The Life and Acts of St. Patrick/Chapter CXXXVIII

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Of Conallus and of his Shield.

And Saint Patrick addressed his well-beloved, the Prince Conallus; and he enquired of him whether would he assume the habit of a monk. And the prince replied that his heart was prepared to do whatsoever the saint would command. Then the saint rejoicing at his devotion said unto him, "For the sign of power and protection, and for the proof of thy spiritual worth, shall thou bear thy shield and thy sceptre; the name of a laic shalt thou show; but the mind and the merit of a monk shall thou possess, inasmuch as many saints shall proceed from thee, and many nations shall in thy seed be blessed." And he signed his shield with the sign of the staff of Jesus, declaring that no one of his progeny who should carry this shield in battle should ever by any one be vanquished. And the chronicles of Hibernia declare, and her bards record, that this the saint's prophecy unto Conallus and his seed duly came to pass.