Receiving Authority There

St. Patrick poured forth to God the following prayer: ‘O Lord Jesus Christ, lead me, I beseech thee, to the seat of the holy Roman Church, that, receiving authority there to preach with confidence Thy sacred truths, the Irish nation may, through my ministry, be gathered to the fold of Christ.’ And soon after, being about to proceed to Ireland, this man of God, Patrick, went as he had wished to Rome, the head of all churches, and having asked and received the apostolic blessing, he returned, pursuing the same road by which he had journeyed thither.

— Probus, Vita S. Patricii.

The Voice of the Irish

Detail of shrine of St. Patrick at Our Lady of the Atonement Church (Anglican Use), San Antonio, Texas.
Detail of shrine of St. Patrick at Our Lady of the Atonement Church (Anglican Use), San Antonio, Texas.

And after a few years I was again in Britain with my parents [kinsfolk], and they welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go anywhere else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night, I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish’; and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. Thanks be to God, because after so many years the Lord bestowed on them according to their cry.

Confession of St. Patrick, no. 23.