The stories told on these pages are from  a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s. 
The children recorded (over&nbsp740,000 handwritten pages) of this material from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.

These are their stories in their own words.

Tales of St. Patrick

SCHOOL: Killmallock Convent School | ADDRESS: Adare, Co. Limerick

Proud Irish Heritage- Saint Patrick - Ireland's Patron Saint
Saint Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint.

When St. Patrick was building Armagh Cathedral he had a great many skilled workers with him, who used to make great progress during the day with the tools St. Patrick himself forged for them. But at night the devil used to come in the form of a bull and pull down much of the work done during the day.

The masons used to be wild and they determined they’d beat the devil – and they did.

They built the Cathedral which remained until the present one was ready.

St. Patrick liked a joke and when his workmen looked for praise he said: “That ye may be fat, merry and ragged with sore fingers and seldom full time.”

He was a great schemer, was St. Patrick. He saw a boy beating an ass one day and he ordered him to stop saying: “That is the animal who took Our Lady and her Child to Egypt and Jerusalem.” “Begor” said the boy “they’d never get there if they had this one” but he stopped beating the donkey.

Another day he (Patrick) met a pagan and said: “I want you to preach to the people.” “Me?” said the pagan, laughing his fill, and kneeling in mockery for the Saint’s blessing.

Patrick blessed him and when he got up off his knees, he began praising God in words as burning as the Saint’s own.

‘Twas at Tara, where he lighted the fire that will never be quenched, that he had the most trouble. Women, blacksmiths and druids were the greatest of his troubles.

One druid said he had greater powers than St. Patrick and before all the people he flew with his chariot and fairy horses up & down the air several times. Then St. Patrick made the sign of the Cross and down came flying horses, chariot, the druid and all – and stopped there!

That druid was the laughing stock of the people ever after in spite of the magical powers he possessed. He ever after had a dread of the Sign of the Cross.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0528, Page 224a” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

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