St. Patrick wounds the King of the Scots

Pocket Bard’s notes: I don’t perform this very much, but I think it’s a nice short story about the power of faith. Also, I love the fable-like ending of “Oh, by the way, this is also why there are no poisonous reptiles in Ireland,” which really has nothing to do with the story at all but the author decided to include it anyway.


St. Patrick wounds the King of the Scots
The Golden Legend, Volume I, trans. William Granger Ryan, p.193-194

Patrick lived about AD 280. Once he was preaching to the king of the Scots about Christ’s passion, standing before him and leaning on the staff that he held in his hand. By accident he put the sharp point of the staff on the king’s foot and so pierced the foot. The king thought that the holy bishop had done this deliberately and that he himself could not receive the faith of Christ otherwise than by suffering like this for Christ, so he bore the pain patiently. Marveling at this, the saint prayed and healed the king’s foot. He also obtained from God that no poisonous reptile could live in the whole province; and it is said that in answer to his prayer even the woods and bark from the trees in that region effectively counteract poison.

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