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The Confession of Saint Patrick: The Classic Text in New Translation [Paperback]

By John Skinner (Author)
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Item description for The Confession of Saint Patrick: The Classic Text in New Translation by John Skinner...

In an autobiography, the fifth-century Irish saint describes his early life, his enslavement, his sins, and his dedication to Christianity

Publishers Description
The autobiography of one of the most popular saints in history, now available in a new translation.
Beyond being recognized as the patron saint of Ireland (perhaps for having chased some nonexistent snakes off the Emerald Isle), little else is popularly known about Saint Patrick. And yet, Patrick left behind a unique document, his "Confession, " which tells us much about both his life and his beliefs. This autobiography, originally written in the fifth century, and short by modern standards, is nonetheless a work that fascinates with its glimpse into the life of an intriguing man, and inspires with its testament of faith. Here, in this new edition from internationally acclaimed translator John Skinner, the character of Patrick, his era, and his world vividly come to life.
Also included in this volume is the only other document known to have been written by Patrick, a letter he wrote to the soldiers of Coroticus--also Christians--who had raided parts of Ireland and taken away prisoners who were then sold into slavery. This letter is a wonderful demonstration of Patrick's rhetorical fire. Quite irate, Patrick harangues his fellow Christians, and the results are every bit as autobiographically revealing as the "Confession."

John O'Donohue, author of "Anam Cara, " provides an insightful foreword that re-creates the unique spirituality of Patrick and of the Irish people, and shows how it applies to our lives today.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Image
Pages   81
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.99" Width: 4.17" Height: 0.36"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 1998
Publisher   Image
ISBN  0385491638  
ISBN13  9780385491631  
UPC  071009006959  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Skinner

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Skinner began his career as a Jesuit. Leaving before ordination, he then became a journalist with The Times (London) before setting up his own children's bookselling company. He now writes full-time, specialising in the English mystics and in translating the spiritual classics across the centuries. His works include Julian of Norwich's Revelation of Love and The Confession of Saint Patrick, both of which have recently been published by Image Books. He lives with his wife, Judith, in Devon, England, where he is at work on a forthcoming collection of monastic writings.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > Irish
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Ireland > General
4Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Ireland
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Inspirational
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Saints
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
10Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Confession of Saint Patrick?

Saint and sinner  Apr 20, 2008
St. Patrick's Confession will prove a good read for Christians and non-believers alike. Any good man's regrets, or his handle on his faith, should give anyone of conscience, pause for personal reflection. No man,
save "the one", leaves this life "innocent of sin", and St. Patrick's
Confession should endear him to everyone.
Confession of St. Patrick  Oct 2, 2007
The book arrived in a timely manner and was in perfect condition.
As for the content, what can I say? St. Patrick is an inspiring man and these writings enable one to see real person. But at the same time, the writings also show the reason he became a saint. How many people do you know found God after being sold into slavery by Irish pirates?
Confession of St. Patrick  Jan 28, 2007
If you would love to get a picture of this great man,or you are Catholic like me,and want to learn a few of his writings.I say "read this book". His style is a little old fashon, but he was that. This is a good read ,and a short book check it out.
interesting work -- autobiographical, not autobiography  Sep 28, 2001
This is a very short book (81 pages long, 111 if you include the prefaces and the frontispiece, big print, easily fitting in your jacket pocket) and includes Patrick's Lorica -- the hymn known as the Deer's Cry or Faeth Fiada as well as The Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus (basically a public pillory of Coroticus) and St. Patrick's Confession.

If you are interested in buying The Confession because you want a straight-forward account of St. Patrick's life, you should be warned that it will not serve that purpose. If that is what you're looking for, I recommend you buy a biography instead. Given that the literary conventions for autobiographies had yet to be established, this work is much like St. Augustine's Confessions but more laconic and oblique. Apparently, it was written in defense of his character, having been recently defamed by his ecclesiastical competitors in England. As such, I think it would be best approached as an example of St. Patrick's theology. The editor has been very helpful in this regard by noting in the text every instance St. Patrick is quoting from the Bible. I'd estimate, on that basis, that quotes from, allusions to, the Bible account for around 40% of the text. Thus, if you want to understand the work, you probably want to read it with a Bible near so you can follow the thread of St. Patrick's argument/allusion. However, as you might imagine, this adds substantially to the amount of time required to digest the book.

I found A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus much more accessible, which makes sense given its intended audience - the faithful of Ireland. It comprises about a fifth of the book and was very interesting to me, at least, as an example of the power of ideas, how they can be used to bind together a community which can then be wielded as a tool, and why, in the competition between the old or pagan meme with the Christian one, the Christian meme more or less prevailed.

"Deer's Cry" is only a few pages long, and not more than nice to have. It clearly illustrates, however, the difficulties John Skinner (the translator) notes of translating these works, namely the loss of the chiastic structure and overall prosody. This is a problem of translation in general, but I would wager that these works are particularly difficult in that regard. I trust the translation is good, but I thought prospective buyers who, like me, are unfamiliar with St. Patrick and his times should be made aware of these difficulties.

With the above in mind, I would recommend this book as an interesting primary source for the thinking, life and times of St. Patrick which, in places, are both beautiful and disturbing.

You'll read it over and over again  Jun 15, 2000
This charming little book is a great guide for anyone who wants to know the man who is St. Patrick. In this work, O'Donohue doesn't discuss the legends that surround Patrick but translates Patrick's own writings and adds an insightful commentary. The author offers a new examination of Patrick as he suggests that Patrick's hard-to-decipher language is not the result of Patrick's lack of learning, as Patrick and many of his commentators claim, but the result of Patrick's own brilliant mind trying to bring the message of the Gospel to the Celts in their own language. This book will take you directly to the heart of a simple saint who's witness to Christ changed the fate of Ireland and, consequently, the fate of the world.

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