Contents- Letter to Corroticus

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Contents- Letter to Corroticus

1. Introduction

2. Patrick the Sinner

3. Reveals the Purpose

4. The Presbyter

5. Speaks out Against Murders

6. Knowledge of the Bible

7. Why he Came to Ireland

8. Fellow Briton

9. Success of his Mission

10. Christians in Gaul      11. Souls of those Killed      12. The Letter shouldn't be Suppressed

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Introduction

Letter (Epistola) written before the Confession

21 chapters

Wrote after Coroticus a fellow Briton ordered soldiers to murder 'innocent Christians' who were baptised, 'the newly baptised were butchered and slaughtered'

Many women were kidnapped as well to sell as slaves and prostitutes

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Patrick the Sinner

Introduces himself same as in Confession, "I Patrick, a sinner"

Tells us he is bishop in Ireland "declare myself to be a bishop", he therefore has full authority from God

Declares love of God in the 1st paragraph, he gave up everything for God "I gave up my country and my parents and my life to the point of death"

He states that he came to ireland as God commissioned him to spread Christianity "I live among barbarians and exile for the loved of God."

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Reveals the Purpose of the Letter

Declares work is authentic "with my own hand i have written... these words"

Expresses anger at Coroticus and soldiers killing innocent Christians "to be given.. to the soldiers of Coroticus... to fellow citizens of the demons because of their evil work"and the kidnapping of many Irish women who were sold

Insults them, compares them to the barbarous Scottish, "allies of the Scots"

Pleads for Coroticus to return the people and the "booty"

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The Presbyter

Sent a Presbyter with letter trying to save some baptised "a holy presbyter whom i had taught from his childhood"

Shows Coroticus' attack must have been toward end of P. life as he'd taught the priest from his childhood and P. had established a mature clergy

They made fun of the presbyter and his companions

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P. Speaks out against the murderers

Doesn't know who he feels sorrier for; those who have been killed and are in heaven or those who have killed and will be 'slaves in hell'

The murderers are enemies of God and Patrick, they broke God's law by acting like "ravening wolves"

Says it's his duty as bishop to speak out against men who don't respect God or his priests

Makes special request of devout and humble asking them not to court their favour or take food, drink or charity from they until thet show remorse and free the prisoners

Showed us in early church if you performed penance you could be readmitted and forgiven.

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Knowledge of the Bible

Tells us God doesn't welcome offerings from the wicked which have been stolen from poor "it is as bad as murder"

Demands Coroticus and soldiers are excommunicated until they perform penance

Calls upon us to keep commandments "You shall not kill", "You shall not covet your neighbour's goods".

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Why he came to Ireland

Patrick tells us he came to Ireland as he was "bound by the spirit"

Didn't come on his own accord. He asks why would he want to return to those who once took him captive?

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A Fellow Briton

Stresses contempt in which he is held in Britain, demonstrated by fact Coroticus carried out the massacre

Own people have no respect for him "he who does not go with me is scattered"

He makes it clear Coroticus was British and Christian in quoting the bible

Deeply hurt men of his own nation and religion humiliated him.

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Success of Mission

Asks again and again for God's advice "I am hated, what shall I do Lord"

Says it isn't fitting that Coroticus should destroy what he has gathered into the fold of Christ, like all 'evil doers' they face 'death as their eternal punishment'.

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Christians in Gaul

He compares Christians in Gaul to those in Britain, in Gaul they try to buy back the freedom of fellow Christians but in Britain they prefer to kill and sell them to a foreign country

Tells us not only those who have killed or sold Christians but those who have bought them will be condemned.

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Addressing souls of those killed

He is sad but rejoices that they have have gone to 'Paradise' as baptised Christians

Believed they went to heaven as they died so soon after baptism, they wouldn't have had time to commit a serious sin

Says they will reign with "the apostles, and prophets, and the matyrs in Heaven, while outside would sit the dogs... murdered and liars"

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Letter shouldn't be suppressed

I final paragraph tells us although he writes in Latin his message comes from God and "the apostles and prophets" who never lie

Requests letter not be suppressed or hidden but read before everyone in presence of Coroticus himself

Asks God to inspire them to repent and free the baptised women prsioners

Ends hoping they'll be forgiven by God "Be peace to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, Amen".

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