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St Patrick (c. 389—461) patron saint of Ireland


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(5th century(?),

abbot. Reputed to be of British origin and to have become a disciple of Patrick in Ireland, he is supposed to have been educated and consecrated bishop in Rome. On his return to Ireland he first settled with some disciples at an unidentified ‘Kell Mor Ydan’ (Co. Meath). After some years, because of local opposition, he moved north to Louth, where he founded a large monastery which soon enjoyed a nationwide reputation, and where he is claimed as its first bishop.

Legendary elements in his Life include a mutual agreement with Patrick that each would look after the other's community after the founder's death; that he lived for 300 years because he doubted the ages of the Old Testament patriarchs, and even that he had 200 bishops as his disciples. Feast: 19 August.

W. W. Heist, Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae (1965), pp. 394–400;B.L.S., viii. 186.

Subjects: Christianity.

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