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Continuing his journey towards Slemish, the saint was struck with horror on seeing at a distance the fort of his old master Milchu enveloped in flames.In the ways of a benign Providence the six years of Patrick's captivity became a remote preparation for his future apostolate.He acquired a perfect knowledge of the Celtic tongue in which he would one day announce the glad tidings of Redemption, and, as his master Milchu was a druidical high priest, he became familiar with all the details of Druidism from whose bondage he was destined to liberate the Irish race.Continuing his course northwards he halted at the mouth of the River Boyne.A number of the natives there gathered around him and heard with joy in their own sweet tongue the glad tidings of Redemption.Admonished by an angel he after six years fled from his cruel master and bent his steps towards the west.
He relates in his "Confessio" that he had to travel about 200 miles; and his journey was probably towards Killala Bay and onwards thence to Westport.
He found a ship ready to set sail and after some rebuffs was allowed on board.
In a few days he was among his friends once more in Britain, but now his heart was set on devoting himself to the service of God in the sacred ministry. Martin's monastery at Tours, and again at the island sanctuary of Lérins which was just then acquiring widespread renown for learning and piety; and wherever lessons of heroic perfection in the exercise of Christian life could be acquired, thither the fervent Patrick was sure to bend his steps. Germain entered on his great mission at Auxerre than Patrick put himself under his guidance, and it was at that great bishop's hands that Ireland's future apostle was a few years later promoted to the priesthood.
But the fire was not extinguished and Patrick shielded by the Divine power came unscathed from their snares and assaults.
On Easter Day the missionary band having at their head the youth Benignus bearing aloft a copy of the Gospels, and followed by St.
He had not proceeded far when a chieftain, named Dichu, appeared on the scene to prevent his further advance.