The Celtic Literature Collective

The Summary of Aidus
Book of Armagh (TCD MS 52)

Many people have endeavoured to relate to me, Aidus, what they had learned from their fathers, and from those who were their servants, of the story of St. Patrick, which had been transmitted to them by their ancestors, but on account of the diverse opinions and suspicions of most people, and the great difficulty of ascertaining the true narration, they have never attained in this matter any certain track or path of history. So that, unless I am deceived, (as according to our proverb, boys are brought into the amphitheatre) in this deep and dangerous sea of holy narration, the mountainous waves of the whirlpools of which, impatiently swelling among sharp rocks, situated in seas, as yet unknown to all but our (heavenly) father, it can scarcely be said that I have brought down the narrative, tried and used as a child's boat, by the impulse of my oar. Yet, that I may not be said to have deduced a great deal from a little—I shall with reluctance, endeavour to explain, summarily and charitably, in obedience to the command of your sanctity and authority, these few, selected from the many actions of St. Patrick, which I have perceived, my knowledge being small, my authors doubtful, my memory treacherous, and what in the worst of all, the common tradition of the country being against me.

Concerning the birth of Saint Patrick, and his first captivity.

Concerning his journeys and sea voyage to the gentiles, and his sufferings among the nations ignorant of God.

Concerning his second capture which he suffered for sixty days from hostile men.

Concerning his reception by his parents when they recognized him.

Concerning his age when going to visit the apostolic see, where he wished to learn wisdom.

Concerning his discovery of holy men in Gaul, and that, therefore, he went no farther.

Concerning his age when an angel visited and directed him to come here. (i.e. to Ireland.)

Concerning his return from the Gauls, and the ordination and death of Palladia

Of Patrick's ordination by king Amathus, Palladius, the priest, being deceased.

Of the gentile king (living) in Temoria, when St. Patrick came bringing baptism.

Of his first journey to this island to ransom himself, before O'Miliuc should draw others to the devil.

Of the death of Miliuc, and the saying Patrick, concerning his descendants.

Of the counsel of St. Patrick at Hessitum.

Of the celebration of the first Easter.

Of the first oblation made in Easter in this island.

Of the heathen festival in Temoria on the same night on which St. Patrick celebrated Easter.

Of the going of king Loigaire from Temoria to Patrick, on the night of Easter.

Of the calling of Patrick to the king, and of the faith of Eire, son of Dego, and the death of the magician on that night.

Of the anger of the king and his people with Patrick, and of the punishment of God upon them, and of the transfiguration of Patrick before the gentiles.

Of the coming of Patrick oh the day of Easter to Temoria, and of the faith of Dubthach Macculugir.

Of the conflict of Patrick with the magician in that place, and of his own wonderful virtues.

Of the conversion of Loigaire, the king, and afterwards of his whole kingdom, by the word of St. Patrick.

Of the doctrine, and baptism, and miracles of St. Patrick, after the example of Christ.

Of Mac Cuill, and his conversion at the sayings of St. Patrick.

Of the fable of Daire, and of the horse, and the oblation of Armagh to Patrick.

Of the people labouring on the Lord's day, contrary to the command of Patrick.

Of a fruitful land becoming a salt-marsh, by the word of St. Patrick.

Of the death of Moneisen, the Saxon.

Of this, that Saint Patrick saw heaven opened, and the Son of God, and his angels.

Of the conflict of St. Patrick against Coirthech, king of Aloas.

These few things concerning the knowledge of St. Patrick and his virtues, Muirchu, the son of Cumacthenus, wrote after the dictation of Aidus, bishop of the city of Slepten.

The angel, high priest of the Lord, communicated to St. Patrick the bishop, the reverence due to his apostolic chair, and the peculiar honour of his successors, wisely granted to him by God above all the Scots.

Betham, William. Irish Antiquarian Researches. Vol. 2. Dublin: William Curry, Jun. and Co., 1827. p 348-402