This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland.
Less divisive than the issues of chronology and geography, but no less important, are claims surrounding Patrick’s possible monasticism, his Latinity, and the plethora of extant traditions about Patrick’s life and work. From time to time the question of Patrick’s monasticism has been raised. Some have argued that the episcopal evangelist was celibate and others that he simply inhabited a deep and simple spirituality. The omnipresence of the Bible in Patrick’s writings—as well as his preference for the Psalter—might suggest he had a monastic background of some sort. Yet Hanson’s judgment seems best, that “The question of whether Patrick was himself dedicated to an ascetic life is worth raising, even though it cannot be answered with any certainty.” Continue reading