Talk:Saint Patrick

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Birth?

This article doesnt mention when Patrick was born, yet mentions the date of his death, which i believe to be wrong. There is little to no proof of exact dates of birth or death and this isnt mentioned anywhere in the article, even the 17th of March isnt certain. Dates regarding his life span up to 493 but this isnt mentioned anywhere. Jennisuk

Birth

Little is known about Patrick's childhood. He was most likely born to peasant parents on or near the Welsh coast, where the type of raid from across the Irish Sea that brought him to Ireland in the first place was part and parcel of life's hardship. His low social status - especially at a time of decline for the Roman Empire in Britain (did its rule even reach Wales? I'm not sure) - means it's unlikely his birth was ever recorded, and certainly any records that might have existed have not survived. As to his date of death, historians in Ireland have recently argued that dates currently associated with Patrick's mission Ireland may in fact be 'late' by as much as thirty years.


As the Wiki says - he's a bit of a mystery!


Incidentally, I changed the description in the Wiki entry from 'Roman Catholic' to Christian because it's now recognised that Patrick wasn't actually sent to Ireland by the Pope. The Church in Rome didn't have the sort of influence and authority in the 5th Century that it gained in later centuries, and the 7th-Century clerics who were writing about Patrick's life just assumed that he must have had a Papal Mandate like his predecessor Palladius. He was a sort of proto-Evangelical - he took it upon himself to go to Ireland and preach the Gospel. Both main religious traditions on this island - the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland (Anglican) see themselves as carrying on St Patrick's work. Stallthedigger