March 17th St Patrick’s Day St Patrick was an evangelist and died about 461AD. In
his book ‘Confessions’, St Patrick said he came from ‘Bannaventarbernia’ and his
father worked on the wall. ‘Banna’ is Birdoswald (near Brampton on Hadrians Wall).
We know this because a Roman carved stone was dug up in the area with the word Banna
on it. The stone is in Lanercost Priory, near Brampton. ‘Vent‘ means loophole in
embattled wall, allowing passage out of, outlet to, going to. There is such a ‘vent’
(where a stream runs through the wall) between Birdoswald and Irthington, but also
the meaning ‘going to’ is relevant. ‘Arbeia’ was a prominent Roman site overlooking
and protecting the Tyne Estuary and a prominent military supply base for ‘Wall’.
The pay chests would be delivered to ‘Arebeia’ and it was the lifeline to the rest
of the ‘Wall’.
St Patrick would describe his homeplace as Banna (Birdoswald) Vent
(going to) Arbeia (by Tynemouth). Roman fortifications extended to Maryport which
is exactly opposite to where St Patrick was taken captive to, on Mount Slemish, Ireland.
Info supplied by M. S. Quinn, Frizington.
PATRICK was born into the upper classes of late Roman Britain. His father was a civil
official and a deacon of the Christian church, and his grandfather was a priest.
Barely sixteen, Patrick was carried off by raiders and became a slave in Ireland.
He escaped after six years and returned home, but was called in a dream to preach
the gospel in Ireland.
After study, possibly under St Germanus at Auxerre in Gaul, he returned to Ireland
as a missionary bishop for the rest of his long life. He was enormously successful
in extending and organising the Christian church in that land.
Patrick's Confession, in which he reviews his life's work, is accepted as authentic.
It shows clearly his sense of God's direct and specific guidance, his humility, his
intense prayer life, and his ability.
When it comes down to dates and places, however,
St Patrick's writing tells us very little, and his history is surrounded by controversy
and confused by the pious record of later ages. His dates of birth and death are
contested: the traditional date of death, 492/3, has recently been defended, although
many modern scholars (and the A.S.B. lectionary) prefer 460 or 461.
St Patrick is Ireland's saint. His claim to be one of Cumbria's lies in the likelihood
that he was born here. He says that his father's country estate, where he was captured,
was at a place called Bannavem Taburniae or Banna Venta Burniae. Although sites as
far south as Gloucester have been suggested, there are strong arguments for proposInq
that this was the civil settlement of the Roman fort of Banna, i.e. Birdoswald or,
less likely, Bewcastle. Carlisle, then, would be the centre where Patrick's father
held office in church and civil government.
Little weight can be placed on dedications
to Patrick. His own narrative shows that he left Cumbria early in his career. and
it is improbable that any memory of his activities survived the upheavals of the
sixth and seventh centuries. Preston Patrick and Bampton Patrick probably contain
the name of a thirteenth-century lord, Patrick de Culwen: the dedications are later. Aspatria,
Patrick's Ash, may refer to a secular Hiberno-Norse lord. the church is dedicated
to St Kentigern.
DEDICATIONS: Ousby (now St Luke), Bampton, Patterdale, Preston Patrick.
17th March SOURCES: J B Bury, The Life of St Patrick and his Place in history (London, 1905); M
W Barley and R P C Hanson (eds.). Christianity in Britain, 300-700 (Leicester. 1968); L
Bieter, The Life and Legend of St Patrick (Dublin, 1949); C Vhomss. Christianity in Roman
Britain to A D 500 (London, 1981), pp. 307-46.
ABOUT SAINT PATRICK
Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth
century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine
in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.
Saint Patrick was
the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing christianity
to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio,
a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment
of Irish christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a "most humble-minded man,
pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as
the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had
become the people of God."
Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from
Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have
been - the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the
Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped.
Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan
practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who
is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The
story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and
thousands of their subjects in the "Holy Wells" that still bear this name.
several accounts of Saint Patrick's death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick,
Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was
often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against
the "evil eye." Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury,
England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury
Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after
St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin city
Why Saint Patrick's
Day? Saint Patrick's Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything
green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its
intended meaning, St. Patrick's Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and
offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.
So, why is it celebrated on March 17th?
One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began
in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took
with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course,
in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close
on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March
17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before
the serious celebrating begins.
In American cities with a large Irish population,
St. Patrick's Day is a very big deal. Big cities and small towns alike celebrate
with parades, "wearing of the green," music and songs, Irish food and drink, and
activities for kids such as crafts, coloring and games. Some communities even go
so far as to dye rivers or streams green!
St. Patricks Day gift baskets are a great way to celebrate the holiday. Send gift
baskets to your family and friends and surprise them with beer baskets to enjoy on
the holiday. Celebrate St. Patrick and make this year a memorable one.