Every year millions of people celebrate St Patrick. He is Ireland’s most famous ambassador. Yet, what do we really know about him, about his spirituality, his mission, his vocation? Can we really only say that he was no friend to snakes?
Few people realise the connection between Patrick and the Church Fathers. Unlike the writings of Augustine and Paul, Patrick’s spirituality and his writings, which have survived to the present day, have been neglected. In The Spiritual Journey of St Patrick, Adrian Larkin SCC, by uncovering the wealth of references to the Fathers of the Church in Patrick’s own writings, argues the case for recognising and engaging with Patrick’s spiritual legacy to the Church. Larkin encourages us to reframe Patrick as a religious thinker in dialogue with the Church’s past and future.
A classics scholar, barrister and ultimately missionary priest, the late Fr Aidan Larkin led a remarkably varied and fulfilled life. He played a leading role in the development of the SDLP and represented Mid Ulster in Stormont; he also acted as a legal adviser to the Council of Ministers in Brussels. Aged 35 he joined Clonliffe seminary and later joined the Columban Fathers and committed to missionary work.