My heroes (2)

by Patrick O'Brien


― Maewyn Succat ―

Many travellers assume road names and mine is that of childhood hero and patron saint who was born Maewyn Succat in 387 AD at Kilpatrick, Scotland, the son of Calpurnius and Conchessato who were Roman officials in local government.

At 16 years of age, Succat was kidnapped by pirates and taken to Ireland where he was sold to a Druid high priest in Antrim. Working as a shepherd slave, Succat became fluent in Irish and knowledgeable in Druidism.

After many years of captivity Succat escaped, returning again sometime after 432 AD — an ordained priest and bishop using the name “Patercius” or “Patritius” (derived from two Latin words ‘pater civium’ meaning the father of his people) which was conferred on him by Pope Celestine.

Succat died on 17 March 460 AD and is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Today, Succat is known as Patrick . . . which is my given name.