The Decision of the Chariot

Patrick Kennedy
1891 (2nd Edition)

St. Fiech, when a Druid at the court of the Ard Righ, was one of the two who stood up to receive the saint.

He assisted him afterwards in his apostolic labours, and, becoming infirm, was indulged with a chariot.

St. Sechnal, or St. Secundus, from whom the old town of Dunshaughlin received its name, and who was another of the saint’s coadjutors, considered himself as well entitled to the privilege as his brother Fiech.

“We shall,” said St. Patrick, “leave the decision to the beasts themselves, or rather to Providence, whose favours are shown even to the dumb animals.”

Next morning the two beasts were yoked and put on the highway, and on they went at their ease till evening.

Being then near St. Sechnal’s home, they turned into his bawn, ate the provender offered them, but would suffer no one to unyoke them.

When daylight came, they resumed their journey, entered another bishop’s bawn in the evening, took supper, and again objected to being unharnessed.

The third evening found them in St. Fiech’s bawn, and most eager to be rid of their trappings.

St. Sechnal humbled himself, and no one afterwards grudged St. Fiech his hard-seated, block-wheeled car, unprovided with springs, for such was the vehicle to which the lofty name of chariot was given.[1]


[1] Both saints left behind them hymns in honour of their great patron. St. Sechnal composed his during St. Patrick’s life, and rather against the inclination of the humble servant of Christ.