Historical setting: 589 C.E. The cottage in the mountains
“I once heard the ancient legend of Patrick told by a pagan druid. The pagans accept myths of shape-changers and, in fact, all varieties of magic of which Jesus knew nothing. So when I heard the druid legend it seemed all about the magic.
“Celtic Pagans wanted to rid the Island of Christians so the pagan priests gathered an army to ambush Patrick and his monks in what Patrick thought would be a peace negotiation. The druid’s men lay in wait until nearly dark, then they heard a strange lowing sound, like the lullaby of peaceful cattle lowing softly to their calves. Then the pagans saw a huge heard of deer walking slowly through the wood. There was no war that night only a peaceful passing by of monks in song.
“The next day it was said, Patrick and his followers won a fearsome war against the druid’s army. But these followers of Patrick were pacifists, so I suppose the battle was mere legend.”
Brother Servant added, “In the monk’s story Patrick and his followers were shape-changed into a band of wild bucks, leaping and dashing antlers against the attackers to win a war against the Pagans and Ireland for the Christians.”
“But I still believe, even if they changed into antlered bucks they would pass by peacefully in prayer, in Jesus’ way. The prayer is called ‘Patrick’s Breastplate’. Do you know that song?” I asked the Brother Servant monk.
“Of course I do.” Brother Servant chants it to me in a whisper, [Footnote]
[Footnote][The Lorica, called the Faed Fiada, or Deer’s Cry* attributed to Patrick, for protection (Seumas MacManus, The Story of the Irish Race, 1921 Koneky & KoneckyOld Saybrook, CT (4th Rev. Ed.) p. 114. MacManus’s note regarding this English Translation – This Dr. Sigerson’s rendering of the hymn is in the same measure, metre and rhythm of the original.)]
(Continues Tomorrow (Friday) with a special post)