The Confessions of Saint Patrick and Letter to  Coroticus  -     By: John Skinner
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The Confessions of Saint Patrick and Letter to Coroticus

Random House / 1998 / Paperback

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Product Description

Beyond being the patron saint of Ireland (and having chased some nonexistent snakes from the Emerald Isle), relatively little is known about Saint Patrick. Still, Patrick left behind a unique document known as his Confession, which tells us more about the life and beliefs of this popular saint. This autobiography, originally written in the fifth century is a fascinating work that delves into the life of this intriguing man and his testament of faith.
In this new translation from internationally acclaimed translator John Skinner, the character and world of St. Patrick are brought vividly to life. In addition, this volume contains the only known document apart from his Confession to have been written by Patrick. In a letter he wrote to the soldiers of Coroticus (also Christians), Patrick demonstrates his passion for justice by reprimanding the infantry for raiding parts of Ireland in order to sell captives into slavery. In an irate tone, Patrick scorns his fellow Christians for such dreadful deeds, and his resultant writing is every bit as revealing as his Confession.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 112
Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 1998
Dimensions: 7 X 4.18 (inches)
ISBN: 0385491638
ISBN-13: 9780385491631
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 08/18/15.
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Publisher's Description

The autobiography of one of the most popular saints in history, now available in a new translation.

Beyond being recognized as the patron saint of Ireland (perhaps for having chased some nonexistent snakes off the Emerald Isle), little else is popularly known about Saint Patrick.  And yet, Patrick left behind a unique document, his Confession, which tells us much about both his life and his beliefs.  This autobiography, originally written in the fifth century, and short by modern standards, is nonetheless a work that fascinates with its glimpse into the life of an intriguing man, and inspires with its testament of faith.  Here, in this new edition from internationally acclaimed translator John Skinner, the character of Patrick, his era, and his world vividly come to life.  

Also included in this volume is the only other document known to have been written by Patrick, a letter he wrote to the soldiers of Coroticus--also Christians--who had raided parts of Ireland and taken away prisoners who were then sold into slavery.  This letter is a wonderful demonstration of Patrick's rhetorical fire.  Quite irate, Patrick harangues his fellow Christians, and the results are every bit as autobiographically revealing as the Confession.  


John O'Donohue, author of Anam Cara, provides an insightful foreword that re-creates the unique spirituality of Patrick and of the Irish people, and shows how it applies to our lives today.

Author Bio

John Skinner studied to become a Jesuit priest before pursuing a career in writing.  A former journalist with The Times of London, he has extensively researched the works of the great mystics and saints.  He is the author of Hear Our Silence, a popular study of the English Carthusians, and translator of Revelation of Love by Julian of Norwich.  He lives in London with his wife, and is currently at work on his next work for Doubleday, a modern edition of the autobiography of English mystic Margery Kempe.  

John O'Donohue, a theologian and poet, is the author of Anam Cara.  He lives in Ireland.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 19, 2010
    Patricia Caylor
    Intriguing information about the Patron Saint of Ireland.I found this book interesting and an informative read. I knew many of the facts about this saint, but to read from his own words was most unusual.Any fan of Ireland or Saint Patrick will enjoy this little book. wish we had more copies of the papers he wrote.
  2. 3 Stars Out Of 5
    March 5, 2009
    Steven Posey
    It is very fascinating to hear from this fifth century saint.personally,I could've done without the modern commentary,but the translator upheld the flavor of the original.
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