Sunday 17 December 2017

Martina Devlin: St Patrick's envoys may just deliver crock of gold

ST Patrick obviously had his enemies. In his 'Confessio', written shortly before his death in the 5th Century AD, he took pains to defend himself against what appear to be suggestions of financial impropriety.

He spoke of returning gifts left on altars, even if the donors were offended, and insisted that he had never accepted payment for baptisms or ordinations.

"If I asked any of them anywhere even for the price of one shoe, say so to my face and I will give it back," is how he phrases it, in forthright tones that still echo more than 1,500 years later.

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