Are all the Irish ready to meet St Patrick? St Patrick: "I myself will sit in judgment over the men of Ireland."


Saint Patrick's Vigil on the Reek: 441 AD.

The following is the true account of Saint Patrick's Vigil on the holy Mountain of Ireland over the Lenten Season of 441AD. It is recorded, among other places, in the book known as "The Tripartite Life of Patrick" based on the account by his nephew… As will happen, some of the later stories embroider the original narrative, sometimes with rather silly episodes…. If any proof were needed, if anybody will not accept the testimony of witnesses, the proof lies in the subsequent 1550 years of Irish history. In the words of the psalm: "He hath not done thus for every
nation"….
And now Patrick travelled West to the townland of Achaghower - "Achadh Fhobhair" "The field of the Springs". . . He stayed there some days and wished to remain there.
"Here, in this little land Between the mountain and the lake I could find content. Having travelled over so many mountains and lochs I am weary at last And would rest from my labours." But Victor, his Guardian Angel, replied, "Still you shall go on. Still you shall travel other hills and lochs. Though you have travelled many mountains and lochs. Even though you are weary, still your work shall go on".
And so Patrick left the narrow land of Achaghower and travelled into the West…. Now in Pagan days the conical mountain at the end of the world was called Cruachan Aigle, the Eagle's Peak. Now it is Cruach Pádraig, Croagh Patrick, Patrick's Mountain, often called 'The Reek" (an old word for a conical mountain)….
It is impossible to describe the perfection of this holy mountain…. Impossibly steep, and in contrast to the Parthenon, so immovably and somehow heartbreakingly part of the living rock and at one with the ever-changing Mayo sky - where it can rain five times in one day and show two rainbows in winter gold sunshine… In the morning, with the sun shining on the Reek from the East, the white gleaming speck at the summit reveals the chapel built in the nineteenth century…. Suffice it to say that nobody has ever questioned why Patrick should choose this arena upon which to wage his decisive Battle for the Soul of Ireland.
"And Patrick remained on the summit, without food, without water, from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, interceding for the men of Ireland night and day, and he slept in a hollow of the living rock on the summit, open to the gales; and he was grievously tormented during this time by demons in the form of hideous black birds. He sang valedictory psalms against them; but still they came on. He rang his bell against them [which had sacramental power], so that all the men of Ireland heard its voice; but still they came on… But now Patrick was overcome with grief and sank down upon a rock, and his tears overflowed onto his chasuble.
But the Angel came to him, and dried up his tears, and informed him that Heaven was of a mind to look favourably upon his petitions, although he was obstinate and excessive in his demands. And now, after the demon birds had departed, Patrick was granted a
vision of an endless flock of beautiful white birds, who filled all the air and the sky with their beautiful forms and their gentle notes. "These," said the angel, "all the birds you can see from here landwards, are the souls of all the Irish you shall save for Eternal
Life on the Last Day".
"That is not much of a boon", replied Patrick, "for my eyes grow dim with age".
"Very well," replied the angel, "All the birds you see to landward and to seaward also: all these will be saved by thy merits on the Day of Doom".
"Since I have been so grievously tormented," said Patrick, "I must have more."
"Very well," replied the angel. "Three souls for every thread of your chasuble will be saved from Eternal Fire on the Last Day".
"Why, any saint could get that much," said Patrick.
"Very well, " said the angel, "Twelve souls for every thread of your chasuble to be saved from the Eternal Fire on the Last Day".
You would have thought this was a boon indeed; but Patrick replied,
"Since I have been so tormented, I must have more for Ireland than that".
"Very well", replied the Angel, "This too is granted thee: a great sea shall cover Ireland seven years before the Last Day; and so the men of Ireland will be spared the reign of the Antichrist. You have petitioned and you have been granted; and you begin to weary Heaven
with your importunity. Now get you down from the Reek".
"Not yet!" replied Patrick. I must have more."
"What do you want?" asked the angel….
"Not yet!" said Patrick. Since I have been so tormented, I must have more".
"Very well," replied the angel. "Whoever will recite your Prayer "I bind unto myself today" to the end, shall be saved from the Eternal Fire".
"The prayer is long and difficult", said Patrick.
"Very well. Whoever says the prayer from 'Christ be beside me' to the end, and whoever does penance in Ireland, will be saved from the Eternal Fire. Now get ye down from the Reek."
"Not yet!" said Patrick. Since I have been so tormented, I must have more".
"What more would you have?" asked the angel.
"This: that when the Last Trumpet sounds, and the dead are gathered, and the Twelve Apostles sit in judgment on the Twelve Tribes of Israel, that I myself will sit in judgment over the men of Ireland."
"But that surely cannot be obtained from God," said the angel.
"I will never cease praying here on the Reek for this," said Patrick, "and if I die, I will leave another here after me."
The Angel went to Heaven to present these petitions to the Heavenly Court. Patrick offered Holy Mass there on the summit while he waited for the reply. At length the angel returned and said, "All the hosts of Heaven have interceded on thy behalf. Thou hast striven and hast prevailed. Thou art the most excellent man that has walked on the earth since the Apostles, except for thy excessive obduracy. Down on thy knees; Strike thy bell. And all the men of Ireland until the Last Day will be consecrated to God through thy merits.
"A blessing on the bountiful God who has granted all," said Patrick. Thou art the most excellent man that has walked on the earth since the Apostles "And now, I leave the Reek."

From "The Life and Writings of Saint Patrick" by Archbishop Healy
PS - In answer to the question in the headline; I know that I'm not ready to meet St Patrick...yet!

Comments

  1. I loved this! I wonder if he's going to judge an Irish girl with an Italian mother... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Maria,
    I'd say St Patrick will look into everyone who has Irish genes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "But Victor, his Guardian Angel, replied ..."

    Well, I've learnt something new today. An Angel called Victor!

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Victor,
    In fact - I have been told - but need to check sources on this that Victor, the guardian angel of St Patrick is now the guardian angel of the entire island of Ireland! Just like the guardian angel of Portugal visted the three children of Fatima, Ireland has a guardian angel that protects it, and many call him 'Victor'. Great name you have!

    ReplyDelete

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