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

Chapter 9


I 18 (17). (1) The king with his companions was furious with Patrick over this incident and he tried to kill him and said: ‘Lay hands on this fellow who is about to ruin us.’ (2) When holy Patrick saw that the pagans were on the point of attacking him he rose and said with a loud voice: ‘May God bestir Himself, and may His enemies be routed and His illwishers flee before His face.’ (3) And at once darkness set in, and there was a dreadful uproar and the infidels fought among themselves, one rising up against the other, and there was a big earthquake which caused the axles of their chariots to collide with each other, and drove them violently forward so that chariots and horses rushed headlong over the plain until, in the end, a few of them escaped barely alive to Mons Monduirn, (4) and by this disaster seven times seven men perished through the curse of Patrick before the eyes of the king as a punishment for his words, until there remained only he himself and three other survivors, that is, he and his queen, and two of the Irish, and they were in great fear. (5) And the queen went to Patrick and said to him: ‘O just and powerful man, do not bring death upon the king! For the king will come and bend his knees and adore your lord.’ (6) And the king came, impelled by fear, and bent his knees before the holy man, and pretended to do him reverence though he did not mean it; and after they had parted and the king had gone a short distance away, he called holy Patrick with false words, wishing to kill him by any means. (7) Patrick, however, knew the wicked thoughts of the wicked king. He blessed his companions, eight men with a boy, in the name of Jesus Christ, and started on his way to the king, and the king counted them as they went along, and suddenly they disappeared from the king's eyes; (8) instead, the pagans merely saw eight deer with a fawn going, as it were, into the wilds. And king Loíguire, sad, frightened, and in great shame, went back to Tara at dawn with the few who had escaped.