What is the story of Saint Patrick?

Fionn and the Fenian Cycle Read more from
Chapter Celtic Mythology

Saint Patrick is said to have arrived in Ireland in 432 C.E. There are many myths associated with Patrick. Most famously, he rid Ireland of snakes. According to one myth, when the infant Patrick was brought to the blind Gornias to be baptized, there was no water to be had, so the old man used the child’s hand to make the sign of the cross over the ground and water sprang up. And at the same time Gornias was cured of his blindness. Another myth tells how when Patrick arrived in Ireland at the Feast of Beltene to claim Ireland for his god he did something similar to what Amairgen and the Milesians had done when they proclaimed a Celtic Ireland during the same feast in ancient times. Beltene was the druidic feast of purifying fire.

When Patrick arrived at Tara he set a huge bonfire, thus upstaging the druidic tradition for his own religion. As the Tuatha powers had overcome the Firbolg and Fomorians, and as Amairgen’s powers had supplanted those of the Tuatha, the spiritual fire of the Christian “Holy Spirit,” the source of Patrick’s “magic,” would take control of the soul of Ireland.


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