Authentication of Saint Patrick

as "Abbot of Glastonbury"


(right: Original 13th Century seal, now in the British Museum) This shows St Benen, St Patrick and St Dunstan. St Patrick was the first with the title of "Abbot" of Glastonbury. For more than 1,000 years Pilgrims could visit ‘his tomb’ there. He was succeeded as Abbot by his disciple, Benen. For a full list of succeeding Abbots since Saint Patrick click here.

SAINT PATRICK, as listed in the Bosworth Psalter, was Senior in Glaston, Bishop. Died and was buried at Glastonbry AD 472. In his earlier work his “Confessio” he stated his longing to return to Britain . Finally he wrote “ Charter for Glastonbury ”. The church seals, early royal charters, records, the Psalter dating to the time of Dunstan, and the numerous Saints and Monarchs give homage to him as an Abbot of Glastonbury.

Irish Pilgrims for Centuries have record their visits to St. Patrick's Tomb at Glastonbury. Among them the following saints.

SAINT BENIGUS, first attended Glastonbury in AD 460. He was a disciple of St. Patrick, and as Malmesbury recorded, he abandoned his Irish Bishopric, like Patrick and became the Abbot of Glastonbury after Patrick died. His tomb at the Glastonbury manor of Mere records this same story.

SAINT INDRACT, Also commemorated by Malmesbury as a saint buried at Glastonbury . He, with seven companions returning from a pilgrimage to Rome , turned aside to visit St. Patrick’s tomb at the “Second Rome,” as Glastonbury was called because of the number of Saints buried there. They were killed just outside of Glastonbury . Three centuries later King Ina moved their bodies to Glastonbury.

SAINT BRIDE(or Brigit), She is considered the second greatest saint of all Irish Saints. Having been recorded also in William of Malmesbury’s history came in AD 488. The greatest of all Irish Saints who had much to do with Glastonbury. As any widely regarded Irish saint, daughter of a King would want to follow in Patrick’s footsteps, having stayed in Glastonbury for a season and returning to her native Ireland. Several of her articles remain in glastonbury as part of the local history of her visit. 

SAINT COLUMBA, the Culdee, following his fellow Irish Saints Patrick and Bride, made Glastonbury his headquarters for a period of time (according to Malmesbury). His effects on Glastonbury are evident with the two chapels in the vicinity, named after him (or his succecessor Columbanus). He was a Culdee, Irish and English Royal descended priest, and Apostle to Europe. Following the models of Glastonbury of having twelve apostles, given down from St. Patrick, St. Joseph of Arimathea, and Jesus Himself, he's recorded to have also forwarded the Hebrew law and a "twelve monks" structure in Iona Scotland.

“The Charter of Saint Patrick at Glastonbury ” was authenticated by Gerardus Vossius, Historian at the University of Leiden in Holland . He was a close companion of Hugo de Groot, accredited as the founder of modern international, royal and sovereignty law. (Richard Rawlinson and Charles Eyston, in “The History and Antiquities of Glastonbury”)

Lewis' "GLASTONBURY, Mother of Saints", points to the Bosworth Psalter that records the Bishops back to St. Patrick, as being a history 150 years earlier than Malmesbury, to the time of Saint Dunstan. It’s widely understood that this Palter was written for St. Dunstant’s use at Canterbury. St. Benedict’s division of the Psalter is marked throughout, showing that the book was written for a monastic, and not for a secular Church, and it’s own worn corners testify to a diligent use in choir. To this remarkable book a calendar is prefixed in two folios of a somewhat finer vellum written later, but as it would seem, at no great distance of date.” (He shews that it is written between AD 988 and 1023.) “A comparison of this calendar with that of the Leofric Missal proves that both are derived from a Calendar of St. Dunstant’s own Abbey of Glastonbury .

“For almost two centuries Britain had been free from the domination of Imperial Rome; this fact enabled the supporters of the British Church at this time to quote the second canon of the Council of Constantinople, held in A.D.381, which ordained that the Churches that are without the Roman Empire should be governed by their ancient customs (Paper in the ‘Ecclesiastic’ for April 1864 on Dr. Todd’s ‘St. Patrick’, Concilia Constantiano Theodore-Martin (Lovar), 1517). But the canon was not held sufficient by Augustine and his successors to justify the British Church in its contention.” (Isabel Hill Elder, “Celt, Druid and Culdee” (1973))


For more information read: 130 British Saints Before Augustine (of 500 Celtic Saints 1-7th Centuries) PDF


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