The Life and Acts of St. Patrick/Chapter XXII

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How he dwelt with the blessed Germanus, and how he received the Habit from Saint Martin.

Being thus instructed and directed of heaven, though both his parents resisted and would have detained him, he, with the faithful Abraham, quitted his country, his kindred, and his father's house, and, passing through his native Britain, he went into France. And lest his labor should be fruitless, or that he might not attempt to teach what he had not thoroughly learned, he attached himself to the blessed Bishop Germanus, and, for his greater progress in the Christian faith and learning, abided with him for the space of eighteen years, reading and imbibing the Holy Scriptures (as in the acts of the blessed Germanus is recorded). And each had received the divine command—Patrick that he should abide with Germanus, and the holy bishop that he should retain and instruct the youth. For he was a prelate, in his descent, in his nobility, in his life, in his learning, in his office, and in his miracles most illustrious; and from him the several degrees of the holy orders, and at length the sacerdotal dignity according to the canons, did Patrick receive. With the like purpose did he some time abide with the blessed Martin, Archbishop of Tours, who was the uncle of his mother, Conquessa. And as this holy luminary of the priesthood was a monk, he gave to his nephew, Patrick, the monastic habits and rules, the which he most devoutly assumed, and adorned by his life, and persevered therein. And bidding farewell, they departed the one from the other, forasmuch as Martin was enjoined by the angel to go into a certain island. And Saint Patrick, returning to the blessed Germanus, remained with him many days.