An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 779 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

One prayer uttered by St. Patrick has been singularly fulfilled.  “May my Lord grant,” he exclaims, “that I may never lose His people, which He has acquired in the ends of the earth!” From hill and dale, from camp and cottage, from plebeian and noble, there rang out a grand “Amen.”  The strain was caught by Secundinus and Benignus, by Columba and Columbanus, by Brigid and Brendan.  It floated away from Lindisfarne and Iona, to Iceland and Tarentum.  It was heard on the sunny banks of the Rhine, at Antwerp and Cologne, in Oxford, in Pavia, and in Paris.  And still the old echo is breathing its holy prayer.  By the priest, who toils in cold and storm to the “station” on the mountain side, far from his humble home.  By the confessor, who spends hour after hour, in the heat of summer and the cold of winter, absolving the penitent children of Patrick.  By the monk in his cloister.  By noble and true-hearted men, faithful through centuries of persecution.  And loudly and nobly, though it be but faint to human ears, is that echo uttered also by the aged woman who lies down by the wayside to die in the famine years,[143] because she prefers the bread of heaven to the bread of earth, and the faith taught by Patrick to the tempter’s gold.  By the emigrant, who, with broken heart bids a long farewell to the dear island home, to the old father, to the grey-haired mother, because his adherence to his faith tends not to further his temporal interest, and he must starve or go beyond the sea for bread.  Thus ever and ever that echo is gushing up into the ear of God, and never will it cease until it shall have merged into the eternal alleluia which the often-martyred and ever-faithful children of the saint shall shout with him in rapturous voice before the Eternal Throne.

[Illustration:  ST. PATRICK’S BELL.]

[Illustration:  CROMLECH, AT CASTLE MARY, CLOYNE.]

FOOTNOTES: 

[125] Authenticated.—­A copy of this ancient hymn, with a Latin and English translation, may be found in Petrie’s Essay on Tara, p. 57, in Dr. Todd’s Life of St. Patrick, and in Mr. Whitley Stokes’ Goidilica.  We regret exceedingly that our limited space will not permit us to give this and other most valuable and interesting documents.  There is a remarkable coincidence of thought and expression between some portions of this hymn and the well-known prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Corpus Christi, salve me.  Such coincidences are remarkable and beautiful evidences of the oneness of faith, which manifests itself so frequently in similarity of language as well as in unity of belief.  The Hymn of St. Patrick, written in the fifth century, is as purely Catholic as the Prayer of St. Ignatius, written in the sixteenth.  St. Patrick places the virtue or power of the saints between him and evil, and declares his hope of merit for his good work with the same simple trust which

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An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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