The story of St Patrick the patron saint of Ireland… from Wales
In 387 AD, a saint was born in Banwen, high in Wales’ Dulais Valley.
He would become the Celtic world’s most iconic figurehead. Every March, he is celebrated in towns and cities across the world.
To his adopted Irish home and kin, he is known simply as Saint Patrick.
Born Maewyn Succat (Maewyn: Welsh for devoted friend; Succat: Pagan for warlike), in Bannavem Taberniae (now Banwen), the teenage Patrick (or Padraig) was captured and sold into slavery with “many thousands of people” by a group of Irish marauders that raided his family estate.
Six years a slave, Patrick lived an isolated existence as a shepherd.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 🇮🇪
He’s Welsh, by he way… https://t.co/riDXTlMG5H
— Owen O’Williams 🏴 (@OwsWills) March 17, 2023
The then Ireland was a dangerous, pagan place. Divided into some 100 self-contained Celtic kingdoms.
Those who moved between became known as “grey dogs” and were often taken captive, relinquishing their rights.
Escaping his captors, a dream told Patrick it was time to leave Ireland. Returning home to Wales, he is said to have trained as a priest at Côr Tewdws in Llantwit Major, Britain’s oldest centre of learning.
Once ordained as a priest, he returned to Ireland as a missionary.
Patrick was a powerful, charismatic figure who attracted a large following, moving freely among Ireland’s kingdoms.
Familiar with the Irish language and culture, he adapted Celtic Paganism into his lessons of Christianity, rather than attempting to eradicate native beliefs.
He used bonfires to celebrate Easter, since the Irish were used to honouring their gods with fire.
He also superimposed a sun, a powerful native symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross.
Patrick’s mission in Ireland lasted approximately 30 years.
It is said that he died in 461 AD, on March 17th, now commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day.
Follow Owen on Twitter to discover more secrets of Wales…
I realise lots of you are following me for my independence-tinged republican politics/thoughts on Elon Musk.
🏴 But, during lockdown, I set to work gathering many of the secrets, tales and hidden histories of Cymru…
🧵 A thread of threads 👇https://t.co/rDtdGLc2rB
— Owen O’Williams 🏴 (@OwsWills) November 11, 2022
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