St. Patrick–let’s discuss. From Omer Englebert’s The Lives of the Saints:
Ireland, Scotland, and Wales compete for the honour of having given birth to St. Patrick. His father, the deacon Calpunius, had a farm beside the sea. About 404 it was pillage by pirates who carried off Patrick, aged sixteen. They sold him to an islander who employed him for six years in tending his flocks, after which Patrick fled and returned to his parents.
Interesting, no? And then there’s this:
The Purgatory of St. Patrick is a great subterranean cave, situated on an island of Lough Dergh in Ulster, where the saint used to go to meditate on teh judgment of God and to give himself up to penances. Since his death it has always been a place of pilgrimage, and certain souls have thought it sufficient to pass some time there to avoid the sufferings of purgatory in the world to come.
And then from The Purgatory of St. Patrick, by Pedro Calderón de la Barca:
In the hollow-breasted waves
Roared the wind, the sea grew maddened,
Billows upon billows rolled
Mountain high, and wildly dashed them
Wet against the sun, as if
They its light would quench and darken.
The poop-lantern of our ship
Seemed a comet most erratic —
Seemed a moving exhalation,
Or a star from space outstarted;
At another time it touched
The profoundest deep sea-caverns,
Or the treacherous sands whereon
Ran the stately ship and parted.
Then the fatal waves became
Monuments of alabaster,
Tombs of coral and of pearl.
I (and why this boon was granted
Unto me by Heaven I know not,
Being so useless), with expanded
Arms, struck out, but not alone
My own life to save, nay rather
In the attempt to save this brave
Young man here, that life to barter;
For I know not by what secret
Instinct towards him I’m attracted;
And I think he yet will pay me
Back this debt with interest added.
Finally, through Heaven’s great pity
We at length have happily landed,
Where my misery may expect it,
Or my better fate may grant it;
Since we are your slaves and servants,
That being moved by our disasters,
That being softened by our weeping,
Our sore plight may melt your hardness,
Our affliction force your kindness,
And our very pains command you.