Along with all the shamrocks, green beer, corned beef, parades, and other St. Patrick's Day traditions, there's always that lingering question: What does all this have to do with St. Patrick, anyway? He tends to be overlooked in the hubbub and cultural pride, but he's not forgotten. Especially not on the Web, where surfers can read articles not just about Patrick, but some written by the fifth-century missionary. A recommended first stop is to Christianity Today's sister publication Christian History. Issue 60 of this quarterly magazine was devoted to " How the Irish Were Saved: The culture and faith of Celtic Christians." The lead article, " Patrick the Saint," provides a thorough summary of what's known about Patrick's life. Other articles in the issue include an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization about how Patrick may have ended human sacrifice in Ireland, profiles of other important Celtic Christians, and analyses of Celtic Christianity then and now. From there, you can read Patrick's own autobiography. His Confession is both an account of his life and a defense of his work. The other work scholars agree was truly written by Patrick is his angry Letter to Coroticus, excommunicating the British tyrant for carrying off some of Patrick's converts into slavery. The most famous of writings attributed to Patrick, the " Lorica" or " Breastplate," was not actually written by him. Still, it's a wonderful example of why Celtic Christians are known for exalting both creation and the Creator. Sometime between the fifth and eighth centuries, a biographical hymn was written about Patrick. Traditionally attributed to Fiacc, a fifth-century Bard, the Hymn of Fiacc is one of the few accepted primary ...

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