In 2005 I visited Ogulla well outside Tulsk where Patrick is said to
have baptized Eithne and Fidelma. I posted a few pictures of it on my blog;
the point of the blog is to practice my Irish by writing commentaries on my
Basically the text says if you click on the photo of St Patrick it
enlarges and you can see people's little offerings.
The glass structure was used by the Pope to say Mass at Knock and was
bought by the local people. Liz
From: Seanchas-L [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Charles
Sent: Saturday, December 04, 2010 8:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SEANCHAS-L] Exile [was: Re: [SEANCHAS-L] Star map]
I think that the later tales about folks dying in competition or
opposition to the saints is an attempt to show that Christianity had
greater truth than the pre-Christian religions. It's the same thing
for the ordeals.
I'm always struck by the tale of the two daughters of a king making
inquiries of Saint Patrick about who his god is. When Patrick tells
them that his god is the god of everything, they ask to be able to see
him. In the tale, Patrick baptizes them and gives them communion, at
which time they die (I think is expressed that they are given the
sacrifice). The two women are named Ethne and Fedelm (which seems to
make them named for Druids or deities). Here is the version of the
story from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1911:
On the occasion of his first visit to Rathcrogan, the royal seat of
the kings of Connaught, situated near Tulsk, in the County of
Roscommon, a remarkable incident occurred, recorded in many of the
authentic narratives of the saint's life. Close by the clear fountain
of Clebach, not far from the royal abode, Patrick and his venerable
companions had pitched their tents and at early dawn were chanting the
praises of the Most High, when the two daughters of the Irish monarch-
Ethne, the fair, and Fedelm, the ruddy-came thither, as was their
wont, to bathe. Astonished at the vision that presented itself to
them, the royal maidens cried out: "Who are ye, and whence do ye come?
Are ye phantoms, or fairies, or friendly mortals?" St. Patrick said to
them: "It were better you would adore and worship the one true God,
whom we announce to you, than that you would satisfy your curiosity by
such vain questions." And then Ethne broke forth into the questions:-
"Who is God?"
"And where is God?"
"Where is His dwelling?"
"Has He sons and daughters?"
"Is He rich in silver and gold?"
"Is He everlasting? is He beautiful?"
"Are His daughters dear and lovely to the men of this world?"
" Is He in the heavens or on earth? "
"In the sea, in rivers, in mountains, in valleys?"
"Make Him known to us. How is He to be seen? How is He to be loved?
How is He to be found?"
"Is it in youth or is it in old age that He may be found?"
But St. Patrick, filled with the Holy Ghost, made answer:
"God, whom we announce to you, is the Ruler of all things."
"The God of heaven and earth, of the sea and the rivers."
"The God of the sun, and the moon, and all the stars."
"The God of the high mountains and of the lowlying valleys."
"The God who is above heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven."
"His dwelling is in heaven and earth, and the sea, and all therein.
"He gives breath to all."
"He gives life to all."
"He is over all."
"He upholds all."
"He gives light to the sun."
"He imparts splendour to the moon."
"He has made wells in the dry land, and islands in the ocean."
"He has appointed the stars to serve the greater lights."
"His Son is co-eternal and co-equal with Himself."
"The Son is not younger than the Father."
"And the Father is not older than the Son."
"And the Holy Ghost proceeds from them."
"The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are undivided."
" But I desire by Faith to unite you to the Heavenly King, as you are
daughters of an earthly king."
The maidens, as if with one voice and one heart, said:
"Teach us most carefully how we may believe in the Heavenly King: show
us how we may behold Him face to face, ana we will do whatsoever you
shall say to us."
And when he had instructed them he said to them:
"Do you believe that by baptism you put off the sin inherited from the
They answered: "We believe."
"Do you believe in penance after sin?"
"Do you believe in life after death? Do you believe in resurrection on
the Day of Judgment?"
"Do you believe in the unity of the Church?"
Then they were baptized, and were clothed in white garments. And they
besought that they might behold the face of Christ. And the saint said
to them: "You cannot see the face of Christ unless you taste death,
and unless you receive the sacrifice." They answered: "Give us the
sacrifice, so that we may be able to behold our Spouse." And the
ancient narrative adds: "when they received the Eucharist of God, they
slept in death, and they were placed upon a couch, arrayed in their
white baptismal robes."
This seems to me to be a form of the red martyrdom.