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The Confession of Saint Patrick and Letter to Coroticus Mass Market Paperback – February 17, 1998
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Original Language: Latin
From the Inside Flap
Beyond being recognized as the patron saint of Ireland (perhaps for having chased some nonexistent snakes off the Emerald Isle), little else is popularly known about Saint Patrick. And yet, Patrick left behind a unique document, his "Confession, which tells us much about both his life and his beliefs. This autobiography, originally written in the fifth century, and short by modern standards, is nonetheless a work that fascinates with its glimpse into the life of an intriguing man, and inspires with its testament of faith. Here, in this new edition from internationally acclaimed translator John Skinner, the character of Patrick, his era, and his world vividly come to life.
Also included in this volume is the only other document known to have been written by Patrick, a letter he wrote to the soldiers of Coroticus--also Christians--who had raided parts of Ireland and taken away prisoners who were then sold into slavery. This letter is a wonderful demonstration of Patrick's rhetorical fire. Quite irate, Patrick harangues his fellow Christians, and the results are every bit as autobiographically revealing as the "Confession.
John O'Donohue, author of "Anam Cara, provides an insightful foreword that re-creates the unique spirituality of Patrick and of the Irish people, and shows how it applies to our lives today.
Top Customer Reviews
If you are interested in buying The Confession because you want a straight-forward account of St. Patrick's life, you should be warned that it will not serve that purpose. If that is what you're looking for, I recommend you buy a biography instead. Given that the literary conventions for autobiographies had yet to be established, this work is much like St. Augustine's Confessions but more laconic and oblique. Apparently, it was written in defense of his character, having been recently defamed by his ecclesiastical competitors in England. As such, I think it would be best approached as an example of St. Patrick's theology. The editor has been very helpful in this regard by noting in the text every instance St. Patrick is quoting from the Bible. I'd estimate, on that basis, that quotes from, allusions to, the Bible account for around 40% of the text. Thus, if you want to understand the work, you probably want to read it with a Bible near so you can follow the thread of St. Patrick's argument/allusion. However, as you might imagine, this adds substantially to the amount of time required to digest the book.
I found A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus much more accessible, which makes sense given its intended audience - the faithful of Ireland.Read more ›
I have a problem with the material around the translation. While the introduction was somewhat informative I felt like the writer was being way too indulgent in simply being rhetorical, I did not appreciate such talk. Also in the Confessions there is invasive commentary given, I say invasive because it is not clearly marked as different from the translated text of the Confessions.
I would still recommend this book though if you can find another edition of these two works (as well as the Irish hymn included) maybe you should consider that one.
A personal note.
Its a shame that Patrick is remembered primarily on a day of drunken stupor and revelry, one can imagine had he been on earth today the fire he would have wrought from his pen at the disgraces often done on Saint Patrick's Day.
Informing oneself about Saint Patrick could give you better subjects to speak of on Saint Patrick's Day than which pub to go to and what beer to drink.
St. Patrick's Rune
"All heaven with its power
and the sun with its brightness and,
and the snow with its whiteness,
and the fire with all the strength it hath-
and lightning with its rapid wrath
and the winds with their swiftness along their path.
And the sea with its deepness,
and the rocks with their steepness
and the earth with its starkness-
all these I place
by God Almighty's help and grace
between myself and
the powers of darkness!"
I have never memorized the longer version found in this book, but really should. This book always reminds me to strive - to strive to listen to God, to strive to follow God and to strive to learn to be better at being.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a blessing to read this. I love how it begins. I think if you asked any saint about themselves the first thing they would say is "I am a sinner".Published 4 months ago by Edith Blair
This is Patrick's autobiographical confession. It is soaked in scripture and gives you a picture of the type of ministry he had among the Irish. Read it and be inspired.Published 4 months ago by Ramon Mayo
A book from the hands of a saint is much more fruitful than one about him. St. Patrick's humility and passion for Christ shine forth.Published 5 months ago by Fr. John Bullock, LC
I was surprised to discover just exactly how Pentecostal Patrick was. His story is filled with prayer and visions and bold choices. A true inspiration.Published 5 months ago by G. K. Youngblood
I recommend this book to any who wants to hear the truth of his life and the founding of Christianity in
I like it - it's clear and straightforward throughout - UNTIL the absurd descent into tritheistic heresy at the end of the "Lorica" (St. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Wesley Callihan