Tírechán's text in English (transl. L. Bieler)


Bishop Tírechán has written this, based on the words and the book of bishop Ultán, whose fosterling and pupil he was.


(1) I have found four names for Patrick written in a book in the hands of Ultán, bishop of Connor: the saint (was named) Magonus, that is: famous, Succetus, that is: <god of war; Patricius, that is:> father of the citizens; Cothirthiacus, because he served four houses of druids;(2) and one of them, by name Miliuc moccu Bóin, a druid, bought him, and he served him for seven years in all submission and in work of all kinds, and he made him a swineherd in the mountain valleys. (3) Then an angel of the Lord visited him in his dreams on the mountain top of Scirit beside Slíab Miss.(4) When the angel had finished telling him 'Behold, thy ship (is) ready: arise and walk' and returned from him to heaven, he arose and walked, as the angel of the Lord, Victor by name, had told him. (5) In the seventeenth year of his age he was taken into captivity (and) sold in Ireland. In his twenty-second year he was enabled to leave the service of druids.(6) Seven other years he walked and sailed on water, in plains, and in mountain valleys throughout Gaul and the whole of Italy and the islands in the Tyrrhene Sea, as he himself said in an account of his labours. In one of these islands, which is called Aralanensis, he stayed for thirty years, as bishop Ultán testified to me. (7) You will find all that happened to him written in the straightforward story of his life. These are the latest of his wondrous deeds, accomplished and happily performed in the fifth year of the reign of Loíguire son of Níall.


From the passion of Christ to the death of Patrick one counts 433 years. Loíguire, however, (still) reigned for two or five years after Patrick's death. The length of his reign, however, we conjecture, was thirty-six years.


Patrick came with his Gauls to the islands of Moccu Chor and to the eastern island, which is called Patrick's Island, and with him there was a great number of holy bishops, priests, deacons, exorcists, janitors, and lectors, and of the sons he had ordained.


He went on land in Mag Breg at sunrise, with the blessing of God, with the true sun of wondrous doctrine, enlightening the thick darkness of ignorance. As a great lightbearer the holy bishop rose over Ireland, and all the time from one end (of a psalm) to the other (he recited) the refrain 'In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'. This is called in the Irish language Ochen Ísu Crist.


(1) First he came to the valley of Sescnán and built his first church there and took along with him the son (of Sescnán), the bishop named Sesceneus, and left two foreign boys there.(2) In the evening he came to the estuary of Ailbine to a certain (naturally) good man and baptized him, and he found with him a son to whom he took a liking, and he gave him the name Benignus,(3) because he took Patrick's feet between his hands and his chest and would not sleep with his father and mother, but wept unless he would (be allowed to) sleep with Patrick.(4) When in the morning they got up and Patrick, having blessed the father of Benignus, was about to mount his chariot, with one foot in the chariot and the other on the ground, Benignus held on to Patrick's foot with his outstretched hands and exclaimed: 'Allow me to be with Patrick, my real father', and Patrick said: 'Baptize him and lift him up into my chariot, for he is the heir of my kingdom.' This is bishop Benignus, Patrick's successor in the church of Armagh.


(1) Concerning the number of bishops whom he consecrated in Ireland, (that is,) 450. As regards priests, we cannot give a number, because he baptized people daily and read the letters to them and wrote alphabet-tables for them, and of some of them he made bishops and priests, who at a sober age (had ?) received baptism.


Concerning bishops

  • Benignus
  • Bronus
  • Sachellus
  • Cethiacus
  • Carthacus
  • Cartenus
  • Connanus
  • Firtranus
  • Siggeus
  • Aeternus
  • Sencaticus
  • Olcanus
  • Iborus
  • Ordius
  • Nazarius
  • Miserneus
  • Senachus
  • Secundinus
  • Gosachtus
  • Camulacus
  • Auxilius
  • Victoricus
  • Bressialus
  • Feccus
  • Menathus




  • Cennannus
  • Nazarus
  • Melus
  • Maceleus
  • Mactaleus
  • Culeneus
  • Asacus
  • Bitheus
  • Falertus
  • Sesceneus
  • Muirethachus Temoreris, who founded the holy church of Carrac, which was held by the community of Cluain Auiss (Clones)
  • Daigreus
  • Iustianus mac Híi
  • Daiméne
  • Olcanus
  • Domnallus and very many others



Concerning priests

  • Anicius
  • Brocidius
  • Amirgenus
  • Lommanus
  • Catideus
  • Catus
  • Catanus
  • Broscus
  • Ailbeus
  • Trianus the bishop





On the names of the Franks of Patrick Three bishops:

  • Inaepius
  • Bernicius
  • Hernicius the sub-deacon
  • Seman
  • Semen
  • Cancen
  • Bernicius the deacon
  • and Ernicius,Franks, fifteen men with one sister or six or three
  • Cassanus
  • Conlang
  • Erclang
  • Brocanus
  • Roddanus
  • Brigsón and another Roddanus, who founded the church (called) Senchell of the Uí Ailello, which was held by the monks of Patrick Gengen and Sannuch



Concerning deacons

  • Deacon Iuostus, who baptized Ceranus the wright's son out of the book of Patrick;
  • deacon Coimmanus, dear to Patrick, who was (in charge of) the great church Ard Licce;
  • Olcanus the monk, who was priest in the great oratory of Múad; two exorcists with him: the exorcists Losca in Druim Dairi


in the territory of the Uí Tuirtri, another exorcist in Mag Liphi.



(1) On the churches which (Patrick) founded in Mag Breg. First, On the Hilltop; ii. the church of Cerne, in which is buried Ercc, who suffered (?) a great plague; .iii. on the hills of Aisse; .iiii. in Blaitine; .u. at Serin Columcille, in which he consecrated the holy bishop Eugenius; .ui. a church for the son of Lathphe; .uii. in Bridam, in which there was holy Dulcis, brother of Carthacus; (2) .uiii. on Argetbor, where was bishop Kannanus, whom Patrick ordained on his first Easter at the Burial-Ground of Fíacc's Men (Slane), and who carried with him the first blessed fire and the lighted candles (received) from the hands of the lord Patrick,(3) so as to kindle the blessed smoke (incense) (which went) into the eyes and nostrils of king Loíguire and his druids; for (Patrick) was opposed by two druids, brothers begotten of one man, named Cruth and Lochlethlanu, of the Dál Runtir, who started a great fight against Patrick and Benignus.(4) The chasuble of the druid was burnt about the body of Benignus and reduced to ashes. The holy boy was saved by his firm faith in God in the presence of the king, the people, and the druids, but the chasuble of Benignus, Patrick's (spiritual) son, was worn by the druid, and the druid was burnt to death in it, and Patrick said: 'In this hour all paganism in Ireland has been destroyed.' (5) And Patrick raised his hands to God because of the druid Lochletheneus and said: 'My Lord, cast out from my presence this dog, who barks at your face and at me; may he go to his death.' (6) And all saw the druid being lifted up through the darkness of night almost to the sky, and when he came down again, his body, frozen with hailstones and snow mixed with sparks of fire, fell to the ground in the sight of all; and (the druid's) stone is in the south-eastern parts of Tara to the present day, and I have seen it with my own eyes.


(1) On the first day (of Easter) he came to Tailtiu, where there is (held) a royal assembly, to Coirpriticus son of Níall, who intended to kill him and scourged his servants in the river Séle to make them point out Patrick to Coirpriticus; (2) for this reason Patrick used to call him an enemy of God and told him: 'Thy seed shall serve the seed of thy brothers, and there shall be no king of thy lineage for ever; and the fish in the river Séle shall never be of any size.'


(1) Then he came to Conall son of Níall, to his house which he had built in the place where there is now the Great Church of Patrick,(2) and (Conall) received him very hospitably and he baptized him, and established his throne for ever, and said to him:(3) 'The seed of thy brother shall serve thy seed for ever. And thou must give alms to my heirs after me for ever, and thy sons and (the sons) of thy sons must pay perpetual dues to my sons in the Faith for ever.'(4) (Conall) measured a church, sixty foot (in length), with his own feet for Patrick's God, and Patrick said: 'If this church is encroached upon, thy reign shall be neither long nor stable.'


On the Close of Easter, when Sunday was over, he went out to the Ford of the Mill and founded a church there, in which he left three brothers and one sister; and these are their names: Cathaceus, Cathurus, Catneus, and their sister Catnea, who drew milk from wild hinds, as old men have told me.


(1) And he proceeded again to the city of Tara to Loíguire son of Níall, because he made a pact with him that he should not be killed within his realm; but (Loíguire) could not accept the faith, saying:(2) 'My father Níall did not allow me to accept the faith, but bade me to be buried on the ridges of Tara, I son of Níall and the sons of Dúnlang in Maistiu in Mag Liphi, face to face (with each other) in the manner of men at war' (for the pagans, armed in their tombs, have their weapons ready) until the day of erdathe (as the druids call it, that is, the day of the Lord's judgement), because of such fierceness of our (mutual) hatred.'


(1) He further founded a church at Carrac Dagri and another church in Mruig Túaithe, and he wrote an alphabet for Cerpanus; and he entered the king's palace and they did not rise before him except one man only, Ere, (still) a worshipper of idols,(2) and Patrick said to him: 'Why did you alone rise before me in honour of my God?' and Erc said to him: 'How strange, I see sparks of fire rising from your lips to my lips.' (3) The holy man also said: 'Will you receive the baptism of my lord, which I bring with me?' He answered: 'I will receive it', and they went to the well of Loígles in Irish, in our language 'Calf of the Cities'. (4) And when he had opened the book and baptized the man named Erc, he heard men behind his back laughing at him together because of that action, for they did not understand what he had done; and he baptized many thousand men on that day.


(1) And during the remaining sentences of the baptismal rite he heard the voices of people talking. Behold, two noblemen were talking to each other behind his back, and the one said to the other: 'Is it true that this time last year you said you would come here in these days? Please, tell me your name and the name of your father and of your territory and of your lands, and where your house is.'(2) (The other) answered: 'I am Énde son of Amolngid son of Fíachrae son of Echu, from the western district, Mag Domnon and the Wood of Fochloth.' (3) When Patrick had heard the name of the Wood of Fochloth, he felt great joy and said to Énde son of Amolngid: 'I shall go out with you, if I am alive, because the Lord told me to go there.' (4) Énde said to him: 'You shall not go out with me, or we both may be killed.' The holy man said: 'On the contrary, you shall not reach your region alive either unless I come with you, and you shall not have life everlasting, for you have come here because of me as Joseph came before the sons of Israel.'(5) Énde said to Patrick: 'Give baptism to my son, for he is of tender age; but I and my brothers cannot accept the faith from you until we have come to our people, for fear they might laugh at us.' (6) Conall was then baptized, and Patrick bestowed a blessing on him and took him by his hand and gave him to bishop Cethiachus, and Cethiachus brought him up and taught him, and so did Mucneus, brother of bishop Cethiachus, whose relics are in Patrick's great church in the Wood of Fochloth. (7) For this reason Cethiachus entrusted his monastery to Conall, and it belongs to his family to the present day, because Conall was (still) a layman after holy Cethiachus had died.


(1) Six sons of Amolngid came before Loíguire for judgement, and opposing them Énde alone and his small son and Patrick before them (i.e. on their behalf?), and they examined the case of their inheritance, and Loíguire and Patrick passed judgement that they should divide their inheritance into seven parts. (2) And Énde said: 'I offer my son and my share in the inheritance to Patrick's God and to Patrick.' It is for this reason, some say, that we are servants of Patrick to the present day.(3) Patrick and the sons of Amolngid, with their lay vassals and holy bishops, concluded a treaty, with Loíguire son of Níall as guarantor, pledging to travel (together) to Mons Aigli, (4) and Patrick also agreed to pay the price of fifteen men (as he states in his writing), in silver and gold, so that no wicked person should obstruct them, travelling right across all Ireland,(5) for by necessity they had to arrive at the Wood of Fochloth before the end of a year's time, at the second Easter, because of the children crying with a loud voice, whose voices he had heard from their mothers' womb, saying: 'Come, holy Patrick, to save us.'


(1) Patrick established a church at Áth Segi, and another one, of holy Cinnena, at Áth Carnói in the Boyne, and another on Coirp raithe, and another at the Moat of Dallbronach, which was held by bishop Mac Cairthin, an uncle of holy Brigit. (2) He founded another (church) in Mag Echredd, another one in Mag Taidcni, which is called Cell Bile (it now belongs to the community of Scíre), another in Mag Echnach, the place of the priest Cassanus, (3) another in Singite, another in Mag Bili beside the Ford of the Dog's Head, another on Carmell's Head in Mag Teloch, where holy Brigit received the veil from the hands of Mac Caille in Uisnech in Meath. (4) He stayed at Coithrige's Stone, but some of his foreign companions were killed by the son of Fíachu son of Níall; (Patrick) cursed him, saying: 'There shall be no king from thy progeny, but thou shalt serve the seed of thy brothers.' (5) And (he founded) another church on Art's Head in Corcu Roide, to which he gave a stone altar, and another one in Cúl Corrae. (6) And crossing the river Ethne he came to the two Tethbi and consecrated bishop Mel, and then founded the church of Bile and consecrated Gósacht son of Miliuc moccu Bóin, whom he had brought up during his seven years' servitude, (7) and he sent Camulacus of the Comienses to Mag Cumi and with his finger pointed out to him the place from the hill of Granard, that is, the church of Raithen. (8) And he came to Mag Réin and ordained Bruscus a priest and founded a church for him; Bruscus said something extraordinary after his death to another holy man, who was in the monastery of the family of Cothirbe:(9) 'All is well with you because you have a son; I loathe my death because I am alone in a solitary church, a church deserted and empty, and no priests offer beside me.' (10) For three nights (the holy man) had this dream; on the third day he got up, took … and an iron shovel and dug up the moat of the grave and took the bones of holy Bruscus with him to the monastery where they (now) are, and (Bruscus) spoke no more.


(1) Patrick sent Nie Brain to the Moat of Slecht; (he was) a native close to Patrick, who made miraculous true prophecies (inspired) by God.(2) Patrick came to a lake in the Shannon, to the place where his charioteer Boidmal had died, and he is buried there in what is called Boidmal's Wood to this day, and it had been given to Patrick. This is the end of the first book, (deeds) performed in the territory of the Uí Néill. Here begins the second book, (deeds) performed in the regions of Connaught.


(1) You know that all the things I have written from the beginning of this work have taken place in your own regions, except that I have related a few, relevant to my enterprise, which I learnt from many elders and from the said bishop Ultán Moccu Conchubair who fostered me. (2) However, my heart within me is filled with the (sorrowing) love for Patrick, because I see deserters and arch-robbers and war-lords of Ireland hate Patrick's territorial supremacy, because they have taken away from him what was his and are afraid; for if an heir of Patrick were to investigate his supremacy he could vindicate for him almost the whole island as his domain,(3) because i. God gave him the whole island with its people through an angel of the Lord, ii. and he taught them the law of the Lord, iii. and baptized them with God's baptism, iiii. and made known to them the cross of Christ, and preached His resurrection;(4) they, however, do not love his community because i. it is not permitted to swear against him, ii. or overswear him, iii. or swear concerning him, iiii. and it is not permitted to draw lots with him, because all the primitive churches of Ireland are his; on the contrary, he overswears whatever is sworn.(5) All the things that I have written from the beginning of this work are unspecified; all that remains will be more specific.


(1) Holy Patrick, then, crossed the bed of the river Shannon at the Ford of the Two Birds, making for Mag Aí. When the druids of Loíguire son of Níall, Máel and Capitolauium, who brought up the two daughters of Loíguire, fair-haired Ethne and red-haired Fedelm, heard about this,(2) fearing that these (maidens) might make the ways of the holy man their own, they grew very angry and brought the darkness of night and dense fogs over the whole of Mag Aí. (3) We do not know by whose power this was (done), but we do know that this night lasted for three days and as many nights.(4) The holy men went on a fast of three days and three nights, and with a hundred prayers and constant genuflections besought God, the King of kings, and all the magical evil disappeared from Mag Aí, and he said: 'Thanks be to God.'(5) And he went through the bed of the river Shannon that is called Bandea to Dume Gráid, where Patrick ordained holy Ailbe a priest, and pointed out to him a marvellous stone altar on the mountain of the Uí Ailello, because he was among the Uí Aillelo, and he baptized holy Maneus, whom bishop Brón son of Icne, a servant of God (and) companion of Patrick, ordained.


They came to Mag Glais and there he established a large church, which is called Cell Mór, and in it he placed two non-Romans, his monks Conleng and Ercleng.


(1) He went to Assicus and Bitteus and to the druids who were of the race of Corcu Chonluain, the brothers Hono and Ith. The one received Patrick and his holy men hospitably and offered him his house. (2) And he proceeded to Imlech Honon, and Patrick said to him: 'Thy seed shall be blessed, and from thy seed will come priests of the Lord and abbots worthy (to be) in my revenue and in thy inheritance.'


(1) Assicus the holy bishop was a coppersmith (in the service) of Patrick, and he made altar-plates and square casks for the patens of our saint in honour of bishop Patrick, and three of these square patens I have seen, that is, a paten in Patrick's church at Armagh and another in the church of Ail Find and a third in the great church of Seól on the altar of the holy bishop Felartus. (2) The said Assicus took refuge in the region north of Slíab Líacc and stayed for seven years in a retreat which is called Rochuil west of Slíab Líacc; and his monks searched for him and found him in the mountain valleys with his metalwork, and his monks took him forcibly with them, and he died in their company in the solitude of the mountains, (3) and they buried him in Ráith Cungi in (Mag) Sereth, and the king gave him and his monks after his death grazing for a hundred cows with their calves and for twenty oxen, as an offering for ever, for he said he would not return to Mag Aí because they had lied about him, (4) and his bones are in Mag Sereth in Ráith Cungi. He (was) a monk of Patrick's, but the community of Colum Cille and the community of Ardd Sratha claimed him.


Patrick went from the well of Ail Find to the Mound of the Uí Ailello and in that place founded a church which is called Senchell Dumiche to this day; in that place he left the holy men Macet and Cetgen and the priest Rodanus.


(1) And a blest maiden came to him in pilgrimage, named Mathona, a sister of Benignus the successor Patrick, and took the veil from Patrick and Rodanus; (2) she was a nun to them, and he went out across the mountain of the sons of Ailill and established a free church at Tamnach, and she was honoured by God and men, and entered into a solemn compact with the successors (?) of holy Rodanus, swearing by his relics, and his successors dined together (with her).


(1) After this they placed bishops at the holy church in Tamnach, whom the bishops of Patrick, that is, Bronus and Bitheus, consecrated;(2) they demanded nothing of the community of Dumech except their friendship only, but the community of Clonmacnoise claims them, as they hold forcibly many of Patrick's places since the recent plague.


(1) Then holy Patrick came to the well called Clébach, on the slopes of Cruachu to the east, before sunrise, and they sat beside the well, (2) and, behold, the two daughters of king Loíguire, fair-haired Ethne and red-haired Fedelm, came to the well, as women are wont to do, in the morning to wash, and they found the holy assembly of bishops with Patrick beside the well.(3) And they did not know whence they were or of what shape or from what people or from what region, but thought they were men of the other world or earth-gods or a phantom; (4) and the maidens said to them: 'Whence are you and whence have you come?' and Patrick said to them: 'It would be better for you to profess our true God than to ask questions about our race.' (5) The first maiden said: 'Who is God and where is God and whose God is he and where is his dwelling-place? Has your God sons and daughters, gold and silver? Is he ever-living, is he beautiful, have many fostered his son, are his daughters dear and beautiful in the eyes of the men of the earth? Is he in the sky or in the earth or in the water, in rivers, in mountains, in valleys? (7) Give us an account of him; how shall he be seen, how is he loved, how is he found, is he found in youth, in old age?' (8) Replying, holy Patrick, full of the Holy Spirit, said: 'Our God is the God of all men, the God of heaven and earth, of the sea and the rivers, God of the sun and the moon and all the stars, the God of high mountains and low valleys; (9) God above heaven and in heaven and under heaven, he has his dwelling in heaven and earth and sea and in everything that is in them; he breathes in all things, makes all things live, surpasses all things, supports all things; (10) he illumines the light of the sun, he consolidates the light of the night and the stars, he has made wells in the dry earth and dry islands in the sea and stars for the service of the major lights,(11) He has a son, coeternal with him, similar to him; the Son is not younger than the Father nor is the Father older than the Son, and the Holy Spirit breathes in them; the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are not separate. (12) Now I wish to join you to the heavenly king since you are daughters of an earthly king, if you are willing to believe.' (13) And the maidens said as with one voice and one heart: 'Teach us with all diligence how we can believe in the heavenly king, so that we may see him face to face. Tell us, and we will do as you say.' (14) And Patrick said: 'Do you believe that through baptism you cast off the sin of your father and mother?' They answered: 'We believe." 'Do you believe in penance after sin?' 'We believe.' 'Do you believe in life after death? Do you believe in the resurrection on the day of judgement ?' 'We believe.' 'Do you believe in the unity of the Church?' 'We believe.' (15) And they were baptized, with a white garment over their heads. And they demanded to see the face of Christ, and the holy man said to them: 'Unless you taste death you cannot see the face of Christ, and unless you receive the sacrament.' (16) And they answered: 'Give us the sacrament so that we may see the Son, our bridegroom', and they received the eucharist of God and fell asleep in death, and their friends placed them on one bed and covered them with their garments, and made a lament and great keening. (17) And the druid Caplit, who had fostered the one, came and wept, and Patrick preached to him and he believed, and the hair of his head was shorn off. (18) And his brother Máel came and said: 'My brother has believed Patrick; not so I, but I will bring him back to heathendom', and he spoke harsh words to Mathonus and Patrick. (19) And Patrick preached the faith to him and converted him to the penance of God, and the hair of his head was shorn off, that is, the (hair cut in) druidic fashion (which was) seen on his head, airbacc giunnae, as it is called. Hence comes the saying that is the most famous of all Irish sayings, 'Máel is like Caplit', because (both) believed in God. (20) And the days of mourning for the king's daughters came to an end, and they buried them beside the well of Clébach, and they made a round ditch after the manner of a ferta, because this is what the heathen Irish used to do, but we call it relic, that is, the remains of the maidens. (21) And the ferta was made over to Patrick with the bones of the holy virgins, and to his heirs after him for ever, and he made an earthen church in that place.


(1) Then Patrick came to the plain of Cairith, that is, Mag Cairetho, and they camped in that place, and founded a church in Ard Licce, which is called Sendomnach, (2) and in it he placed the deacon Coimanus, his holy monk, beloved of Christ and Patrick's pupil, and Patrick held Ard Senlis and placed there the holy maiden Laloca, and got possession of a place in Mag Nento.(3) And they went out with the holy bishop Cethiacus to his own territory, because his father was of the kindred of Ailill; his mother was of the kindred of Sai from the regions of Cíanacht, from Domnach Sairigi beside Dom Liacc, that is, the house of stones, of Cíannán.(4) Bishop Cethiacus was in the habit of celebrating in Corcu Sai on the great Easter (gloss: that is, Sunday); the second (day of) Easter he used to stay in the place of holy Comgella at the Ford of Two Forks, that is, Dá Loarcc, beside Kells with Comgella, because the monks of Cethiachus say that Comgella was a nun to Cethiachus.


(1) They left behind a holy deacon named Justus, still little more than a small boy, in the region of the Uí Maini, and he got possession of Fidarte,(2) and Patrick gave him the books of baptism and he baptized the Uí Maini, and in his ripe old age he baptized Cíarán the wright's son when he was an old man in the fullness of his days. (3) Between the death of Patrick and the (re)birth of Cíarán there is, in the estimation of those most expert in chronology, a lapse of time of 140 years, and Cíarán was baptized out of Patrick's book by the deacon lustus in the presence of the people.


(1) The Franks of Patrick, however, went away from Patrick, fifteen brothers and one sister. I do not intend to give the names of the men except the two most important ones, the bishops Bernicius and Ernicius, and the name of their sister, Nitria; (2) and many places were given to them, and I know only one, where there is the Basilica of the Saints, because holy Patrick showed them what (each) place was like and pointed it out with his finger from the top of Gair (?), when they came to him asking that he should make a choice for them from among the places they had come across; (3) and Cethiacus founded the church of Brer Garad, where there was a maiden who crossed the river Suck and her feet and shoes stayed dry.


(1) Patrick came to Selc, a place where there were the halls of the sons of Brion, together with a great number of holy bishops. (2) They camped on the heights of Selc, and there they made their resting-place amidst stones, on which his hand wrote letters, which (even) today we may see with our eyes; (3) and these were with him:


  • bishop Brón
  • Sachelus
  • Bronach the priest
  • Rodanus
  • Cassanus
  • Brocidius
  • Lommán, his brother
  • Benignus, the heir of Patrick,
  • and Benignus, brother of Cethiacus, of the race of Ailill, (4) who held the small cell of Benignus in (?) from Patrick and Cethiacus,
  • bishop Felart of the family of Ailill and his sister … and another sister who was in the monastery in the Mare Conmaicne (Connemara), which is called Croch Cúile;


(5) and he established a church on Loch Selcae and baptized the sons of Brón.



(1) And he proceeded to Gregirge and founded a church in Drummae, and dug there a well, and no stream flows into it or out of it, but it is always full. (2) There are patens and a chalice of his in the church of Adrocht daughter of Tálán, and she received the veil from Patrick's hand; and he proceeded to the sons of Ercc, and was in the place where there are women beside the Ford of the Sons of Ercc, (3) and they stole his horses and he cursed them, saying: 'Your seed shall serve the seed of your brothers', which is fulfilled. (4) And he returned to Mag Airthic and established the church of Senes in that plain and blessed a place in the Hill of Rocks.


(1) And he went out to Drummut Cérrigi and found two men fighting each other, sons of one and the same man, after the death of their father, who had been a coppersmith of the race of Cíarrige Airnen. (2) They could not agree on the division of the inheritance, and the wood of contention had been set, which the pagans call caam (which is defined: on the ground as in a field), and they took up two-edged swords, raising their hands, with their feet wide apart, one brother being about to slay the other.(3) When Patrick had come to them and saw them from afar, at a distance of about one iugerum, he opened his mouth and said: 'Lord my Father, I ask thee, hold back the hands of the brothers lest they harm each other';(4) and they were unable to stretch out a hand or to move it back, but were as stiff as wooden images, and Patrick blessed them and gave them his command and said: 'Make friendship, since you are brothers, and do what I tell you: sit down.'(5) They sat down as Patrick had said and offered the land and chattels of their father to Patrick and to the God of Heaven; he founded there a church, and in that place is the craftsman Cúanu, a brother of Sachellus, bishop of Baislec.


(1) Patrick proceeded through the waste lands of Cíarrige Airni to the southern plain, that is, Nairni (?), and he found holy Iarnascus under an elm tree with his son Locharnach, and he wrote an alphabet for him; and he was with him for a week or more, with nine or twelve men, and he established there a church and took him as abbot, and he was indeed full of the Holy Spirit. (2) Then there came with Patrick a man from the south, from Irlochir, Medbu by name, and he studied at Armagh and was ordained in the same place and was a deacon to Patrick, (a man) of the race of Mache (?), a good priest, and as a monk of Armagh he founded a free church at Imgoe Már Cérrigi.


(1) And Patrick proceeded to the well that is called Mucno (?) and founded the cell that is called Senes, and Secundinus was (there) alone under an elm tree with rich foliage, and there is a cross in that place until this day. (2) And he came through the waste lands of the Sons of Énde to Mag Aián (?), where there was Lommanus Turrescus. Then, after a long time, there came Senmeda, daughter of Énde mace Brioin, and received the veil from Patrick's hand and gave him her ornaments, that is, (ornaments) for hands and feet and arms, which are called aros in Irish.


(1) And he proceeded to the territory of Conmaicne, (to) Cúl Tolit<h>, and established in it quadrangular churches, of which I know one large church, Ard Uiscon in … the middle (or: medium?) cell, in which he left the sisters of bishop Failart of the race of Ailill, and another cell, Sescen … (2) And he came to Mag Caeri and they camped in Cúl Core, and he established a church in that place and baptized many.


And then he went out to Mag Foimsen and in that place he found two brothers, sons of a man named Conlaid, Luchte and Derclaid; (the latter) sent his bondsman to slay Patrick. Lucteus, however, freed (rescued) him, and Patrick said to him: 'There will be bishops and priests from thy family, but thy brother's family will be cursed and they will soon be extinct', and he left in that place the priest Conán.


(1) And he went to the well of Stringell in the waste lands and stayed there for two Sundays, and he went out to Mag Raithin and to the men of Humal, to Ached Fobuir, where there are bishops;(2) and a holy maiden came to him, who received the veil from Patrick, and he ordained the son of her father, Senachus, and gave him a new name, that is, 'Lamb of God', and made him a bishop.(3) And he requested of Patrick three favours: that he would not sin after consecration, and that the place (Ached Fobuir) would not be called after his own name, and that whatever (number of years) his son named Óengus was wanting (for being ordained) should be made up from his own years; for him Patrick wrote an alphabet on the day Senachus was consecrated. (4) Patrick consecrated a church in that place, with the maiden Mathona (in it), and said to them: 'There will be good bishops here and from their seed blessed people will come forth for ever in this see.' This is Ached Fobuir, and they received the Mass of Patrick.


(1) And Patrick proceeded to Mons Aiglí, intending to fast there for forty days and forty nights, following the example of Moses, Elias, and Christ.(2) And his charioteer died at Muiresc Aigli, that is, the plain between the sea and Mons Aigli, and there Patrick buried his charioteer Totmáel, and gathered stones for his burial-place and said: `Let him be like this for ever, and he will be visited by me in the last days.' (3) And Patrick proceeded to the summit of the mountain, climbing Cruachán Aigli, and stayed there forty days and forty nights, and birds were troublesome to him and he could not see the face of sky and land and sea <...>(4) because to all the holy men of Ireland, past, present, and future, God said: 'Climb, o holy men, to the top of the mountain which towers above, and is higher than all the mountains to the west of the sun in order to bless the people of Ireland', so that Patrick might see the fruit of his labours, because the choir of all the holy men of the Irish came to him to visit their father; and he established a church in Mag Humail.


(1) And he came to the territory of Corcu Temne to the well of Sine, where he baptized many thousands of men, and founded three churches.(2) And he came to the well of Findmag, which is called Sian, because he had been told that the druids honoured the well and offered gifts to it as to a god.(3) The well was of square shape and the mouth of the well was covered with a square stone (and water flew over the stone, that is through ducts closed with cement) like a regal trail ( ?), and the infidels said that some wise man had made for himself a shrine in the water under the stone to bleach his bones perpetually because he feared the burning by fire ; and they worshipped the well as a god. (4) And Patrick was told the reason for its worship, and he had the zeal of God for the living God, and said: 'It is not true what you say that it was the king of the waters' (for this is the name they gave the well: 'king of the waters'). (5) And the druids and the pagans of that region and a very large crowd gathered together at the well and Patrick said to them: 'Lift the stone; let us see what is under it, whether bones or not, for I am telling you: under it there are not the bones of a man, but—so I believe—some gold and silver from your wicked sacrifices leaks through the cementing of the stones'; and they were unable to lift the stone.(6) And Patrick and his servants blessed the stone, and Patrick said to the crowd: 'Stay away some distance for a little while, so that you may see the power of my God who dwells in heaven'; and he stretched out his hands and lifted the stone from the mouth of the well and put it to the other side of the mouth of the well, and (there) it is for ever. And they found nothing in the well but only water.(7) And there sat a man at a distance beside the stone which the holy man had rooted (in the ground), and Patrick blessed him; his name was Caeta or Cata. And Patrick baptized him and said to him: 'Thy seed will be blessed for ever.'

(8) Cell Tog in the regions of Corcu Teimne was Patrick's; its founder was bishop Cainnechus, Patrick's monk.


(1) And holy Patrick came through the plains in the territory of Mace Erce in Dichuil and Aurchuil. (2) And in Dichuil Patrick came to a huge grave of astounding breadth (?) and excessive in length, which his people had found, and they were amazed, with great astonishment, that it extended a hundred and twenty feet, and they said: 'We do not believe that there could have been such a thing as a man of this length.' (3) Patrick answered and said: 'If you wish you shall see him', and they said: 'We do', and he struck the stone on the side of the head with his staff and signed the grave with the sign of the cross and said: 'Open, o Lord, the grave', and it opened. (4) And a huge man arose whole, and said: 'Thanks be to you, o holy man, that you have raised me even for one hour from many pains', (5) and, behold, he wept bitterly and said: 'May I walk with you?' They said: 'We cannot have you walk with us, for men cannot look upon your face for fear of you.(6) But believe in the God of heaven and receive the baptism of the Lord, and you will not return to the place in which you were. And tell us to whom you belong.'(7) 'I am the son of the son of Cass son of Glas; I was the swineherd of Lugar king of Hirota. The warrior band of the sons of Mace Con killed me in the reign of Coirpre Nie Per' (a hundred years ago from now). (8) And he was baptized, and confessed God, and fell silent, and was laid again in his grave.


(1) He came to Findmag in the territory of the Uí Maini and found there the sign of the cross of Christ and two new graves, and from his chariot the holy man said: 'Who is it that is buried here?' (2) And a voice answered from the grave: 'I am a pagan.' The holy man replied: 'Why has the holy cross been placed beside you?' and again he answered: 'Because the mother of the man who is buried beside me asked that the sign of the cross be placed beside her son's grave. But a stupid and foolish man placed it beside me.' (3) And Patrick leaped from his chariot and took hold of the cross and pulled it from the pagan grave and placed it over the head of the baptized man, and mounted his chariot and prayed to God in silence. (4) When he had said 'Deliver us from evil', his charioteer said to him: 'How is that,' said his charioteer, 'why did you (merely) talk to the unbaptized man? For I pity a man without baptism. It would have been better in the eyes of God to bless him as in baptism and pour the water of baptism over the dead man's grave.' And (Patrick) did not answer him; I think he left the man (as he was) because God did not want to save him. Let us return to our story.


(1) He came across the river Moy, and behold the druids of the sons of Amolngid heard that the holy man had descended on them into their own region. (2) A very great number of druids assembled before the chief druid, Recrad by name, who wanted to kill holy Patrick, and he went to them with nine druids clad in white garments (and) with a host of (other) druids;(3) and Patrick and Énde son of Amolngid and Conall son of Énde saw him, when Patrick baptized a large crowd, and when Énde saw him he arose and took up arms to expel the druids, because the druids were separated from them by a large stream of water about <...> miles.(4) Patrick, however, sent Conall son of Énde towards the druids, so that they might recognize him (the chief druid) and not kill someone else; and the son stood beside the (chief) druid as a signal. (5) And behold, Patrick stood up and raised his left hand to God in heaven and cursed the (chief) druid, and he dropped dead in the midst of his druids, (6) and he was consumed by fire before the eyes of all as a sign of punishment. And the people scattered all over Mag Domnon, when everyone saw this miracle, and (Patrick) baptized many on that day; (7) and he ordained holy Mucneus, brother of Cethiachus, and gave him the seven books of the Law, which he bequeathed to Mace Erce son of Mac Dregin. And he founded a church in the Wood of Fochloth, in which there are the holy bones of bishop Mucnoe, for God told him to abandon the study of the Scriptures and ordain bishops and priests and deacons in that region; and (Patrick) blessed Amolngid's son Fergus, a brother of Énde, because it was on his land that he had worked the miracle.


(1) And behold, a man came to them, Mace Dregin by name, with seven sons (still) pagan, and he requested the baptism of God from Patrick, and Patrick blessed him and his sons, and he chose one of them, whose name was Macc Erce, and wrote an alphabet for him and blessed him with the blessing for a priest. (2) And the boy's father said: 'I shall be distressed if my son goes away with you', and Patrick said: 'This will not be so, but I will entrust him to Brón son of Icne and to Olcán.'(3) He stretched out his hand and showed him a place in the distance, where now are his bones, and pointed to the place with his finger, and he (Macc Erce?) erected a cross there; and behold, two maidens came to Patrick and received the veil from his hand, and he blessed for them a place in the Wood of Fochloth.


(1) And behold, Patrick proceeded to the land which is called Foirrgea of the Sons of Amolngid to divide it between the sons of Amolngid, and he made there a square earthen church of clay, because no timber was near.(2) And they brought to him a sick woman who was pregnant, and he baptized the son in his mother's womb (the woman's liquid served as the son's baptismal water), and they buried her on the hill of the church above, and the holy man's seat is beside the church to the present day; and he built a church for the community in the bay of the sea, that is, Ros mace Caitni.


(1) And he returned to the river Moy from Bartragh (Co. Mayo) to Bartragh (Co. Sligo), and raised a stone for the sign of the cross of Christ and said: 'Behold, water will here be found in the last days and (the place will be inhabited by me', (2) and he founded a church beside the Moat of Rigbart; and he came to Muiresc to Brón son of Icne, and blessed his son, that is, bishop Macc Ríme, and they wrote an alphabet for him and for bishop Muirethach, who was at the river of Braith (?). (3) And they came to Trácht Authuili into the territory of Ira, Patrick and Brón, and with them Macc Erce Maicc Dregin, to the plain, that is, Ros Dregnige, where there is the chasuble of Brón,(4) and as Patrick was sitting there a tooth fell out of his mouth, and he gave the tooth to his beloved Brón as a relic. And he said: 'Behold, the sea will drive us out of this place in the last times, and you will go to the wood by the Sligo River.'


(1) And he went out across the mountain of the sons of Ailill and founded there a church, that is, Tamnach, and Echenach and Cell Angle and Cell Senchuae.(2) And he went out to the territory of Callrige of the Three Plains and built a church beside Druim Léas, and baptized many, and betook himself to the plain of Ailmag and founded a church there, that is, Domnach Ailmage, because Patrick stayed there three days and three nights. (3) And he proceeded to Mag Aine and founded a church there, and he turned to Euoe and to Mag Cetni. (4) And he cursed the river that is called Dub, because he asked and (the people) gave the holy man none of their fish; he blessed, however, the river Drowes, which now contains many large fish, or the kind (of fish that was there) has been increased in size (?). The river Drowes had no fish before, but since then it yields a catch to fishermen. (5) He cursed other rivers, that is, the river Oengae and (the river) Séle, because two boys who were disciples of Patrick were drowned in the river Séle; therefore this was done in order to perpetuate the memory of his power.


(1) He also entered Mag Sereth across the river between Assaroe and the sea, and founded a church in Ráith Argi, and camped in Mag Sereth. (2) And he found a good man of the race of Lathru, and he baptized him and his young son with him, who was called Hinu or Ineus; his father had bundled him in linen (and carried him) round his neck, because he was born on the way, coming with his father from the mountain: and Patrick baptized the son and wrote for him an alphabet and blessed him with the blessing for a bishop; later (Hinu) gave hospitality to Assicus and his monks in Ard Roissen, that is, in Ráith Congi in Mag Sereth, in the time of the kings Fergus and Fothad. (3) And he founded a church in Mag Latrain and the great church of Sirdruimm, which is held by the community of Daminis in Doburbar. And he proceeded over the Gap of the Sons of Conall to Mag Itho and founded there a great church. (4) And he went out to Mag Tóchui and built a church there, and in that place a bishop of the race of Corcu Theimne came to him from Cell Toch in the territory of Temenrige in Cerae in the west, a bishop with one sister, both being persons in religion attached to Patrick, and their place is (now) with the community of Clúain (Clonmacnoise ?), and the men of that place sigh (i.e. suffer hardship).


(1) Patrick crossed the Shannon three times and spent seven years in the west, and from Mag Tóchuir he came to (the plain of) Dul Ocheni and built seven churches there.(2) And he came to Ardd Sratho and consecrated Mace Erce a bishop, and he went out to Ardd Eolorgg and Ailge and Lee Benndrigi; and he crossed the river Bann and blessed the place where there is the cell of Cúl Raithin in (the plain of) Eilne, in which there was (recte: is?) a bishop; (3) and he built many other cells in Eilne, and (crossed?) the river Bush, and in Dún Sobairche he sat on a rock which is called Patrick's Rock until now, and there he consecrated holy Olcanus a bishop, whom Patrick had fostered, and he gave him a portion of the relics of Peter and Paul and others and a veil to protect the relics; and he returned to the plain of Elne and built many churches which are owned by the Coindiri.


(1) He climbed the Slíab Miss of Bónrige because he had brought up there the son of Miliucc moccu Bóin, Gósacht by name, and the two daughters of the same man, when he lived in servitude for seven years, and he taught them in silence under oath for fear of the druid. (2) And one night the druid Miliucc saw fiery sparks ascend from the mouth of the fool Succetus to the lips of his son, and the whole body of his son was set ablaze, and from the mouth of his son (they passed) to the mouths of his sisters. (3) 'Why,' he said, 'you slave, have you done harm to my son in the night that has just passed ?' Succetus answered: 'My master, what have you seen?' 'You have filled my son's mouth with fire, and my son (passed it on to) the lips of my daughters, and they were all burnt to ashes, and their ashes revived many, and they flew with you like birds and they spat out their vital parts.' (4) Succetus answered: 'Truly they spat out (those parts), that is, their druidic home, because I put into their mouths the words of my God on high.'


(1) And he went out to Slíab Scirte to the place of the rock on which he had seen the angel of the Lord standing—and the trace of his foot remains almost (intact) to this day—when he went up to heaven, his feet extended from one mountain to the other, and said: 'Behold, thy ship is ready, rise and walk.'(2) The holy man came through Toome (?) to the territory of the Uí Tuirtri to Collunt (? = Calland) Patricc and baptized the Uí Tuirtri. He left Maigen (?) and came to Maugdornai and consecrated Victoricus bishop of Maigen (?) and founded there a great church; and he proceeded into (the territories of) Loíguire and Conall, sons of Níall.


(1) The circuit being completed, he went out and built a church for the priest Justanus beside Bile Torten, which is in the possession of the community of Ardbraccan, and he built another one in eastern Tortiu, in which the tribe of Tech Cirpáin resides, but it is free for all time. (2) And he proceeded to the territory of Leinster, to Druimm Hurchaille, and established there the House of the Martyrs, as it is now called, which is situated on the great road in the valley, and there is Patrick's Rock at the road. (3) He went out to Mag Lifi and established there a church and ordained Auxilius, a pupil of Patrick, an exorcist, and Eserninus and Mac Táil in Cell Cuilinn. (4) He consecrated Fíacc the Fair in Sléibte and baptized the sons of Dúnlang, and set out by Belut Gabráin and founded a church in Roigne of the House of Martyrs, and he baptized the sons of Nie Froích in the land of Munster on Patrick's Rock at Cashel.



“Copyright in this translation remains the property of the School of Celtic Studies (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies)”