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History of St. Patrick Church, 1880-1980. From "One Hundred Years"
by Margaret Wixted, John V. Horgan, Paul C. Ringgold

Quick Links:
The Early Years            
The Middle Years        
The Recent Years      
Early Families            
Earliest Baptisms
Earliest Catholic Families
Property Owners
Lay Organizations

Although, officially, the parish of St. Patrick has existed for less than ten years, Catholics have been resided in Redding since before the Civil War and, in fact, have worshipped in the little church on the Ridge since 1880.

The year 1980, therefore, is a most important one for St. Patrick parishioners, not only because it marks the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of our church building, but more importantly, because it provides us with a unique opportunity to pause and reflect upon our development as a faith community.

In keeping with that review, the following pages present an interesting (although, obviously, not comprehensive) chronicle of the life and times of St. Patrick Church, 1880-1980, and I commend it to you.

Our anniversary year signals the start of a new era for St. Patrick Church, and more particularly, St. Patrick Parish. May the rich heritage of Christian commitment left to us by our Catholic forebears, and the blessing of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with each one of us as we move into that new era.

September 1980
John Conlisk, Pastor


An Overview 1847-1980

The Early Years

Catholics settled in Redding about 1850, and according to descendents, some settled in the area as early as 1847.

A number of Irish Catholic families came to Georgetown in the early 1850's. The men came to work on the construction of the railroad between Norwalk and Danbury and others to work on farms in Redding, which was largely agricultural at that time. Some of these families lived near the Ridgefield line and had church affiliations there later.

At that time, Redding was under the care of St. Peter's Church in Danbury. This was true of most of the western and northwestern part of the state. (Falls Village, West Cornwall and Roxbury were among the towns mentioned in Danbury records.) As early as 1855, Mass was said here "occasionally" by a priest from Danbury. Baptisms may have been performed at the same time, marriages were recorded here, and some took place in Danbury.

All of the known Catholic families in those days were of Irish ancestry, having left their homeland following the disastrous famine of 1845-1847. It has been estimated that by 1848, a half million people had either died of starvation or emigrated, most to the United States.

A notation in a town record dated "Danbury, 1869" read as follows:

"Mass said once a month at the Town Hall in Ridgefield and in the Town Hall in Redding. Fifty adults in Redding and one hundred in Ridgefield."

The hall in Redding was not the official Town Hall in Redding Center, but a building used as a Lodge Hall, which was located on the Northwest corner of Route 58 and Cross Highway in what is now an open field. This building, with a store, a large house, barns and other buildings, burned in massive fire on May 12, 1879.

Mass was also said in local homes. For example, in Patrick Ward's, in the Sanfordtown area, Daniel Sullivan's house, and at the home of Patrick Qualey, which was the first house south of where the Redding Country Club now stands.

The Middle Years

In 1875, Patrick MacDonald, who was a successful farmer and whose home just south of the church was also the site of early Eucharist celebrations, sold(for $25.00), 3,600 feet of land which was described in the agreement as

"...a certain piece of tract of land...said tract is conveyed to be used as a site of a Roman Catholic Church, to be erected thereon, and for no other purpose whatever. When not then used, then the sole use and occupancy of said tract is to belong to said Patrick MacDonald and his heirs forever."

Thomas Ryan, John Carroll and Patrick Flood served as members of the church building committee.

Thus began the slow process of preparation for the building of the mission church. the fund raising and organizational arrangements took four years of hard work. Donations were small and sacrifice large, but finally, under the supervision of Rev. Martin Lawlor of Danbury, work was begun on the edifice in 1879.

Shortly after this, responsibility for constructing the new mission was transferred to Rev. Thaddeus Walsh of Ridgefield (and Georgetown), under whose leadership the superstructure was completed.

Legend has it that all of the parishioners contributed what they could-days of labor, days of hauling stone with teams of horses or oxen; masonry, carpentry, whatever their abilities were. Windows in the church were plain to begin with. The imported Belgian Gothic stained windows were added later. At the time of the completion of the structure, there were about twenty-five families.

The first Mass at St. Patrick was celebrated on Sunday, February 1, 1880. It was officially dedicated later that year and Mass was then celebrated there every two weeks.

About 1883, or soon after the death of Father Walsh, the mission was transferred to the new parish in Bethel, St. Mary's, which itself had previously been a mission church of St. Peter's in Danbury. The Pastor was Rev. Patrick O'Connell and his first report read as follows:

"Mass at Redding Ridge every other week. Number of souls, 125. Receipts for the year, $225.00 Indebtedness, Edward McKenna, Mortgage, $250.00 Value, $1,510.00 Insurance, $1,300.00"

In July 1885, the original committee of Thomas Ryan, John Carroll and Patrick Flood, transferred the building to the St. Patrick Church Corporation for the sum of $25.00.

In 1894, Patrick McDonald donated more land to the Church Corporation bounded as follows:

"North by said Corporation's property and Jesse Lee Sanford's land; South and West by land of said grantor, and East by the highway."

(In 1944, Miss Isabelle McDonald, the last daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick McDonald to occupy the adjoining McDonald homestead, donated to the Corporation two acres of land between her house and the Church, thus making a parking lot possible and, of course, the land necessary for the eventual construction of the Church Hall.)

It was at that time, 1894, that the church was enlarged and various improvements made-these included the addition of a new sanctuary and probably new windows. Tradition has it that the handsome altar window, donated by the McDonald family, originally had been designed for a church in New York, but because the size was incorrect, McDonald was able to secure it at a bargain price for St. Patrick.

Bishop McTiernan came from Hartford to dedicate the new altar in 1895 and at that time he confirmed a group of thirteen boys and girls. The next time the Sacrament of Confirmation was celebrated in the Church was in 1858 when Bishop Lawrence J. Sheehan, of the new Bridgeport Diocese, confirmed a large class. One of the sponsors for the 1958 ceremony was Mrs. Alice Reynolds Sullivan, now deceased, who was a member of the 1895 confirmation class.

The Church and its mission parish grew steadily over the next several years as indicated in the brief reports found for the following years:

1900: 140 souls

1903: Repairs, shingling, painting, new steeple, $398.00

1908: Interior decorated, $375.00

1920: Repairs, $25.00 Furniture, $34.00

1921: Repairs, $252.00

1924: Repairs, $306.00

1926: Decorating and painting, $579.00 Repairs, $18.00

1928: Repairs, $470.00

1930: Repairs, $634.00 Souls 100

1932: Repairs, $1,126.00 Improvements $311.00 Furniture $132.00 (This included rebuilding the altar, new rubber flooring, ceiling repaired, walls stuccoed and decorating.)

1947: New altar installed.

The Recent Years

Major changes were made in the interior of the church while Rev. Austin Dignam was Pastor of St. Mary's Church in Bethel (1947-1950), and in charge of St. Patrick mission. Mr. Theodore Vermilye, a resident of Redding, and an authority on Church history and theology, advised on the changes.

Additional changes came after Vatican II, of course, with the removal of the old altar and the statues. The realities of the post-Vatican II church had their impact at St. Patrick. However, with the appointment of the Rev. Msgr. Richard Scully in 1963, the transition was eased by his informant but positive approach to the problems and opportunities of renewal.

In 1969, the interior of the church was redecorated and new pews and statues were installed.

St. Patrick Church became an official parish of the Diocese in 1971 with the appointment of Rev. George D. Birge. The language of the designation read:

"... 1971 henceforth to be associated for administrative purposes under the same pastor(of Canon 1419,2), with Sacred Heart Parish, Georgetown, rather than with St. Mary's Parish, Bethel."

After many years planning, ground was broken for the Parish Hall on December on December 17, 1972. The building was completed, blessed and dedicated by Bishop Walter Curtis on October 7, 1973.

The building committee consisted of Vincent Hayes and Mrs. John Redmond as co-chairmen; Edward Caraluzzi, Richard Cashion, John Geoghegan, Alfred Gruner and Robert Kunisch, Anthony Caraluzzi, Sr. was chairman of the Fund Raising Committee; James McNamara chairman of the Landscaping Committee; Richard Cashion, of the Painting Committee, and Sabino Pietrangelo of the Tile Committee. The Women's Guild supplied kitchen appliances. Mr. John Handy of St. Patrick Parish was the architect, Edward McCarty of Georgetown was the builder.

Under Father Birge's direction, the Religious Education program was expanded, and the first part time Director of Religious Education, Anne Lehney, was hired. The parish was growing rapidly. Some 350 families were listed on the church rolls as of the summer of 1980.

Since Father John Conlisk became pastor in 1977, the expansion has continued and a number of actions have been taken to increase the laity's participation in the spiritual and temporal affairs of the parish.

These include the closer involvement of the Parish Council in the management of parish operations, the formation of a lay committee structure(communications, family life, finance, liturgy, maintenance, and social concerns), and expansion of the Religious Education program, under the first full time Director, Sheila Ringgold, into ever widening areas. All ages of the parish are now being touched.

The Parish Council is extremely active, advising the Pastor concerning all areas of parish life. The goal for the parish is total lay leadership and involvement, all persons recognizing their ministry and their responsibility in making the Gospel known.

Early Families

Although the early records of Catholics in Fairfield County are incomplete, it is known that the first Catholic Center was in Bridgeport, with the first recorded Mass in 1830, leading to the building of St. James Church in 1840-41. then followed Norwalk and Stamford(1847 and 1848). Danbury followed in 1851, with Newtown in 1859. Ridgefield, Bethel, Georgetown and Redding Ridge came later.

As noted earlier, the first Catholic families in Redding had all immigrated from Ireland.

Often, the father of a family came first, or unmarried sons and daughters got jobs and sent for the other members of the family. Most were unskilled and had little formal education. All, however, had some knowledge of farming and a willingness to work. In this respect, some learned trades and became stone masons, carpenters, and at least one became a blacksmith.

Thomas Ryan was the most successful farmer, owning at his death in 1903, over 250 acres of land on Church Hill and over into Hopewell. On most of this he grew onions, a crop successfully marketed in Southport by many local farmers.

Another member of the church, although a resident of Valley Road in Easton, was Edward McKenna, who owned a papermill on the Aspetuck River in Easton, where he manufactured articles made of paper-mache. His product was described as "made almost indestructible being waterproofed and handsomely enameled."

Mr. McKenna, who at one time held a mortgage on St. Patrick, built a large Victorian house for his family. His only remaining child, Mary, sold the house and returned to Ireland in the early 1920's.

The Flood family on Cross highway was unique. Of the four children, Michael, Thomas, Margaret and Mary, none married. Both girls were school teachers in one-room schools, and although they had little formal education, they were highly respected as teachers. Michael was a blacksmith and Tom worked as a day laborer.

They lived frugally, loaned money to the Town of Redding, among others, and saved.

For example, when the last surviving child, Margaret, died in 1945, the Redding Probate Court conducted a search for heirs, with the estate finally being settled with the issuance of a check for $106,000.00 to a second cousin in Oregon.

Several farm families in the early days sold butter, eggs, chickens, and vegetables in Bethel, driving in by horse and wagon, once each week.

A few boys of Irish descent fought in the Civil War. In those days, it was possible for an American citizen to pay for a substitute to fight in his place. This way, those young men who needed the money joined the Army.

As their families grew, some of the early settlers moved to Danbury and Bridgeport so that their children could get better education's than were available here. Many went on to college and the professions.

While life was generally grim for newcomers, dances and celebrations provided some lighter moments.

Many families had friends or neighbors from Ireland in the neighboring towns, and "visiting" was a Sunday tradition. Card parties were held in private homes to raise money for the church. Pinochle was the most popular game, and rivalry was keen.

As travel conditions improved, the Catholic families found other means of raising money for the support of the church. These included, lawn parties, some in the orchard which is now the church parking lot, where homemade goods were sold and simple games of chance and skill (and inevitably a grab-bag) helped attract additional nickels and dimes. Refreshments, ice cream and homemade cake with lighting furnished by Japanese lanterns, candles, and one or two oil lights.

When electricity came through Redding Ridge in the late twenties, these affairs blossomed into carnivals, with wheels and booths and a platform for dancing. Music was furnished by local musicians at first, finally evolving to an orchestra, complete with borrowed piano seated on a truck. The prizes were invariably "Indian blankets" and "Kewpie" dolls. If the weather was good, these affairs were well patronized and financial successes.

Among the earliest marriages (all performed by Rev. James Small of St. Peter Church, Danbury), the following were performed in Redding Ridge:

"Redding Ridge, May 17, 1853: "I joined in matrimony Patrick and Alice (Connor) Flood. Witnesses Thomas Doran and Rosanna Doran."

"Redding Ridge, March 24, 1854: "I joined in matrimony Patrick and Margaret (Comasky) McDonald. Witnesses, David Newman and Margaret Ryan."

Earliest Baptisms

1855: Mary, daughter of Patrick and Catherine (McGowan) Horan.

1855: Julia, daughter of Patrick and Alice (Connor) Flood.

1855: Julia, daughter of Timothy and Bridget (Comasky) McDonald.

The marriage of Michael McDonald of Redding Ridge to Catherine Scollins in 1850 is recorded in a family bible, but the place of marriage is not given.

(The spelling of some names may not be exactly correct since all records were handwritten and not always clear.)

Other records show that the following were among the earliest Catholic families who lived in Redding:

Thomas and Ann Brennan
John and Mary (Ahearn) Carroll
Patrick and Bridget Collins
Timothy and Bridget (Flynn) Dorgan
Dennis and Mary (Horgan) Dorgan
John Dorgan (on Redding-Newtown line)
Thomas Delaney
James and Elizabeth Delaney
Patrick and Alice (Connor) Flood
Patrick and Bridget Fennell
Patrick Green
Elizabeth (Kearney) Gorham, wife of Wm. Gorham
Patrick and Catherine (McGowan) Horan
Richard Higgins (near Ridgefield-Redding line)
Terrence Kilkelly
Anthony and Anna (Malone) Kollosky
James and Ann Kearney
Christopher and Anna Loveley
John and Bridget (O'Halleran) Malone
Patrick and Mary Masterson
Michael and Catherine (Scollins) McDonald
Patrick and Margaret (Comasky) McDonald
Patrick and Mary McGinnis
Patrick McKenna (Easton)
Patrick and Ellen McMan
John and Delia (Daugherty) Moore
Cornelius O'Keefe
Daniel and Bridget O'Keefe
Joseph and Maria O'Connor
James and Bridget Price
Patrick and Catherine Qualey
John and Mary (McTernan) Reynolds
Samuel E. and Mary (Collins) Rowland
Edward and Bridget (Daly) Ryan
Thomas B. and Honora Ryan
William and Mary Ryan
Cornelius and Mary (Ryan) Dorgan
Daniel and Mary (Malone) Sullivan
Patrick Sweeney
Owen Sweeney
John and Helen (McDonald) Sullivan
John and Mary Tucker
Patrick Ward
Ellen Ward
William Wilkinson (Redding-Newtown line)

Property Owners

Although there were a number of Catholic families in Redding by 1850, few were property owners and most rented small houses, generally from the farmer for whom they worked. It took years of saving to buy some land. Often the young men and women were apprenticed to work on nearby farms, for their "board and keep." Wages, if any, were miniscule, but most managed to buy some property eventually, something which would have been impossible in the landlord-tenant system of Ireland.

By date, purchases of property occurred in the following years:

1854: Thomas Ryan and Michael McDonald

1855: Patrick Ward, John Doran (Redding-Newtown line)

1859: Patrick McDonald, Daniel Sullivan

1862: Timothy Dorgan, John Carrol, Jmaes Price

1863: Patrick Flood

1864: Ellen Ward

1869: Dennis Dorgan, Patrick Collins

1870: Patrick Green, John Malone

1873: Patrick Qualey

1874: Patrick Masterson

1875: Anthony Kollosky, Christopher Loveley, Thomas Sweeney

1887: John Reynolds, Edward Ryan

Others who purchased property during the period 1860-1893 were those who lived in Easton near the Redding line and were founding members of St. Patrick Church. In the 1880's Thomas Wilkinson, whose name appears on one of the church windows, had a large farm, mostly in Newtown, in what is now known as the Eden Hill section. Thomas Delaney bought in 1893. Cornelius O'Keefe and Daniel O'Keefe also became owners in this period, as did John Tucker.

St. Patrick's Participation in the Affairs of the Diocese

With the completion of the Church building, Redding Catholics became more involved in the activities of St. Mary's Church in Bethel. The priests who came from Bethel to say Mass at St. Patrick were transported by horse and wagon or by sleigh. Drivers were volunteers among whom, for many years, was James Griffin of Bethel.

Breakfast after Mass was furnished by the Misses Isabelle and Jennie McDonald, who lived next door, and whose family contributed so much to the church. Later, with the coming of the automobile, Mr. Robert Halloran, who ran a garage in Bethel, drove the priest to Redding. This, too, was a labor of love-considered a privilege and an honor. (He drove a Reo or a Velie car.) Eventually, the priests were given a car.

A number of men from St. Patrick joined the Knights of Columbus chapter in Bethel, some becoming Fourth Degree Knights, the highest rank in that organization.

St. Mary's held public suppers several times each year in the former K. of C. Hall, and St. Patrick families attended and contributed food. (Parishioners of St. Mary's reciprocated when fund-raising affairs were held in Redding.)

Funds from St. Patrick were always kept separate from St. Mary's, which paid its share of the salaries, fuel(coal) and other church expenses. Since expenses were low, St. Patrick gradually accumulated its own savings fund.

When Bishop Lawrence Sheehan, the first bishop of the new Diocese of Bridgeport, started development campaigns to build schools, St. Joseph's Manor, a seminary, etc..., in the fifties and sixties, St. Patrick was given its quota for each drive.

Men and women were organized in teams, and canvassed the parish, usually with excellent results. In several campaigns, St. Patrick actually exceeded its quota.

When Bethel began the construction of a school and convent, Redding was involved, and when their funds were exhausted, they borrowed money from St. Patrick. (Much of this was repaid when construction of the Parish Hall was begun.) The men also conducted a church census, a job which originally was the responsibility of the parish priest, but which became impossible with the rapid increase in the town population.

Pastors- St.Mary's and St. Patrick

Rev. Thaddeus Walsh (Also pastor in Ridgefield and Georgetown) 1880-1883
Rev. Michael Byrne April, 1883-Died October, 1883
Rev. John Flemming 1898-1907
Rev. William Kiernan 1907-1915
Rev. John J. Kennedy 1915-1924
Rev. Patrick F. Connors 1924-Died 1929
Rev. John J. Kennedy 1929-37
Rev. John E. Fay 1937-Retired 1954
Rev. Austin B. Dignam, Adm. 1947- Died 1950
Rev. Paul M. Spodnik, Adm. 1950-1953
Rev. Walter J. McCarthy 1953-1961
Rev. Edward J Howley, Adm. 1961-1963
Rev. Richard Scully 1963- Retired 1974

St. Patrick Parish:

Rev. George Girge 1971-1977
Rev. John Conlisk

The first Trustees of St. Patrick were Patrick McDonald and John Reynolds.

Curates - St. Mary's and St. Patrick

Among the curates who lived at St. Mary's and came to St. Patrick on alternate weeks were the following Reverends:

Alfred Driscoll
Michael Keating
Charles Kavanaugh
William Reilly
Patrick Donnelly
Thomas O'Neil
Philip Morrissey
Michael Malley
Edward Scull
Bartholomew O'Shea
Edward Howley
Leslie Forgerty
Gordon Bodenwein
Robert Beardsley
Ernest Kaulbach
Richard Monahan
Patrick Quinlan
Edward Carl
George Gudz
John McBrearty
Edward Rosenberger
Francis Medynski
Anthony Intagliata
Jay Dolan
William Carey
Others assisted for short periods of time, during the summer months.

(The order is not necessarily as they served.)

Lay Organizations

Women' Guild

There have been a variety of lay organizations over the years, with none more constant than the Women's Guild, which was formed in 1949. It has been a force for progress since its inception.

Seventeen women attended the organization meeting at the Church, with the Rev. Austin Dignam, Administrator of the combined parishes of St. Mary's and St. Patrick, sitting in as advisor.

The first officers selected were Mrs. Vincent Hayes and Lincoln Hanson as co-chairman; Mrs. Thomas McHugh, Secretary; Mrs. James Gill, Treasurer. Subsequent meetings were held in the homes of members. The group held two food sales that summer, 1949, and as a result was able to vote $50 for the purchase of altar linens by July. (This was a substantial sum of money at that time.) In December, the Guild purchased a Crèche for the Church, and held a Christmas party for the children. They also discussed the purchase of an organ, and the installation of an oil burner. (The Church at that time was heated by a coal burning furnace, which had to be started on Saturday to heat the Church for Mass on Sunday.)

Members of the Guild that year also participated in making cancer pads for patients at Rosary Hill Hospital.

Subsequent years have seen the Guild leading the way in a number of activities, represented by the following:

1950, Purchased shrubs for foundation planting at the Church... 1952, Contributed $25 to the Redding Memorial Fund, which built the auditorium at the Redding Elementary School ... 1953, Mr. Sabino Pietrangelo donated the material and built the walk in front of the Church... 1954, the first Christmas /midnight Mass was held at the request of the Guild... 1957, transported nuns from St. Mary's to teach catechism.

The Guild persisted in its efforts to have improvements made and had a section of the basement of the Church remodeled where running water and restrooms were provided. This area was used until the Parish Hall was completed.

Records of the Guild activities are not available for much of the 1960's, but we know that the annual fairs were begun during this period, using the small basement area, and the parking lot. They were financial successes- and the Guild contributed substantial sums of money toward the operation of the Church.

These annual fairs grew in size each year from 1972 and 1978 and featured handmade gifts and crafts, home baked goods, Christmas decorations, entertainment for the children. During this period, members of the Guild published an excellent cookbook, with recipes furnished by members and other parishioners.

In 1974, the Guild marked its twenty-fifth anniversary and honored its charter members at a silver tea in the Parish Hall.

In 1975, the Guild initiated the first Senior Citizens' luncheons at the Parish Hall on May 15. This was also an early celebration of Mother's Day. Other churches adopted the idea, and members of St. Patrick's Guild cooperated in the popular event.

The Guild remains a vital force within the Parish in the 1980's.

Lay Committees

The Lay Committees were formed in 1979 with the following persons as chairpersons:

Communications-David H. Bresnahan
Family Life-Joan-Marie Bresnahan
Finance-Nicolas Milardo
Liturgy-Patricia Kugeman
Maintenance-Daivid Dowding

Co-chairpersons for the Centennial Celebration were Mr. and Mrs. Donald H. Bresnahan.

The Parish Council

One of the most important programs to come out of Vatican II was the establishment of councils composed of lay members of the church, elected by the Congregation. the first was established about 1965-66. The names of all of the early council members are not available from records, but among them were Margaret Sullivan, Arthur Albin, Dr. John Redmond, Edward Caraluzzi, Jane Walsh, and others whose dedication   helped provide direction for later members.

The function of the council is to assist and advise the priests with both the spiritual and temporal affairs of the parish and St. Patrick has been fortunate in having men and women of various backgrounds and experience serve in this capacity.

Among the projects which have been completed under the aeigis of parish councils were the redecorating of the church, the installation of new pews in 1869, the painting and repair of the exterior of the church and the repair of the stained glass windows, the addition of storm windows, the installation of a new heating system, and the landscaping of the grounds. The chairperson of the Council in 1980 is Mary Morris, believed to be the first woman to hold the post.

Who was Saint Patrick?

Ironically the patron saint of Ireland was not of Irish descent. It is thought that he was born in the British Isles around 385-460 A.D. Most of the biographical information comes from his own confession, which he wrote in old age. The Roman Empire was near collapse and raiders found it easy toprey on Britain. Many of the raiders crossed the Irish Sea from a land the Romans called Juverna. In English the word was Hibernia.

When Patrick was sixteen he was abducted and enslaved. Patrick Believed he was being punished by god because he had broken the Commandments. While in captivity he prayed to god and swore allegiance to him and his laws. Six years went by when Patrick had a special dream and heard a voice tell him to flee in a nearby ship. Patrick ran away and begged steerage on a ship and eventually ended up in Western Europe. He studied and prayed and eventually decided the Irish needed to be saved from Paganism. He was sent as a missionary and found the Celts living in clans and practicing an old religious form headed by Druids. They worshipped nature gods, offered sacrifices, and foretold the future.

Although Patrick introduced them to bible he allowed them to hold onto some old rites and customs. They had always honored their gods with Springtime fires so Patrick had the people light bonfires at Easter. The color green was not always the national color . it had special significance during pagan times because it symbolized spring.

Patrick was very successful with his conversion and is said to have used the three leafed shamrock when explaining the holy trinity. The shamrock is a small green three-leafed trefoil that resembles a clover. It has since become an emblem of St. Patrick and Ireland as well.

When Patrick died, all of Ireland went into mourning. The church elders prayed over his body for twelve days. It is believed that his body is buried near the River Quoile in Downpatrick, County Down, in Northern Ireland. His contributions to Ireland included reading and writing. When he introduced the bible and other sacred writings in latin most of the Irish were illiterate and they had no written history. Ireland later became known as the "Island of Saints and Scholars".


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