Confession - Themes and Purpose

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Confession- Themes and Purpose

1. Introduction

2. Praise and Thank God

3. Admission of Worldly and Sinful Youth

4. Defence of Mission and Conduct in Ireland in Face of Criticism

5. Conclusion

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62 chapters

Gets name from final chapter "This is my confession before I die"

Composed toward end of his life "in my old age".

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To Praise and Thank God

Thompson says P. wanted to publicise the benefits and grace God gave him

Continually thanks God "I give unwearied thanks to God"

Thankful for conversion as he was brought close to God

mystic who felt presence of God in every turn of the road

Feels God assisted him "Guarded and protected me as a father would a son"

Cahill: "God was palpable to him, his relationship to him was very, very close"

God gave him strength to overcome challenges "Regardless of danger i must make known the gift of God"

Thomas F O'Rahilly feels it is a "statement of Patrick's personal faith"

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Sinful Youth

Refers to sinful youth on many occasions, at the start: "I Patrick, a sinner"

Reference to a sin committed in his youth

Feels capture was punishment for behavious "We turned away from God and did not keep his commandmnets and did not obey our priests"

Humble as he accepts blame for captivity

Says sin he committed nearly cost him his religious career as he was betrayed by a friend

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Defence of Mission

W & B summarize Confession as "Defence o fthe Saint's mission in Ireland and his methods, attitudes and lifestyle

Defending himself due to criticim by church people in Britian and opponents in Ireland. Accused of being blundering, arrogant, self-seeking, un-educated, sinful and unworthy of his position

Sees dreams & visions as God communicating to him. Didn't return to Ireland on own accord, Holy Spirit came to him in a dream where he was given letter called "The Voice of the Irish" by Victoriaus

Criticised for lack of education, the Confession is poorly written in Crude Latin

Wrote knowing "they will laugh and scorn".

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Refused donations due to gossip, he speaks harshly of these lies "Every idle word men shall speak they shall render and account for it on the day of judgement"

Patrick is desperate to show critics who he is "I wish that my brethren and kinsmen should know what sort if person I am"

John Gwyna describes the Confession as the "Works of one who feels he gas been mispresented"

His critics were widespread and aimed at him by people he considered important otherwise he wouldn't have replied to strongly "I am Patrick, a sinner, most unlearned, the least of all the faithful and utterly despised by many"

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We can tell tell from the themes that the Confession is a spiritual autobiography rather than a historical biography

Patrick only gives biographical detail when necessary for the theme.

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