The Life and Acts of St. Patrick/Chapter CLXXVII
|←Chapter CLXXVI||The Life and Acts of St. Patrick by , translated by Edmund L. Swift
Chapter CLXXVII: Secundinus composeth a Hymn in Honor of Saint Patrick
Secundinus composeth a Hymn in Honor of Saint Patrick.
And Secundinus, who was exceeding wise and learned, said unto Saint Patrick that he desired to compose a hymn in honor of a saint who was yet living. This he said, for that the saint of whom he purposed to write was Patrick himself; and therefore concealed he the name in silence. Then answered the saint: "Verily, it is worthy, and fit, and right, and profitable, that the people should tell the wisdom of the saints, and that the congregation should speak of their praise; but yet is it more becoming that the subject of our praise should not be praised until after his death. Praise thou therefore the clearness of the day, but not until the evening cometh; the courage of the soldier, but not until he hath triumphed; the fortune of the sailor, but not until he hath landed; for the Scripture saith, Thou shalt praise no man in his lifetime. Nevertheless, if so thy mind is fixed, what thou proposest to do, that do thou quickly; for death draweth nigh unto thee, and of all the bishops which are in Hibernia, shalt thou be the first to die." Therefore Secundinus composed a hymn in honor of Saint Patrick, and after a few days, according to the word of the saint, he died; and he was buried in his own church, in a place which he called Domnhach-Seachlainn, and by manifold miracles showeth himself to live in Christ. And this hymn are many of the islanders daily wont to sing, and from its repetition they affirm many and great wonders to have happened; for divers, while singing this hymn, have passed unseen through their enemies who were thirsting for their blood, and who were stricken with that sort of blindness which physicians term acrisia.