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Click on these links to HEAR audio recording of
The Story of St. Patrick
G. Wakenhut

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Page Contents:

Story Text
Performing Artists
Send this audio greeting card to a friend Notes about the recording session

The Story of
St. Patrick


Photo: Sr. Julia Mohr

A beautiful spring morning opened as the sun broke through the dreary damp clouds which had covered the harbor in Wales for so many days. It was the beginning of the 5th century, and much of the British Isles was occupied and ruled by the Romans.

16 year old Maewyn was the son of Calphurnius, a high Roman official in Wales. Their family lived a rich and noble life. Maewyn had little responsibility and spent most of his time watching the boats and sailors from many lands as they came and went from the harbor.

Photo: Sr. Julia Mohr

This morning, he was taking in the warmth of the sun, lying on the hill high above the harbor. His mind was engrossed by the freedom of birds as they explored the currents of air along the cliffs, and the essence of spring was present in the beautiful smell of the delicate yellow flowers around him.

& Fear

Maeywn's curiosity was drawn to a fleet of small ships sailing through the narrows and dropping anchor in the harbor. But something seemed unusual and wrong. He realized the ships were not friendly.

Fearing for his family, he ran down the hill toward their home as the warriors began looting and burning the town. Even with the energy and strength of a sixteen year old, he was no match for the invaders, and he soon found himself bound with course ropes and thrown into the bottom of a boat. The speech of his kidnappers told him he was a captive of warriors from Ireland.

After a few hours in the hold with the sea tossing him about, he was brought on deck to discover a strange land. Instead of recognizing beautiful buildings and homes with paved streets and people with his religious beliefs, he found the gloom of mud huts and a primitive people dressed in dirty animal skins and worshiping Pagan deities.

Life as a Slave

Because of his age and strength, Maewyn was sold to a king in Northern Ireland. His next six years were spent wearing a sheepskin tunic with a shaved head, the marks of a shepherd slave. Lacking the comforts and pleasures of his home in Wales, Maewyn's new existence was an important next step for his future.

Photo: Sr. Julia Mohr

He was forced to live a life of isolation in the wild. He found himself becoming spiritually in tune with the wholeness of the earth, and he turned more and more to meditation and prayer to fill his lonely hours.

After several years of this deprivation, he experienced a vision that told him he would escape on a boat. Walking 2 hundred miles to the south, he found a boat leaving for Wales. Homecoming was a unbelievable shock. Wales was in ruins, and there was no sign of the Roman culture in which he had been raised.

to Others

Then Maewyn had another vision, and he felt the people of Ireland calling him back to help them. To answer this call, he undertook 20 years of training studying the scriptures, administration skills, and construction techniques so he might return to Ireland as a Catholic bishop.


Given the name of Patrick by the church, he would become the spiritual leader that turned the people of Ireland to a more peaceful and civilized life.

Photos were taken during our Journey to the Edge spiritual retreat in June 2004 by Sr. Julia Mohr.  We appreciate her talents and her willingness to share them with you.

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Performing Artists:

Picture unavailable at this time

Gary Wakenhut

Anne Wakenhut
Celtic Harp

Anthony Patterson

Nora Anderson
Oboe & Eng. Horn

On New Years Eve, 1998, Tony and Nora joined us in a performance at the Kalamazoo, MI New Years Fest.  While driving home the next morning, I told them about the St. Patrick story I had written and my desires to record it with musical support. 

On New Year's Day, after a short nap to recover from the night before's experience, we sat down together to undertake this memorable creative experience.  In the matter of a few hours, we selected, wrote and arranged the music, and made this recording. 

The opening music is Tony's composition Spring (available on our Reverence CD).  The middle interlude was created by Tony for this recording.  The closing melody is T. O'Carolan's Separation of the Body from the Soul (no recording).

The Story of St. Patrick was initially released as part of our Spirit Within St. Patrick's Day Special that was aired over National Public Radio in 1999.  Click here to listen to the entire program..

You have been listening to a re-mastered version of that NPR recording done with our new software.  We hope you have enjoyed this experience. 

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Anne & Gary Wakenhut

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