Friday, March 15, 2013

St. Patrick—Catholic or Sabbath Keeper?

The Rest of the Story

Maewyn Succat, Feed My Irish Sheep!

Most people have heard that Patrick was an Irish Catholic who drove the snakes out of Ireland. The truth about Patrick (which wasn’t even his real name) is far more exciting than the fiction! Further, he was neither Catholic nor Irish!

Below are some quotations derived from two web sites acknowledged belo:


“There is strong evidence that Patrick had no Roman commission in Ireland ... As Patrick's churches in Ireland, like their brethren in Britain, repudiated the supremacy of the popes, all knowledge of the conversion of Ireland through his ministry must be suppressed [by Rome] .... There is not a written word from one of them [Roman sources] rejoicing over Patrick's additions to their church, showing clearly that he was not a Roman missionary .... Prosper does not notice Patrick .... He says nothing of the greatest success ever given to a missionary of Christ, apparently because he [Patrick] was not a Romanist .... Bede never speaks of St. Patrick in his celebrated 'Ecclesiastical History' .... So completely buried was Patrick and his work by popes and other Roman Catholics, that in their epistles and larger publications, his name does not once occur in one of them until A.D. 634.” (William Cathcart, D.D., The Ancient British and Irish Churches, pp.83-85)

"It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week.” (James C. Moffatt, D.D., The Church in Scotland, Philadelphia: 1882, p.140)

“In this latter instance they seemed to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early monastic church of Ireland by which they held Saturday to be the Sabbath on which they rested from all their labours.” (W.T. Skene, Adamnan Life of St. Columba, 1874, p.96)

“The youth in the Culdee [Celtic Assembly in Scotland circa the 6th century] schools clung to the fundamental Christian doctrines, such as the divinity of Christ, baptism, the atonement, inspiration of the Scriptures, the prophecies connected with the last days. They did not accept the doctrines of infallibility, celibacy, transubstantiation, the confessional, the mass, relic worship, image adoration, and the primacy of Peter” (Truth Triumphant, Wilkinson, p.108).

“Two centuries elapsed after Patrick's death before any writer attempted to connect Patrick's work with a papal commission. No pope ever mentioned him, neither is there anything in the ecclesiastical records of Rome concerning him. ... Patrick preached the Bible. He appealed to it as the sole authority for founding the Irish Church. He gave credit to no other worldly authority; he recited no creed. Several official creeds of the church at Rome had by that time been ratified and commanded, but Patrick mentions none. In his Confession he makes a brief statement of his beliefs, but he does not refer to any church council or creed as authority. The training centers he founded, which later grew into colleges and large universities, were all Bible schools. Famous students of these schools—Columba, who brought Scotland to Christ, Aidan, who won pagan England to the gospel, and Columbanus with his successors, who brought Christianity to Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy—took the Bible as their only authority, and founded renowned Bible training centers for the Christian believers .... Patrick, like his example, Jesus, put the words of Scripture above the teachings of men. He differed from the Papacy, which puts church tradition above the Bible. In his writings he nowhere appeals to the church at Rome for the authorization of his mission. Whenever he speaks in defense of his mission, he refers to God alone, and declares that he received his call direct from heaven.” (Truth Triumphant, pp.82-84)

“... Many legends grew up about this popular saint. One of the best known is that he charmed the snakes of Ireland down to the seashore so they were driven into the water and drowned. Much else that is told of Saint Patrick is little more than legend. He left a sort of autobiography in his Confession, written in crude Latin .... Much study has been given to Saint Patrick, but little that goes beyond the testimony of his own writings can be accepted as certain...” —World Book Encyclopedia: under “Patrick, Saint”

“The Roman Catholics have proudly and exclusively claimed St. Patrick, and most Protestants have ignorantly or indifferently allowed their claim ....But he was no Romanist. His life and evangelical Church of the 5th century ought to be better known.” (McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. VII, p.776; article: Patrick, St.)

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