SSP: The Confessio


Pursuing Veritas

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Scriptures of Saint Patrick of Ireland.

Saint Patrick of Ireland Saint Patrick of Ireland

The Confessio was remarkably preserved, having circulated since at least the seventh century, and remains at least partially extant in eight early medieval manuscripts.[1] As for when the Confessio was written, it appears to have come near the end of the saint’s life (“This is my confession before I die.”), after he had spent appreciable time in Ireland.[2] Patrick’s lack of personal names and dates provides little information for an exact dating. Following a general timeline of his life, however, we may safely date the final form of the Confessio to between 455 and 461 CE. The genre of this writing has been a somewhat debated topic, for its contents do not seem uniform in nature.[3] As John Morris writes, “His [Patrick’s] writings were not autobiographical, not…

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