Convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum

Will the baptized of Ireland shut their eyes to the light set ablaze by Saint Patrick? Will the baptized of Ireland stop up their ears to the truth of the Gospel that he preached? Will the baptized of Ireland turn their backs to the burning and pierced Heart that once ruled over every hearth? Is the prophet’s mournful lamentation so soon forgotten? “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord thy God”?

It may well be Ireland’s eleventh hour, but God can, even in these last moments, give faith to the unbelieving and rekindle faith in hearts grown cold and hard. “For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcameth the world, our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Sermon for Low Sunday, 8 April 2018, Dom Mark Kirby, O.S.B.

Adze-head

Robinson, Frederick Cayley; The Landing of Saint Patrick in Ireland; Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.

Ticfa táilcend tar muir meircenn:
a bratt tollcend, a chrand cromchend:
a mías inairthiur a tigi:
fris[g]erat a múinter huili,
‘Amen, amen.’

Ticfat tailcind, conutsat ruama,
noifit cella, ceoltigi béndacha
ben[n]chopuir ili: fla[i]th himbachla.

Two years or three years before Patrick’s arrival, this is what they used to prophesy:–

Adzehead1 will come over a furious (?) sea;
His mantle head-holed, his staff crook-headed,
His dish in the east of his house.
All his household will answer
Amen, Amen!

Adzeheads will come, who will build cities,
Who will consecrate (?) churches, pinnacled music-houses,
Many conical caps (for belfries), a realm round croziers.

“So,” say they, “when these signs shall come our worship and our heathenism will be destroyed, and the faith and the belief will be magnified.” As, then, it was prophesied and figured, so it came to pass and was fulfilled.

— Bethu Phátraic (Vita tripartita Sancti Patricii).

Patrick (likewise his fellow clerics) is termed tálcend, a reference to his tonsure.

Dixit autem Dominus ad Abram: Egredere de terra tua, et de cognatione tua, et de domo patris tui, et veni in terram quam monstrabo tibi. Faciamque te in gentem magnam, et benedicam tibi, et magnificabo nomen tuum, erisque benedictus. Benedicam benedicentibus tibi, et maledicam maledicentibus tibi, atque in te benedicentur universæ cognationes terræ. Egressus est itaque Abram sicut præceperat ei Dominus, et ivit cum eo Lot: septuaginta quinque annorum erat Abram cum egrederetur de Haran. Tulitque Sarai uxorem suam, et Lot filium fratris sui, universamque substantiam quam possederant, et animas quas fecerant in Haran: et egressi sunt ut irent in terram Chanaan. Cumque venissent in eam, pertransivit Abram terram usque ad locum Sichem, usque ad convallem illustrem: Chananæus autem tunc erat in terra. Apparuit autem Dominus Abram, et dixit ei: Semini tuo dabo terram hanc. Qui ædificavit ibi altare Domino, qui apparuerat ei. Et inde transgrediens ad montem, qui erat contra orientem Bethel, tetendit ibi tabernaculum suum, ab occidente habens Bethel, et ab oriente Hai: ædificavit quoque ibi altare Domino, et invocavit nomen ejus.

Gen. xii. 1-8.

Seven Years Before the Day of Doom

Seachd bliadhna roimh ’n bhràth,
Thig muir air Eirinn ré aon tràth,
’S thar Ile ghuirm ghlais,
Ach snàmhaidh I Choluim Chléirich!

Seven years before that awful day,
When time shall be no more,
A dreadful deluge shall o’ersweep
Hibernia’s mossy shore.

The green-clad Isla, too, shall sink;
While, with the great and good,
Columba’s happier isle shall rear
Her towers above the flood.

Gaelic proverb; periphrastic translation by Dr. John Smith, Minister of Campbeltown, given in his Life of St. Columba (1798).

Literally:

Seven years before the Day of Doom (conflagration, destruction),
The sea shall come over Erin in one watch (time, season, period),
And over Islay, green, grassy (blue-green),
But float will Iona (Hy) of Columba the cleric.

These are the three prayers of Patrick, as they were delivered to us by the Hibernians, entreating that all should be received on the day of judgment, if we should repent even in the last days of our life.

  1. That he should not be shut up in hell.
  2. That barbarian nations should never have the rule over us.
  3. That no one shall conquer us, that is the Scots, before seven years previous to the day of judgment, because seven years before the judgment we shall be destroyed in the sea, this is the third.

Tírechán’s Collections Concerning St. Patrick, from the Book of Armagh (TCD MS 52), translated in Sir William Betham, Irish Antiquarian Researches, Vol. 1, Dublin: William Curry, Jun. and Co., 1827, p. 386.

In Four Things Like Unto Moses

St. Patrick kindles the Paschal Fire on the Hill of Slane, mosaic by Boris Anrep, Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland.
St. Patrick kindles the Paschal Fire on the Hill of Slane, mosaic by Boris Anrep, Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland.

In quatuor rebus similis fuit Moysi Patricius:

I. Primo, anguelum de rubo audivit:
II. quadraginta diebus et quadraginta noctibus ieiunavit:
III. quia annos centum viginti peregit in vita praesenti:
IIII. ubi sunt ossa eius nemo novit.

Duo hostes duodecim diebus corpus Sancti Patricii contenderunt et noctem inter se duodecim diebus non viderunt, sed diem semper et in duodecima die ad praelium venierunt, et corpus in grabato duo hostes viderunt apud se, et non pugnaverunt. Colombcille, Spiritu Sancto instigante, ostendit sepulturam Patricii, [et] ubi est confirmat, id est in Sabul Patricii, id est in aecclesia juxta mare proxima, ubi est conductio martirum, id est ossuum, Coluimb Cille de Britannia et conductio omnium sanctorum Hiberniae in die judicii.

(Two hostile hands contended during twelve days for the body of the blessed Patrick, and they saw no night intervene during these twelve days, but daylight always; and on the twelfth day they came to actual conflict; but the two hosts seeing the body on its bier with each party, gave up the conflict. Columcille, inspired by the Holy Ghost, pointed out the sepulchre of Patrick, and proves where it is; namely, in Saul of Patrick; that is, in the church nigh to the sea, where the gathering of the relics is — that is, of the bones of Coluincille from Britain, and the gathering of all the saints of Erin in the day of judgment.)

Book of Armagh, fo. 15, b. 2. from Whitley Stokes, Tripartite Life of Patrick, London, 1887.

“St. Quhalme”

St. Columba.
St. Columba.

The three names [SS. Patrick, Brigid, and Columba] have remained since that time inseparably united in the dauntless heart and fervent tenacious memory of the Irish people. It is to Columba that the oppressed and impoverished Irish seem to have appealed with the greatest confidence in the first English conquest in the twelfth century. The conquerors themselves feared him, not without reason, for they had learned to know his vengeance. John de Courcy, a warlike Anglo-Norman baron, he who was called the Conqueror (Conquestor) of Ulster, as William of Normandy of England, carried always with him the volume of Columba’s prophecies; and when the bodies of the three saints were found in his new possessions in 1180, he prayed the Holy See to celebrate their translation by the appointment of a solemn festival. Richard Strongbow, the famous Earl of Pembroke, who had been the first chief of the invasion, died of an uleer in the foot which had been inflicted upon him, according to the Irish narrative, at the prayer of St Bridget, St Columba, and other saints, whose churches he had destroyed. He himself said, when at the point of death, that he saw the sweet and noble Bridget lift her arm to pierce him to the heart. Hugh de Lacy, another Anglo-Norman chief of great lineage, perished at Durrow, “by the vengeance of Columb-cille,” says a chronicler, while he was engaged in building a castle to the injury of the abbey which Columba had founded and loved so much. A century after, this vengeance was still popularly dreaded, and some English pirates who had pillaged his church in the island of Inchcolm, having sunk like lead in sight of land, their countrymen said that he should be called not St. Columba but St. Quhalme — that is to say the saint of Sudden Death.

A nation has special need to believe in these vengeances of God, always so tardy and infrequent, and which, in Ireland, above all, have scarcely sufficed to light with a fugitive gleam the long night of the conquest, with all its iniquities and crimes. Happy are the people among whom the everlasting justice of the appeal against falsehood and evil is placed under the shadow of God and the saints; and blessed also the saints who have left to posterity the memory of their indignation against all injustice.

— Charles Forbes René, comte de Montalembert, The Conversion of England, Being a Sequel to the Monks of the West, Volume 1, Edinburgh (1872).

Three Bodies in One Grave

Frontispiece to Rev. James O'Leary's The Most Ancient Lives of Saint Patrick, New York, 1904.
Frontispiece to Rev. James O’Leary’s The Most Ancient Lives of Saint Patrick, New York, 1904.

They shall bury me first at Iona;
But, by the will of the living God,
It is at Dun that I shall rest in my grave,
With Patrick and with Bridget the immaculate.
Three bodies in one grave.

Prophecy of St. Columba.

Our Royall Prerogative

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury.
William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury.

INSTRUCTIONS FROM HIS SACRED MAJESTY TO THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS OF SCOTLAND. CHARLES REX.

That you advert that the Proclamation authorizing their Service Book derogate nothing from our Royall prerogative. That in the Kalendar you keep such Catholick Saints as are in the English; that you pester it not with too many; but such as you insert of the peculiar Saints of that our Kingdom, that they be of the most approved; and here to have regard to those of the Blood Royall and such Holy Bishops in every See most renouned. But in no case ommitt Saint George and Patrick. That in your Book of Orders, in giving Orders to Presbiters, you keep the words of the English Book, without change, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” &c. That you insert in the Lessons ordinarly to be Read in the Service, out of ye Book of Wisdome, the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Chapters; and out of the Book of Ecclesiasticus, the 1, 2, 5, 8, 35, and 49 Chapters. That every Bishop in his own family, twice a day, cause the Service to be done. That all A.Bishops and Bishops make all Universitys and Colledges within their Diocesses to use twice a day the Service. That the Preface to the Common Prayer, Signed by our hand, and the Proclamation authorizing the same, be Printed and inserted in the Book of Common Prayer.– Given at Newmarket, Oct. 8th, 1636, and of our Reigne the 11.

Relics of Patrick

The Bell of St. Patrick and its Shrine; Armagh, Ireland.
Shrine of the Bell of St. Patrick’s Will; National Museum of Ireland.

The relics of Patrick were enshrined sixty years after his death by Columcille. Three precious reliquaries were found in the tomb, sc. the Cup, the Angel’s Gospel, and the Bell of the Will. The angel directed Columcille to divide the three reliquaries thus: the Cup to Down, the Bell of the Will to Armagh, the Gospel of the Angel to Columcille himself. And it is called the Gospel of the Angel, because Columcille received it at the Angel’s hand.

Annals of Ulster, U553.3,
copied from a chronicle called the Book of Cuanu.

Except Ye Taste of Death

View of Rathcroghan ( Ráth Cruachan) mound from the south.  Near Tulsk in County Roscommon, Ireland, it is identified as the site of Cruachan, the traditional capital of the Connachta.
View of Rathcroghan (Ráth Cruachan) mound from the south. Near Tulsk in County Roscommon, Ireland, it is identified as the site of Cruachan, the traditional capital of the Connachta.

It appears that King Laoghaire had two daughters, named Ethne the fair, and Fedelm the ruddy. He had sent them, for what reason is not explained, to his relatives in Connaught, and placed them under the care of two Druids or magi, named Mael and Caplit. Patrick was at Crochan, or Cruachan, the royal cemetery of the kings of Ireland of the race of Herimon, and a very antient residence of the kings of Connaught, in the county of Roscommon. There was a well or fountain called Clebach, on the side of the fort, looking towards the east. There Patrick and his attendants assembled one morning at sunrise. He selected, perhaps, the place and hour with the hope of conciliating some Pagan superstitions. Tirechan says that the virgins found Patrick at the well with a synod of bishops, senodum sanctorum episcoporum; but it is probable that by this word our author means only an assembly or company, not a synod properly so called. It will be better, however, to tell the story in the exact words of that antient historian, translated as closely as possible : —

Then St. Patrick came to the well (ad fontem) which is called Clebach, on the sides of Crochan towards the east; and before sunrise they [i.e. Patrick and his followers] sat down near the well. And lo! the two daughters of King Laoghaire, Ethne the fair (alba), and Fedelm the ruddy (rufa), came early to the well, to wash, after the manner of women, and they found near the well a synod of holy Bishops with Patrick. And they knew not whence they were, or in what form, or from what people, or from what country; but they supposed them to be Duine Sidhe (viros Sidhe) or gods of the earth, or a phantasm.

And the virgins said unto them, “Where are ye? and whence come ye?”

And Patrick said unto them, “It were better for you to confess to our true God, than to enquire concerning our race.”

The first virgin said,

“Who is God?
“And where is God?
“And of what [nature] is God?
“And where is His dwelling-place?
“Has your God sons and daughters, gold and silver?
“Is He everliving?
“Is He beautiful?
“Did many foster His Son?
“Are His daughters dear and beauteous to men of the world?
“Is He in heaven or in earth?
“In the sea?
“In rivers?
“In mountainous places?
“In valleys?
“Declare unto us the knowledge of Him.
“How shall He be seen?
“How is He to be loved?
“How is He to be found?
“Is it in youth?
“Is it in old age, that He is to be found?”

But St. Patrick, full of the Holy Ghost, answered and said,

“Our God is the God of all men.
“The God of heaven and earth, of the sea and rivers.
“The God of the sun, the moon, and all stars.
“The God of the high mountains, and of the lowly valleys.
“The God who is above heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven.
“He hath a habitation in the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that are therein.
“He inspireth all things.
“He quickeneth all things.
“He is over all things.
“He sustaineth all things.
“He giveth light to the light of the sun.
“Lumen noctis et notitias valat.
“And He hath made springs in a dry ground,
“And dry islands in the sea,
“And hath appointed the stars to serve the greater lights.
“He hath a Son co-eternal and co-equal (consimilem) with Himself.
“The Son is not younger than the Father,
“Nor is the Father older than the Son,
“And the Holy Ghost breatheth in them (inflat in eis).
“The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are not divided (non separantur).
“But I desire to unite you to the Heavenly King, inasmuch as you are the daughters of an earthly King — to believe.”

And the virgins said, as with one mouth and one heart —

“Teach us most diligently how we may believe in the Heavenly King. Show us how we may see Him face to face, and whatsoever thou shalt say unto us, we will do.”

And Patrick said, “Believe ye that by baptism ye put off the sin of your father and your mother?” — They answered, “We believe.”

“Believe ye in repentance after sin?” — “We believe.”

“Believe ye in life after death? Believe ye the resurrection at the Day of Judgment?” — “We believe.”

“Believe ye the Unity of the Church?” — “We believe.”

And they were baptised; and a white garment put upon their heads.

And they asked to see the face of Christ. And the Saint said unto them, “Ye cannot see the face of Christ, except ye taste of death, and except ye receive the Sacrifice.”

And they answered, “Give us the Sacrifice, that we may behold the Son our Spouse.”

And they received the Eucharist of God, and they slept in death (dormierunt in morte).

And they were laid out on one bed, covered with garments: and [their friends] made great lamentation and weeping for them.

And the Magus Caplit, who had fostered one of them, came and wept, and Patrick preached unto him, and he believed, and the hairs of his head were taken off.

And his brother Mael came and said, “My brother hath believed in Patrick, but it shall not be so [with me]; yea, I shall bring him back to Paganism, and to Milthous.”

And he spake harsh words to Patrick, and Patrick spake to him and preached to him, and converted him to the repentance of God: and the hairs of his head were taken off — that is, the magical rule [which] was seen on his head, as is said, air bacc giunnæ†.

It was of him was spoken that most celebrated of all Scotic proverbs, “Calvus is become like Caplit.”

And they believed in God. And the days of mourning (ululationis) for the king’s daughters were accomplished, and they buried them near the well Clebach; and they made a circular ditch, like to a Ferta‡; because so the Scotic people and gentiles were used to do; but with us it is called Reliquiæ, that is, the remains of the virgins. And this Ferta was granted (immolata est) with the bones of the holy virgins to Patrick and to his heirs (heredibus) after him for ever. And he made a Church of earth in that place.

— An account from the Book of Armagh, as recounted in Dr. James Henthorn Todd’s St. Patrick Apostle of Ireland: A Memoir of His Life and Mission (1864).

Irish, “as a band (bond) of Gehenna (Hell)”
‡ a sepulchral mound of clay covered with grass

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.

Annales Cambriae

Page view from the Harleian manuscript of the Annals of Wales; British Library.
Page view from the Harleian manuscript of the Annals of Wales; British Library.
447 ‡ Days as dark as night.‡
453 Easter altered on the Lord’s Day by Pope Leo, Bishop of Rome.
454 St. Brigid is born.
457 St. Patrick goes to the Lord.
458 St. David is born in the thirtieth year after Patrick left Menevia.
468 The death of Bishop Benignus.
501 Bishop Ebur rests in Christ, he was 350 years old.
516 The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors.
521 St. Columba is born. The death of St. Brigid.
537 The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland.
544 The sleep [death] of Ciaran.
547 The great death [plague] in which Maelgwn, king of Gwynedd died. ‡Thus they say ‘The long sleep of Maelgwn in the court of Rhos’. Then was the yellow plague.‡
558 The death of Gabrán, son of Dungart.
562 Columba went to Britain.
565 ‡The voyage of Gildas to Ireland.‡
569 ‡The ‘Synod of Victory’ was held between the Britons.‡
570 Gildas ‡wisest of Britons‡ died.
573 The battle of Arfderydd ‡between the sons of Eliffer and Gwenddolau son of Ceidio; in which battle Gwenddolau fell; Merlin went mad.‡
574 The sleep [death] of Brendan of Birr.
580 Gwrgi and Peredur ‡sons of Elifert‡ died.
584 Battle against the Isle of Man and the burial of Daniel of the Bangors.
589 The conversion of Constantine [king of Britain] to the Lord.
594 ‡Aethelbert reigned in England.‡
595 The death of Columba.
The death of king Dunod ‡son of Pabo.‡
Augustine and Mellitus converted the English to Christ.
601 The synod of Urbs Legionis [Chester].
Gregory died in Christ and also bishop David of Moni Iudeorum.
606 The burial of bishop Cynog.
607 The death of Aidan son of Gabrán
612 The death of Kentigern and bishop Dyfrig.
613 The battle of Caer Legion [Chester]. And there died Selyf son of Cynan. And Iago son of Beli slept [died].
616 Ceredig died.
617 Edwin begins his reign.
624 The sun is covered [eclipsed].
626 Edwin is baptized, and Rhun son of Urien baptized him.
627 Belin dies.
629 The beseiging of king Cadwallon in the island of Glannauc.
630 Gwyddgar comes and does not return. On the Kalends of January the battle of Meigen; and there Edwin was killed with his two sons; but Cadwallon was the victor.
631 The battle of Cantscaul in which Cadwallon fell.
632 The slaughter of the [river] Severn and the death of Idris.
644 The battle of Cogfry in which Oswald king of the Northmen and Eawa king of the Mercians fell.
645 The hammering of the region of Dyfed, when the monastery of David was burnt.
649 ‡Slaughter in Gwent.‡
650 The rising of a star.
656 The slaughter of Campus Gaius.
657 Penda killed.
658 Oswy came and took plunder.
661 Cummine the tall died.
662 Brocmail ‡the tusked ‡ dies.
665 The first celebration of Easter among the Saxons. The second battle of Badon. Morgan dies.
669 Oswy, king of the Saxons, dies.
676 A star of marvelous brightness was seen shining throughout the whole world.
682 A great plague in Britain, in which Cadwaladr son of Cadwallon dies.
683 A plague ‡was‡ in Ireland.
684 A great earthquake in the Isle of Man.
689 The rain turned to blood in Britain, and ‡in Ireland‡ milk and butter turned to blood.
704 Aldfrith king of the Saxons died. The sleep of Adomnán.
714 Night was as bright as day. Pepin the elder [actually Pepin II, of Heristal], king of the Franks, died in Christ.
717 Osred king of the Saxons dies.
718 The consecration of the church of the archangel Michael ‡on mount Gargano.‡
721 A hot summer.
722 Beli son of Elffin dies. And the battle of Hehil among the Cornish, the battle of Garth Maelog, the battle of Pencon among the south Britons, and the Britons were the victors in those three battles.
728 The battle of mount Carno.
735 Bede the priest sleeps.
736 Oengus king of the Picts died.
750 Battle between the Picts and the Briton, that is the battle of Mocetauc. And their king Talorgan is killed by the Britions.
754 Rhodri king of the Britons dies.
757 Ethelbalk king of the Saxons dies.
760 A battle between the Britons and the Saxons, that is the battle of Hereford and Dyfnwal son of Tewdwr dies.
768 Easter is changed among the Britons ‡on the Lord’s day ‡, Elfoddw, servant of God, emending it.
775 Ffernfael son of Ithael dies.
776 Cinaed king of the Picts dies.
777 Abbot Cuthbert dies.
778 The devastation of the South Britons by Offa.
784 The devastation of Britain by Offa in the summer.
796 ‡Devastation by Rheinwg son of Offa ‡ The first coming of the gentiles [Norsemen] among the southern Irish.
797 Offa king of the Mercians and Maredudd king of the Demetians die, and the battle of Rhuddlan.
798 Caradog king of Gwynedd is killed by the Saxons.
807 Arthen king of Ceredigion dies. ‡Solar eclipse‡
808 Rhain king of the Demetians and Cadell ‡king‡ of Powys die.
809 Elfoddw archbishop in the Gwynedd region went to the Lord.
810 ‡The moon covered ‡. Mynyw burnt. ‡Death of cattle in Britain.‡
811 Owain son of Maredudd dies.
812 The fortress of Degannwy is struck by lightning and burnt.
813 Battle between Hywel ‡and Cynan. Hywel‡ was the victor.
814 There was great thunder and it caused many fires. Tryffin son of Rhain died. And Gruffydd son of Cyngen is killed by treachery by his brother Elisedd after an interval of two months. Hywel triumphed over the island of Mona and he drove Cynan from there with a great loss of his own army.
816 Hywel was again expelled from Mona. Cynan the king dies. ‡Saxons invaded the mountains of Eryri and the kingdom of Rhufoniog‡.
817 The battle of Llan-faes.
818 ‡Cenwulf devastated the Dyfed region.‡
822 The fortress of Degannwy is destroyed by the Saxons and they took the kingdom of Powys into their own control.
825 Hywel dies.
831 ‡Lunar eclipse.‡ Laudent died and Sadyrnfyw Hael of Mynyw died.
840 Nobis the bishop ruled Mynyw.
842 Idwallon dies.
844 Merfyn dies. The battle of Cetill.
848 The battle of Ffinnant. Ithael king of Gwent was killed by the men of Brycheiniog.
849 Meurig was killed by Saxons.
850 Cynin is killed by the gentiles.
853 Mona laid waste by black gentiles.
856 Kenneth king of the Picts died. And Jonathan prince of Abergele dies.
860 Catgueithen was expelled.
864 Duda laid Glywysing waste.
865 Cian of Nanhyfer died.
866 The city of York was laid waste, that is the battle with the black gentiles.
869 The battle of Bryn Onnen.
870 The fortress of Alt Clud was broken by the gentiles.
871 Gwgon king of Ceredigion was drowned.
873 Nobis ‡the bishop‡ and Meurig die. The battle of Bannguolou.
874 ‡Llunferth the bishop consecrated.‡
875 Dungarth king of Cernyw ‡that is of the Cornish‡ was drowned.
876 The battle of Sunday in Mona.
877 Rhodri and his son Gwriad is killed by the Saxons.
878 Aed son of Neill dies.
880 The battle of Conwy. Vengeance for Rhodri at God’s hand. ‡The battle of Cynan.‡
882 Catgueithen died.
885 Hywel died in Rome.
887 Cerball died.
889 Suibne the wisest of the Irish died.
892 Hyfaidd dies.
894 Anarawd came with the Angles and laid waste Ceredigion and Ystrad Tywi.
895 The Northmen came and laid waste Lloegr and Bycheiniog and Gwent and Gwynllywiog.
896 ‡Bread failed in Ireland. Vermin like moles with two teeth fell from the air and ate everything up; they were driven out by fasting and prayer.‡
898 ‡Athelstan king of the Saxons died.‡
900 Alfred king of the Gewissi dies.
902 Igmund came to Mona and took Maes Osfeilion.
903 ‡Merfyn son of Rhodri died and ‡ Llywarch son of Hyfaidd dies.
904 Rhodri ‡sone of Hyfaidd ‡ was beheaded in Arwystli.
906 The battle of Dinmeir and Mynyw was broken.
907 ‡Bishop ‡ Gorchywyl dies ‡ and king Cormac‡.
908 ‡Bishop ‡ Asser died.
909 King Cadell son of Rhodri dies.
913 Ohter comes ‡to Britain‡.
915 Anarawd king ‡of the Britons‡ dies.
917 Queen Aethelflaed died.
919 King Clydog was killed.
921 The battle of Dinas Newydd.
928 Hywel journeyed to Rome. ‡Helen died.‡
935 ‡Gruffydd son of Owain died.‡
938 The battle of Brune.
939 Hyfaidd son of Clydog, and Meurig, died.
941 Aethelstan ‡king of the Saxons‡ died.
942 King Afloeg dies.
943 Cadell son of Arthfael was poisoned. And Idwal ‡son of Rhodri ‡ and his son Elisedd are killed by the Saxons.
944 Llunferth bishop in Mynyw died.
945 ‡Bishop Morlais died.‡
946 Cyngen son of Elisedd was poisoned. And Eneuris bishop in Mynyw died. And strathclyde was laid wasted by the Saxons.
947 Edmund king of the Saxons was killed.
950 Hywel king of the Britons ‡called the Good‡ died.
951 And Cadwgan son of Owain is killed by the Saxons. And the battle of Carno ‡between the sons of Hywel and the sons of Idwal‡.
952 ‡Iago and Idwal the sons of Idwal laid Dyfed waste.‡
954 Rhodri son of Hywel dies.

— Ingram, James, translator. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. London: Everyman Press, 1912.

The primary text of the above translation is taken from the Harleian manuscript (a.k.a. MS. A — London, British Library, MS. Harleian 3859, folios 190r-193r.), the earliest copy of the Annales Cambriae which has survived. The text enclosed within the “‡” symbols are entries which are not found in the Harleian manuscript, but which appear in a later version.

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.