Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Muirchú's Life of Patrick (Author: Muirchú maccu Machtheni)

Chapter 2


I 2. (1) Having been at sea with (these) wicked people for three days and as many nights, rather like Jonas, he afterwards tramped for twenty-eight days through desert, as did Moses, although in a different sense. Compelled by the pagans, who grumbled, as the Jews had done, because they were worn out almost to the point of exhaustion by hunger and thirst, challenged by the captain and asked to pray to his god for them to save them from death, moved by their plight, pitying the crowd, suffering (with them) in spirit, crowned with merit, glorified by God, he secured for them plenty to eat with the help of God, (who) sent him a herd of pigs as he had sent (the Jews) a flight of quails. (2) They also came across wild honey, as did John in his time, but—as was befitting the wicked pagans—they got pork meat instead of locusts. He [holy Patrick], however, tasted none of that food—for it had been offered in sacrifice—and he remained unscathed, feeling neither hunger nor thirst. (3) In that same night Satan attacked him vigorously in his sleep, as if burying him under huge rocks and crushing his limbs, but he invoked Elijah twice and at once the sun rose for him and its brightness dispelled all the shadows of darkness, and his strength was restored to him.