St. Patrick in Munster

From An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack

« start... Chapter IX. ...continued

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The saint's mission in Munster was eminently successful. Lonan, the chief of the district of Ormonde, entertained him with great hospitality, and thousands embraced the faith. Many of the inhabitants of Corca Baiscin crossed the Shannon in their hide-covered boats (curaghs) when the saint was on the southern side, in Hy-Figeinte, and were baptized by him in the waters of their magnificent river. At their earnest entreaty, St. Patrick ascended a hill which commanded a view of the country of the Dalcassians, and gave his benediction to the whole territory. This hill is called Findine in the ancient lives of the saint; but this name is now obsolete. Local tradition and antiquarian investigation make it probable that the favoured spot is that now called Cnoc Patrick, near Foynes Island.

The saint's next journey was in the direction of Kerry, where he prophesied that "St. Brendan, of the race of Hua Alta, the great patriarch of monks and star of the western world, would be born, and that his birth would take place some years after his own death."[4]

We have now to record the obituary of the only Irish martyr who suffered for the faith while Ireland was being evangelized. While the saint was visiting Ui-Failghe, a territory now comprised in the King's county, a pagan chieftain, named Berraidhe, formed a plan for murdering the apostle. His wicked design came in some way to the knowledge of Odran, the saint's charioteer, who so arranged matters as to take his master's place, and thus received the fatal blow intended for him.

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[4] Death.—Vit. Trip. It was probably at this time St. Patrick wrote his celebrated letter to Caroticus.


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