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Palladias, Bishop of Ireland

Wace's Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

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Palladius (11) , July 6, the first bp. sent to Ireland and the immediate predecessor of St. Patrick. Facts known about him are few, though legends are numerous. His birthplace is placed by some in England, by others in Gaul or Italy; some even make him a Greek (see Ussher, Eccles. Britann. Antiq. t. vi. c. xvi. of Elrington's ed.). His ecclesiastical position has also been disputed. He seems to have been an influential man in the earlier part of the 5th cent., as Prosper of Aquitaine, a contemporary, mentions him twice, affording the only real record. of his life which we possess. Under 429 Prosper writes in his Chronicle : "By the instrumentality of the deacon Palladius, pope Celestinus sends Germanus, bp. of Auxerre, in his own stead, to displace the heretics and direct the Britons to the Catholic faith." Prosper's words under 431 are, "Ad Scotos in Christum credentes ordinatur a Papa Celestino Palladius et primus Episcopus mittitur." This mission of Palladius is referred to in the Book of Armagh, where Tirechan (Analect. Boll. t. ii. p. 67), or more probably some writer towards a.d. 900, calls him Patricius as his second name. Rev. J. F. Shearman, in his Loco Patriciana , p. 25 (Dubl. 1879), has discussed with vast resources of legendary lore the different localities in Wicklow and Kildare where Palladius is said to have preached and built churches, but his authorities have little historical value, being specially the Four Masters and Jocelyn. His work contains, however, much interesting matter for students of Irish ecclesiastical history and antiquities, its accuracy being guaranteed by his extensive knowledge of the localities.

[G.T.S.]

Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Palladias, Bishop of Ireland'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hwd/​p/palladias-bishop-of-ireland.html. 1911.
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