Thursday 8 June 2023

Saint Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland - Lois Rock and Finola Stack

Saint Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland
Lois Rock
Finola Stack (Illustrator)
A Lion’s Children Book
ISBN 9780745948119
ISBN 0745948111

This is the second book I have read by Lois Rock, The first I stumbled across while trying to find books on Saint Dewi, Rock has a volume called Saint David Patron Saint of Wales. I enjoyed it so much I tried to track down the other 3 in the series. The other two in the series are on George and Andrew. I have been able to track down three of the four. I have greatly enjoyed the two I have read so far.

This is a short picture book on Patrick of Ireland; it was originally published in 2005. Over the years I have read numerous books on Saint Patrick, and a few translations of his own two surviving works.  

Description on the back of the book:

“One of a set of 4 books on the national saints of the British Isles, published simultaneously with Saint Andrew: Patron Saint of Scotland; Saint David: Patron Saint of Wales; and Saint George: Patron Saint of England. Just who was St Patrick? When and where did he live? And how did he come to be the patron saint of Ireland? And what is the link with the shamrock and the legend of the snakes? This useful little book covers all these topics providing background information that all patriotic youngsters will be interested to know.”

Even though this was a short picture book I highlighted a few passages while reading it. Some of them are:

“Patrick was a real person in Irish history^ and quite a lot is known about him. He lived about 1,500 years ago, at a time when the Romans had an empire that spread far beyond the city of Rome, as far as parts of the British Isles.”

“After Patrick died, many more tales and legends were told about him, claiming that he did some amazing things. Although these legends may not be true, they help show what an important person he was to the Irish people and to the Christian faith.”

“The years passed. One night, in a dream, he believed he heard God telling him that he would soon be returning to his homeland. And then I shall be safe again,’ he said to himself. ‘I will dare: I will make the journey, whatever perils I meet along the way.’”

“Years went by. Then Patrick had a strange dream, and in his dream he felt sure he heard the Irish people calling him. ‘Come and live among us again,’ they cried.”

“Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated in America from the early days of British settlement there. An Irish regiment established a parade in New York. Then, about 150 years ago, there was famine in Ireland when the potato crop failed. Many Irish people went to America to find a better living. They were delighted to find Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations had already arrived. Over the years, the celebrations have become more enthusiastic and include many Americans who do not have an Irish background.”

The sections in the book are:

The Life of Patrick
Who Was Patrick?
Patrick: Missionary of the Irish
The Legend of the Easter Fire
The Legend of the Shamrock
The Legend of the Snakes
The Legend of the Cross
Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Saint Patrick’s Day

The dates given for Patrick are:

390 Born in Roman Britain, at a place called Bannavem Taburniae. 
406 Captured by pirate raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave. 
412 Escaped and returned home. Studied hard and became a bishop. 
432 Returned to Ireland to tell people about Jesus. 
460 Died on 17 March. One old tradition says he was buried at Downpatrick.

This was an ok volume. In my opinion there are a few factual errors in this volume. And I really prefer a couple other versions of the Breastplate prayer than the one in this volume. That being said it is a good picture book for young readers. 

This is a good little volume about this saint. It is great as part of the series for the home, school or church library. I enjoyed the other volumes I have read in the series far more.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

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