7 distinct parts
Had been scrutinised, it is generally accepted as authentic
1.When & where he was born
2.Location and duration of captivity
3.Extent of mission and the dangers and difficulties faced.
Early years, Interrupted schooling, capture, gift
Introduces himself: "I am Patrick, a sinner, most unelarned, the least of all the faithful and utterly despised by many"
See he's aware of his shortcomings
Tells us: 1. His father, Calpornius was a deacon. 2. Grandfather Potitus a priest 3.Lived in 'Bannavern Taberniae'
Captured in raid @ 16, saw this as punishment for not obeying commandments and priests "because we turned away from God and didn't keep his commandments or obey our priests"
Thanks God for slavery, restored him to prayer and God
Uneducated, education interrupted due to captivity, this is why he was afraid to write confession sooner "I'm afraid of exposing myself to the talk of men, I have not studied like the others"
God chose him "he who is mighty came in his mercy, he not only pulled me out, but lifted me up".
Escape from Ireland, sea voyage and walk through t
God spoke to him in dream telling him how to escape and go back to Britain, told "your ship is ready"
Captain wouldn't let him on ship, as he was leaving he prayed & one man told him to come with them, this shows his faith in God
Landed at a desert
Men teased him about God, saying if he was powerful why was there no food. Patrick said God would help, a herd of pigs appeared
Mentions some pagan rituals e.g. offered wild honey in sacrifice "thanks be to God, i tasted none of it".
Return to Britain- Deacon, Bishop and back to Irel
Upon return to Britain, received sufficent education to become prist/bishop
Decided to return to ireland due to dream where he was given letter called "The Voice of the Irish" by man called Victoriaus
This was appeal to walk among those who he lived with as a slave.
Sad tale of youthful sin and treacherous friend
In Britain, sin he committed in youth came back to haunt him
A friend he'd confided in revealed sin nearly destroying his religious career
Patrick has a forgiving nature "but the more I am sorry for my dearest friend"
Defence against criticism
Main purpose of confession
Accused of recieving money but refused donations for fear people would think his mission was for personal gain "many gifts were offered to me in sorrow and tears and i offended the donor".
Danger and Difficulties
Patrick says his life was in danger 12 times "daily I expect murder, fraud or captivity"
Expresses his desire to return home "how I would have loved to go to my counrty and my parents and God, but I am afraid of losing the labour which I have begun"
Success of Mission
We can tell his mission was successful "whom i have baptised the Lord-so many thousands of people"
Built up priesthood, and encouraged men and women to take up religious life "many people were reborn in God through me-confirmed and clerics were ordained"
Ends it by calling on God to witness he is being truthful he says "This is my confession before i die".
We see Patrick's background, career, character and convictions can be found in the Confession
It is a spiritual autobiography rather than a historical biography
It was aimed at his critics in defence of his mission.
Contents of Patrick's Confession (A)
2. Early years, interrupted schooling, capture, gift of faith
3. Escape from Ireland, sea voyage, walk through the desert
4. Return to Britain - Deacon, Bishop and back to Ireland
5. Sad tale of youthful sin and treacherous friend
6. Defence against criticism
7. Dangers and Difficulties
8. Success of Mission