Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Culture Notes: St. Patrick

Yesterday, we celebrated the Feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. He could also be the patron saint of the movement to abolish mandatory celibacy in the Catholic Church because, if historians are correct, had celibacy always existed for Catholic priests, St. Patrick would never have been born and Ireland would not be the predominantly Catholic country it is today.

From Philip Freeman's St. Patrick of Ireland:

NOTE: The icon of Saint Patrick is by Nicholas Papas.

Patrick was born in Britain during the closing years of the fourth century, probably during the reign of the Roman emperor Theodosius (347-395). ..Patrick's father was Calpornius, a common name in Roman Britain, and his grandfather was Potitus. Potitus was probably born early in the fourth century, during the days of Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor of the Romans. Potitus was a priest, but at this time in Christian history such a role was no impediment to marriage and children. His son Calpornius followed in his father's religious footsteps and become a lower-ranked member of the clergy, a deacon....

From St. Patrick's Confession (as translated from Latin):

I am Patrick, a sinner, most unlearned, the least of all the faithful, and utterly despised by many. My father was Calpornius, a deacon, son of Potitus, a priest, of the village Bannavem TaburniƦ; he had a country seat nearby, and there I was taken captive...

No comments: