"We Beg you, Holy Youth, Come Back...
and Walk Once More Among us!"
Saint Patrick of Ireland
One night in a dream, Patricius, as Succat was now known, had a
vision. Victoricus and the Uí Tuirtre were calling him back to Ireland,
crying out as if with one voice, the voice of the Irish "Come back and
stay another while with us".
Deeply moved by the vision, Patricius
returned to Ireland in AD432 and devoted the next thirty years until his
death to Christianizing the Celts in Ireland.
They Called him Pádraig, Gaelige for Patrick
secured the permission and protection of Laeghaire MacNiall the then
High King of Ireland, Patrick traveled throughout the land.
In the face of hostility and danger, he
converted, blessed and baptized the people of Ireland from the deeply
rooted paganism of the Celtic druids to Christianity and peace, starting
with the Uí Tuirtri and Victoricus.
Many of the druids converted.
Celtic Kings of Donegal County Embrace Christianity
In time, Patrick made his way to Donegal County where he was welcomed by
both Conall Gulban and Eoghain, sons of Niall, kings of Donegal.
Conall had already been converted to Christianity, being Ireland's
first baptized nobleman. Eoghain embraced the faith later in
King Conall's Shield
According to ancient manuscripts and local tradition, Patrick struck King Conall's shield with his
crosier. As a result, the shield was permanently marked with the sign
of the Cross.
Patrick then assured Conall that he and his descendents
would always be victorious as long as they remained faithful
to Christ and followed His sign.
Colmcille and Saint Patrick's Prophesy
Patrick arrived at Mullaghnashee near Ballyshannon and gave King Conall a
He then blessed the king's young son, Ferghus Cennfada,
prophesying that one of his descendants would be a sage, a prophet and a
Two generations later the grandson of Ferghus, the future Saint
Colmcille was born in Gartan, Donegal County.
The greatest of Ireland
and Donegal's many great saints, Saint Columba as he is sometimes called
is one of five Donegal saints, from a total of forty one saints of the
lineage of Niall through Conall.
Among his many achievements, Saint
Colmcille established a famous monastic
community on the island of Iona Scotland.
Saint Patrick in Inishowen and the Baptism of King Eoghain
St.Patrick's Well. King Eoghain baptism site
Patrick then made his way to Inishowen. He traveled northward through Barnesmore Gap
in the beautiful Bluestack mountain range and, meeting Eoghain,
persuaded him to convert to Christianity.
Eoghain was subsequently
baptized along with his grandson Echaid at a well that has since become
known as Saint Patrick's well, beside the Grianán Áilligh fort.
Blessing Eoghain and his descendants, 'Áileach
of the Kings', and Inishowen in the distance, Patrick prophesied that
the kings and prelates of Aileach would rule forever provided they
remain faithful to Christ.
The name of the powerful O'Neill dynasty has
since been carried through the lineage of Eoghain.