The unknown story of how Saint Patrick’s brother , Jonny saved his life and changed the world.
The twin boys were born in the year 385 A.D Patrick’s real name was probably Maewyn Succa, his brother was named Jonathon. Their father, Calpornius, was a Roman-British army officer and a deacon.
Despite this family involvement in the church, the young Patrick was not a believer. His life was ordinary, and completely unexceptional, until the age of 16. Jonathan had always lived in the shadow of his older (by 1 minute) brother. That is until fate would intervene in the form of Irish pirates.
It was in the year of 401 A.D, that The young lad was kidnapped, along with many others, by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. According to his autobiographical Confessio, which survives, the next six years were spent imprisoned in the north of the island and he worked as a herdsmen of sheep and pigs on Mount Slemish in Co. Antrim.
During this period, he became increasingly religious. He considered his kidnapping and imprisonment as a punishment for his lack of faith and spent a lot of time in prayer.
After a vision led him to stow away on a boat bound for Britain, Patrick escaped back to his family.
There he had a dream that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to tell them about God. This inspired him to return to Ireland as a priest, but not immediately. At this point he didn’t feel adequately prepared for a life as a missionary. His studies took him to France where he was trained in a monastery, possibly under St Germain, the bishop of Auxerre, and he dedicated this period of his life to learning. It was some 12 years before he returned to Irish shores as a bishop sent with the Pope’s blessing.
The next chapter of the history of St Patrick is better known than his earlier life. He landed at Strangford Loch, Co. Down. Although he is often credited with having brought Christianity to Ireland, he was not the first to have done so.
An earlier mission had seen Palladius preach to the Irish.
St Patrick meets King Lóegaire to ask permission to preach Christianity.
Of course, it wasn’t all plain sailing. The history of St Patrick is littered with periods of imprisonment when his teachings had upset local chieftains or Celtic Druids, but he always escaped or gained freedom by presenting his captors with gifts.
For twenty years he travelled the length and breadth of the island, baptising people and establishing monasteries, schools and churches as he went.
By the time he died, on 17 March 461 (or 493, depending on which date you started your calculation), he left behind an organised church, the see of Armagh, and an island of Christians. This date – 17 March – has been commemorated as St Patrick’s Day ever since.
He was buried either in Downpatrick, Co Down, or in Armagh.
That is the official version but their is another version whispered amongst the old timers as they sit and smoke their legendary Leprechaun Lettuce.
Most historians won’t even acknowledge Johnathon. But legend has it that after Patrick had been kidnapped his father had become so distraught that he banished Jonathon from their home. He put him on a merchant ship to the far east. A terrible storm blew in and the merchant ship while a sturdy vessel was no match for the rocks she ran aground on.
Jonathan awoke to the smell of a skunk or something similar. He opened his eyes to see 4 men of dark skin watching him with a peculiar interest. One of the men passed the foul smelling pipe to jonathan who tried to refuse it but the elders would take no answer other than yea man.
He coughed deeply and the others laughe. But soon he was laughing with them. Young jONNY as they called was nursed back to health with plenty of the smelly plant. They prayed for him arranged passage on ship to Nothern England which at the time was controlled by the declining Roman Empire.
Three weeks later another storm blew in. Jonny grabbe the package of supplies his friends had given him. He saw the other ship just before they colluded and he jumped in the frigid water. He made it to shore and found a cave about a 100 yards in land.
Jonny had no idea that his brother was a mile in land and thought he was on a deserted island. He settled into his cave and planted some of the seeds his friends had given him. He survived those 5 long months on fish, coconut and bananas. He began to take walks further and further away from his base planting his seed as he went. Finally his first crop was ready for harvest. He cut down 10 plants that were taller than he was and hung the to dry as he had been taught.
It was on one of his hikes that he saw people and not just people but his Twin. It looked like he was shackled. He waited until his brother was alone and the ran up to him. They had like they hadn’t seen each in over 5 years. But just as the reunion was getting started they heard horses. They had no time to hide or to run. They were both beaten, tied up and thrown in the hole.
Patrick woke up to the same smell his brother had. Jonathan passed it to his brother and in no time at wer both quite stoned. Jonny called to the guard and after some talking confirmed that he had never tried to smoke this. And so this continued for another week before jonathan was called before the tribal elders to explain the magical Green plant. He then led them to all the places he had planted his seeds.they harvested enough to keep the island Ireland stoned for awhile . They had release them from captivity and they were free to return home.Patrick Did return home to become a missionary. Jonny decided to take his big bag of seeds and plant as many as possible. He made it around the world over the next year. The next year he had become a legend. But he could never return home. He would eventually make it back to Jamaica where the residents of the village took to calling Jonny…oh jonny Potseed.king of the wild island .