Don’t be too small and don’t be too big with the clergy.

Note: Do not be too small with the clergy. They have answered a call from God. They have sacrificed everything to serve God and minister to God’s community. They deserve respect. Do not be too big with the clergy either. Do not expect them to be without sin. After all, members of the clergy are human, and therefore subject to the same foibles that afflict all human beings. In his writings, St. Patrick reveals both his devotion and his shortcomings.

Mise Pádraig, peacach gan oiliúint ag cur fúm in Éirinn, fógraím gur easpag me.Táim lándeimhin de gur ó Dhia a fuaireas a mbaineann liom. Dá bhrí sin is ar son grá Dé atá cónaí orm i measc na nginte barbaracha, i mo choimhthíoch agus i mo dheoraí. Is finné é Dia gur mar sin atá. Ní hé gur mhian liom aon ní a scaoileadh thar mo bheola ar shlí chomh dian ná chomh géar sin, ach tá dúthracht do Dhia do mo thiomáint agus spreag fírinne Chríost mé de bharr grá comharsan agus clainne, ar thréig mé mo thír dhúchais agus mo thuismitheoirí agus mo shaol go bás ar a son. Más fiú mé é, mairim do mo Dhia, d’fhonn na ginte a theagasc cé gur beag é meas roinnt daoine orm.
     An Litir ag Coinnealbhá Corotícus.

I, Patrick the sinner, unlearned as everybody knows, avow that I have been established as a bishop of Ireland. Most assuredly I believe that I have received from God what I am. And so I dwell in the midst of barbarbous heathens, a stranger and an exile for the love of God. He is witness that this is so. Not that I desired to utter from my mouth anything so harshly and so roughly, but I am compelled, roused as I am by zeal for God and for the truth of Christ; and by love for my nearest friends and sons, for whom I have given up my fatherland and parents, yea and my life to the point of death. I vowed to my God to teach the heathens if I am worthy, though I be despised by some.
     Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus

Irish was probably Patrick’s third tongue. His first was Latin. Patrick’s father was a decurion, a roman government official in a remote part of Roman Britain. Patrick writes that he had a misspent youth and associated with other wayward youth. Patrick probably spoke a Britannic Celtic language with these youth. It was a language more akin to Welch than Irish. Patrick learned Irish after he was sold into slavery in Ireland in 401 ACE.