For lo these many years, the world has had to live with the knowledge that Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, was not born in Ireland, but in Scotland. Humbled but never daunted, the Irish learned to accept that and have worshiped Saint P. nonetheless. At minimum, for driving the snakes out Ireland.
The snakes miracle story has always been in question since there have never beren snakes in Ireland. What is now Ireland separated from the continental mainland at the end of the ice age, and snakes never managed to make the swim, although parts of Scotland were within about eighteen miles from Ireland and most snakes are good swimmers.
Was that not enough? Apparently not.
Adding insult to injury, on March 20, 1942, Thomas Francis O'Rahilly (Irish: Tomás Ó Rathile) cast more doubts regarding Saint Patrick by announcing his scholarly “Theory of the Two Patricks.”
O'Rahilly, an Irish scholar of Celtic languages from the University College in Dublin, wrote extensively on early
Image source: sacredhearthook.org/st-patrick Irish history and mythology.
His most important contribution to Celtic linguistics is Irish Dialects Past and Present (1932, Dublin: Browne and Nolan) which remains in use to this day. O’Rahilly was latter appointed senior professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Thomas Francis O'Rahilly
Image Source: uni-due.de/DI/DI_Portraits.htm
He claimed both Patricks were Roman citizens and both had been sent to Ireland by different Popes, but only one of the Patricks wrote an autobiography… “Patrick the Britton” whom we now honor on March 17. The timing, combined with difficulties keeping accurate records of dates and events; led eventually to a medieval scribe who either implied or believed that there was only one missionary to Ireland named Patrick who died somewhere between 461 and 493 AD.
SAINT PALLADIUS (PATRICK), THE FIRST BISHOP OF IRELAND
Palladius (the first Patrick) was born in the Roman province of Gaul (modern-day France) in approximately 390 AD, the son of Exuperantius of Poitiers, a member of the one of the prominent families in Gaul.
There are records that he was married and had one daughter. Around 408/409 AD, he went to Sicily, put his daughter in a convent there, and lived as an ascetic. (Nowhere did I find a reference to his wife). It appears that he was ordained as a priest around 415. He lived in Rome between 418–429 and appears to be the "Deacon Palladius", responsible for urging Pope Celestine I to send the bishop Germanus to Britain to guide the Britons back to the Catholic faith.
Pope Celestine sent him to Britain with the mission of bringing some heretics back to Christianity. Then he was sent to Ireland as the first bishop of the Christians of Ireland and is recorded as arriving there about 432. He established his church in southern Ireland and proceeded to convert heretics throughout the provinces of Leinster and Munster.
From Ireland he returned the part of Britain known now as Scotland and was recognized as the first bishop of Scotland. Then he was sent to the northern part shown as Albann on the map, the land of the Picts. The Picts were known as being a wild and fierce people. They went into battle (frequently), their entire bodies painted blue and wearing no clothes.
Sixth Century Britain & Ireland - Image Source: Source: members.tripod.com/~Hal_MacGregor/
According to the authors of an article on https://www.electricscotland.com/, Palladius is buried in the village of Fordun which is situated on a spur of the Grampians, looking sweetly down on the well cultivated plains of the Mearns. The church of Fordun is claimed to hold records corroborating this.
Image Source: Wickipedia
SAINT PATRICK, THE SECOND BISHOP OF IRELAND
“Patrick the Briton” is better documented than Palladius. Patrick was born in Roman Britain, near Dumbarton, Scotland, in the year 387. His father, Calphurnius was a deacon from a Roman family of high standing, and his mother, Conchessa, was a close relative of St. Martin of Tours. Patrick's grandfather, Pontius, was also a member of the clergy (one source said his grandfather was a priest (possibly a reference to the first Patrick.). But in his aristocratic youth Patrick was not an active believer in Christianity.
He beat Palladius to Ireland, but not as a missionary. He was captured at the age of 16 by Irish raiders pillaging the west coast of Britain, by then a land no longer protected by the rapidly dissolving Roman Empire. Slemsh County today – the sheep at still there
Image Source: travel.sygic.com/slemish
Patrick began studying for the priesthood in Auxerre, France, and was ordained four years later. Later in life, he was ordained a bishop and still held on to the desire to bring Christianity to Ireland. Around 461, at the same time that Palladius’s days either had drawn, or were shortly drawing to a close, Pope St. Celestine I consecrated St. Patrick as Bishop of the Irish, and sent him to Ireland to spread the faith.
Image Source: millefiorifavoriti.blogspot.com/2012/03/saint-patricks
Professor O'Rahilly became known for his theory which was characterized as the person we knew and loved called Saint Patrick was actually an amalgam of a number of holy men who live more or less contemporaneously. This resulted in both consternation and amusement among scholars and holy men concerned with the subject. Flann O’Brien
Image Source: writerswrite.co.za/flann-obrien/
https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/the-two-st-patricks,“The Two Saint Patricks” by Frank O'Shea
Regardless, the publication of the theory started an academic civil war, which still rages. “If the careers of the two Patricks, through scholarly bungling, had become inextricably entangled, who did what? And worse still-which of them was the patron saint? If you addressed a prayer to one, might it not be delivered by mistake to the other? There was a feeling abroad that any concession to the two Patricks theory would lead unfailingly to a theory of no Patrick.” https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/the-solution-to-the-two-st-patricks-theory/
No Saint Patrick!? That would be the final blow.
To the extent that there is a conclusion, the first is “There is no hard and fast answer.” The historical evidence and documentation available is quite limited. What exists has been so dissected and re-dissected in genuine attempts to find the truth that it has become extremely inter-woven and confused. It is generally accepted now by historians that Palladius was the first Bishop of Ireland.
The second conclusion is that Saint Patrick and his status a Patron Saint of Ireland is extremely important to the Irish and, in general, the beliefs and celebrations of the Irish at home and abroad, remain unchanged by academia and theories.
THEY GO TO CHURCH
THEY GO TO PARADES
THEY GO TO BARS AND DRINK
ABÚ (Hurrah for) SAINT PATRICK and HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY.