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Confessio - St Patrick's Confession

Updated on May 19, 2013

Confessio St Patrick

Confessio is St Patricks Confession, and Autobiography

St. Patrick's Day is well known as a day for partying, and all things green!

However not much is widely known about the Saint himself.

A lot of people have heard about the confession of St Patrick, but not so many have actually seen or read it. It is believed to have been written somewhere around 450 A.D. Certainly by St. Patrick himself, in a letter, written in Latin

It was translated In 1945 into English.

It is in the form of a self-deprecating confession, as well as autobiography.

Shamrock as Trinity


St Patrick, Priest and Bishop

St Patrick's use of the Shamrock to represent the Trinity in his sermons, is what led the Shamrock to be so widely associated with Ireland, and St Patrick's Day in particular.

He was ordained first as a priest, then as a bishop, and is thought to be one of the first to bring Christianity to Ireland.

The Confession

St Patrick's confession tells how he was kidnapped at 16, sold into slavery, and eventually escaped. He attributes these experiences to his lack of faith. A prophetic dream, and the resulting faith, saw him return to Ireland as a missionary, in 432 A.D.

The famous story of how he drove snakes out of Ireland, is thought to be an allegory, representing how he converted pagans to Christians. Historians suggest that the stakes represented evil, the evil being the pagans. Although the fable suggested that he stood on a hill with a wooden staff, and physically sent the snakes into the sea, and insisted they would never return to Ireland.

St. Patrick was born In 389 A.D. And died on 17 March 460 A.D., hence the celebrations on that day.

St Patrick's Day has been celebrated in the USA since1737, as it was also the day that the British left Boston.

People now have St Patricks day parties all over the world.


The Confession, or Confessio, can be read on various sites on the internet, if you want to read it in it's entirety. Read the whole thing in it's English translation, on the Catholic Information Network.


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