As Roy Flechner shows in his biography, the earliest text to mention an Irish saint banishing snakes from Ireland is in fact the Life of Saint Columba chapter 3.
In Exodus — , Moses and Aaron use their staffs in their struggle with Pharaoh's sorcerers, the staffs of each side turning into snakes. Aaron's snake-staff prevails by consuming the other snakes. However, all evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes. Patrick to banish", says naturalist Nigel Monaghan, keeper of natural history at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, who has searched extensively through Irish fossil collections and records. During his evangelising journey back to Ireland from his parents' home, he is understood to have carried with him an ash wood walking stick or staff.
He thrust this stick into the ground wherever he was evangelising and at the place now known as Aspatria ash of Patrick , the message of the dogma took so long to get through to the people there that the stick had taken root by the time he was ready to move on. The two were once members of Fionn mac Cumhaill 's warrior band the Fianna , and somehow survived to Patrick's time.
Patrick seeks to convert the warriors to Christianity, while they defend their pagan past. The heroic pagan lifestyle of the warriors, of fighting and feasting and living close to nature, is contrasted with the more peaceful, but unheroic and non-sensual life offered by Christianity.
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The version of the details of his life generally accepted by modern scholars, [ dubious — discuss ] as elaborated by later sources, popular writers and folk piety, typically [ improper synthesis? At the age of 16 in AD Patrick was captured and enslaved by the Irish and was sent to Ireland to serve as a slave herding and tending sheep in Dalriada. After six years, Patrick escaped captivity after hearing a voice urging him to travel to a distant port where a ship would be waiting to take him back to Britain.
During his short captivity within France, Patrick learned about French monasticism. At the end of his second captivity Patrick had a vision of Victoricus giving him the quest of bringing Christianity to Ireland. According to the Annals of the Four Masters , an early-modern compilation of earlier annals, his corpse soon became an object of conflict in the Battle for the Body of Saint Patrick Cath Coirp Naomh Padraic :.
When the flood had subsided the Ui Neill and the Ulaid united on terms of peace, to bring the body of Patrick with them. It appeared to each of them that each had the body conveying it to their respective territories. The body of Patrick was afterwards interred at Dun Da Lethglas with great honour and veneration; and during the twelve nights that the religious seniors were watching the body with psalms and hymns, it was not night in Magh Inis or the neighbouring lands, as they thought, but as if it were the full undarkened light of day. According to Patrick's own account, it was Irish raiders who brought him to Ireland where he was enslaved and held captive for six years.
He also draws attention to the biblical allusions in Patrick's own account e. It is also used by Down District Council which has its headquarters in Downpatrick , the reputed burial place of Patrick. Saint Patrick's Saltire is a red saltire on a white field. A saltire was intermittently used as a symbol of Ireland from the seventeenth century, but without reference to Patrick. It was formerly a common custom to wear a cross made of paper or ribbon on St Patrick's Day. Surviving examples of such badges come in many colours  and they were worn upright rather than as saltires.
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The bell was part of a collection of "relics of Patrick" removed from his tomb sixty years after his death by Colum Cille to be used as relics. The bell is described as "The Bell of the Testament", one of three relics of "precious minna" extremely valuable items , of which the other two are described as Patrick's goblet and "The Angels Gospel". Colum Cille is described to have been under the direction of an "Angel" for whom he sent the goblet to Down , the bell to Armagh , and kept possession of the Angel's Gospel for himself.
The name Angels Gospel is given to the book because it was supposed that Colum Cille received it from the angel's hand. A stir was caused in when two kings, in some dispute over the bell, went on spates of prisoner taking and cattle theft. The annals make one more apparent reference to the bell when chronicling a death, of "Solomon Ua Mellain, The Keeper of The Bell of the Testament, protector, rested in Christ. The bell was encased in a "bell shrine", a distinctive Irish type of reliquary made for it, as an inscription records, by King Domnall Ua Lochlainn sometime between and The shrine is an important example of the final, Viking-influenced, style of Irish Celtic art , with intricate Urnes style decoration in gold and silver.
The bell itself is simple in design, hammered into shape with a small handle fixed to the top with rivets. Originally forged from iron, it has since been coated in bronze. The shrine is inscribed with three names, including King Domnall Ua Lochlainn's. The rear of the shrine, not intended to be seen, is decorated with crosses while the handle is decorated with, among other work, Celtic designs of birds.
The bell is accredited with working a miracle in , [ further explanation needed ] and having been coated in bronze to shield it from human eyes, for which it would be too holy. It measures Saint Patrick's Breastplate is a lorica , or hymn, which is attributed to Patrick during his Irish ministry in the 5th century.
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Patrick features in many stories in the Irish oral tradition and there are many customs connected with his feast day. The folklorist Jenny Butler  discusses how these traditions have been given new layers of meaning over time while also becoming tied to Irish identity both in Ireland and abroad. The symbolic resonance of the Saint Patrick figure is complex and multifaceted, stretching from that of Christianity's arrival in Ireland to an identity that encompasses everything Irish. In some portrayals, the saint is symbolically synonymous with the Christian religion itself.
There is also evidence of a combination of indigenous religious traditions with that of Christianity, which places St Patrick in the wider framework of cultural hybridity. Popular religious expression has this characteristic feature of merging elements of culture. Later in time, the saint becomes associated specifically with Catholic Ireland and synonymously with Irish national identity. Subsequently, Saint Patrick is a patriotic symbol along with the colour green and the shamrock.
Saint Patrick's Day celebrations include many traditions that are known to be relatively recent historically, but have endured through time because of their association either with religious or national identity. They have persisted in such a way that they have become stalwart traditions, viewed as the strongest "Irish traditions". For most of Christianity's first thousand years, canonisations were done on the diocesan or regional level. Relatively soon after the death of people considered very holy, the local Church affirmed that they could be liturgically celebrated as saints.
As a result, Patrick has never been formally canonised by a pope common before the Great Schism of , and in the Orthodox Church which never innovated a formal canonisation process and has always lacked a Supreme Pontiff ; nevertheless, various Christian churches declare that he is a saint in Heaven he is in the List of Saints.
He is still widely venerated in Ireland and elsewhere today.
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Patrick is honoured with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church USA and with a commemoration on the calendar of Evangelical Lutheran Worship, both on 17 March. Patrick is also venerated in the Orthodox Church as a pre-Schism Western saint, especially among Orthodox Christians living in Ireland and the Anglosphere ;  as is usual with saints, there are Orthodox icons dedicated to him. Saint Patrick Visitor Centre is a modern exhibition complex located in Downpatrick and is a permanent interpretative exhibition centre featuring interactive displays on the life and story of Patrick.
It provides the only permanent exhibition centre in the world devoted to Patrick. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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For the 14th-century writer, see Master Patrick of Ireland. For other uses, see Saint Patrick disambiguation. Primary Christian patron saint of Ireland, a 5th-century Romano-British missionary and bishop. Stained-glass window of St. Main article: List of Saint Patrick's crosses.
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Main article: Saint Patrick's Breastplate. Retrieved 25 August Saint Patrick. Learning Island. Princeton University Press. Irish History. Parragon Books Ltd. Retrieved 14 September Patrick, his writings and life. New York: The Macmillan Company. Retrieved 17 March Internet Medieval Sources. Fordham University. Retrieved 4 July Patrick , Clonmore and Reynolds, , pp.
Annals of Ulster; otherwise, Annals of Senat , Vol. Dublin , Who Was Saint Patrick? The Boydell Press.
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The influence of the Kingdom of Dyfed may have been of particular importance. See Charles-Edwards , pp. Herbermann, Charles, ed. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis: — MacNeill argues for an origin in South Wales, noting that the western coasts of southern Scotland and northern England held little to interest a raider seeking quick access to booty and numerous slaves, while the southern coast of Wales offered both.
MacNeill also suggests a possible home town based on naming similarities, but allows that the transcription errors in manuscripts make this little more than an educated guess. Turner, M. Read before the Society, 8 January Archaeologia Scotica pp.
Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Volume 5, ". Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
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