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to preach the Christian faith all over Ireland. From Tara, Patrick went to Connaught, and there he met the daughters of Laoghaire-the princesses Ethne and Fidelm.

One morning at sunrise, so the legend runs, the holy man was at the well of Clebach, near Cruachan, the palace of the kings of Connaught. Thither the princesses came, and beheld Patrick and his attendants.

And they knew not whence they were, or in what form, or from what people, or from what country, but they supposed them to be Duine Sidhe (fairies) or gods of the earth, or a phantasm.

And the virgins said unto them, “Who are ye, and whence come ye?”.

And Patrick said unto them, “ It were better for you to confess to our true God, than to inquire concerning our race.”

'The first virgin said, “Who is God?
6 " And where is God?
6" And what is God?
"" And where is His dwelling-place?

"“Has your God sons and daughters, gold and silver ?

"" Is He ever living ?
6" Is He beautiful ?
““Did many foster His Son ?

"" Are His daughters dear and beauteous to men of the world ?

"Is He in heaven or in earth ?
6. In the sea ?
6" In rivers ?
"“In mountainous places ?

434)

ST PATRICK'S CREED

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""In valleys ?
"“ Declare unto us the knowledge of Him.

« How shall He be seen?
6" How is He to be loved ?
6" How is He to be found ?

"“ Is it in youth-is it in old age that He is to be found?”

• But Saint Patrick, full of the Holy Ghost, answered and said :

6"Our God is the God of all men.

«« The God of heaven and earth, of the sea and rivers.

«« The God of the sun, the moon, and all stars.

"“The God of the high mountains, and of the lowly valleys.

“ The God who is above heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven. He hath a habitation in the heaven and the earth, and the sea, and all that are therein.

""He inspireth all things.
"“He quickeneth all things.
6“ He is over all things.

" He sustaineth all things.
"" He giveth light to the light of the sun.

"" And He hath made springs in a dry ground, and dry islands in the sea.

"“And hath appointed the stars to serve the greater lights.

"“He hath a Son co-eternal and co-equal with Himself.

6- The Son is not younger than the Father, nor is the Father older than the Son.

"" And the Holy Ghost breatheth into them.

6

""The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are not divided.

6“But I desire to unite you to the Heavenly King, inasmuch as you are the daughters of an earthly king—to believe ! »

And the virgins said, as with one mouth and one heart, “Teach us most diligently how we may believe in the Heavenly King. Show us how we may see Him face to face, and whatsoever thou shalt say unto us, we will do!”

* And Patrick said,

"“ Believe ye that, by baptism, ye put off the sin of your father and your mother?” They answered, “We believe !"

““ Believe ye in repentance after sin ?" “ We believe.” « Believe

ye

in life after death? Believe ye the resurrection at the Day of Judgment?” “We believe.”

““ Believe ye the unity of the Church?” “We believe.

And they were baptized, and a white garment put upon their heads. And they asked to see the face of Christ. And the saint said unto them, “Ye cannot see the face of Christ, except ye taste of death, and except ye receive the Sacrifice.”

' And they answered, “Give us the Sacrifice that we may behold the Son, our Spouse.”

* And they received the Eucharist of God, and they slept in death.

And they were laid out on one bed, covered with garments; and (their friends) made great lamentation and weeping for them.'

6

465]

DEATH OF ST PATRICK

9

And Patrick's mission prospered everywhere, and the light of Christianity was spread throughout the land. For thirty-three years he laboured among the Irish; and the seed which he threw broadcast bore fruit an hundredfold. In 465 his labours came to an end. On March 17th of that year he passed away, beloved and venerated by the people among whom he had lived and preached. He left behind a host of enthusiastic disciples, who completed gloriously the work which he had begun with so much promise, and so much success.

CHAPTER II

BRIAN BORU

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ROM the death of St Patrick to

the arrival of the Danes, the progress of Ireland in religion and civilisation, in art, music, literature and laws, was rapid and remarkable. Churches and monasteries, schools and

colleges, sprang up everywhere throughout the land. Trish missionaries went forth to preach the Gospel in many countries, and to win converts for the faith of Christ. Irish scholars filled the world with their fame, and Irish schools attracted students from the most civilised parts of Europe. An Irish missionary, Columba (A.D. 521-597), founded the famous monastery of Iona, and planted the Cross in Alba.1 His disciples, Aidan,

1 Ancient name given to Northern Scotland.

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