Happy Feast day all! St Patrick (c.387/388-493) is of course my Patron saint. I was going to be Patrick anyway, so said my father, but it was just a coincidence that I was born on the eve of his feast day. I like the name Patrck, or Patricius (pronounced pat-rik-i-us). St Patricius was a Romano-British aristocrat (a civilised barbarian, and hence the name), who naturally spoke Latin, and was captured by Irish pirates sometime in his youth. He escaped to Gaul, where he was ordained Deacon, and received prophetic dreams about the conversion of the Irish. He was sent to convert the Irish by Pope Celestine I (famous for excommunicating the heretic Nestorius), where he had many disciples.
I believe that England owes much of the Apostolic faith to the Irish. Naturally when St Augustine and his followers came to these shores there were already small Christian communities dotted about the Isle, and St Columba, that great Saint who converted the Picts, came from Derry. Ireland used to be a very Catholic country (even today, if you have the opportunity to visit Ireland, you can still see some of the most beautiful churches; in the South there are many roadside shrines to Our Lady, although in the militant North, where my family are from, you will see little of this beyond road curbs being painted green white and gold and a good many murals!), although something went horribly wrong somewhere, and I never shared the Irish preference for Low Mass. St Patrick never celebrated Low Mass of course...although what sort of Liturgy did he celebrate?
I wonder...is St Patrick to be accounted among of the Fathers of the Church? He is from the Patristic age, but I have never heard anyone refer to him (seriously that is, never mind about his Feast day) as one of the Fathers.