's both a very interesting part of his Confession, and a somewhat confusing one.  There was several phrases which I was glad to have the notes on (the online translation I'm reading has various linked notes inserted in the text.)  One was particularly colorful...when after he had been allowed to board a ship to leave Ireland he said "That day, I refused to suck their breasts, because of my reverence for God."   That raised my eyebrows a little so I checked the notes, which said "The practice of symbolically coming under the protection of another by sucking the breast was known in North Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkey, Armenia, Caucasus region, Albania, as well as Ireland."  VERY STRANGE!  But it helps shed light on the passage...he would not come under their protection because he was under the protection of God.

In the last few days' reading he said much about his inadequacy in speaking in Latin, and up until now it felt like false humility, as to me each word in this Confessio felt finely crafted and poetic..  But in the sections I read today, when he shares his own story, it jumps around and feels awkward at times (and I don't mean just the odd idiom I described above).  Of course, as with the previous days eloquence, it could be due to translation.

Are you reading along in St. Patrick'sConfessio?  Please share your thoughts on this section in the comments below

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

Read My Commentary on Previous Sections

*For continuity, I went a little more than 5 sections today to get to what seemed like a transition point in the story. and not stop in an awkward place.


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