Archbishop to Launch Book on St Patrick by Fr Aidan Larkin

May 24, 2023

We are delighted that the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, will launch, ‘The Spiritual Journey of St Patrick’ by Columban missionary Fr Aidan Larkin in Dalgan on 30th May 2023 at 7pm.

Fr Aidan died in 2019. He was working on ‘The Spiritual Journey of Saint Patrick at the time of his death. Archbishop Martin has written the Foreword to the book.

The book is a compelling argument for a re-evaluation and recognition of St Patrick’s profound spiritual legacy.

This new publication is a fitting tribute to the late Fr Aidan who led a remarkably varied and fulfilled life.

As well as being a missionary priest in Chile, Fr Aidan played a leading role in the development of the SDLP and was an SDLP councillor and assembly member in the 1970s. He was also a barrister who worked as a legal adviser in Brussels to the Council of Ministers.

Aged 35 he joined Clonliffe seminary in Dublin and later he joined the Columban Fathers and committed his life to missionary work.

In his book, Fr Larkin argues that St Patrick’s works are of such calibre that he should be counted among that select group of theologians who established the intellectual and doctrinal foundations of the Church – the Church Fathers.

The book reproduces St Patrick’s ‘Letter to Coroticus and the ‘Confessionin their entirety and Fr Aidan brings out a wealth of patristic resonances in these writings.

Every year millions of people celebrate St Patrick. He is Ireland’s most famous ambassador. Yet, what do we really know about him, about his spirituality, his mission, his vocation? Can we really only say that he was no friend to snakes?

Few people realise the connection between Patrick and the Church Fathers. Unlike the writings of Augustine and Paul, Patrick’s spirituality and his writings, which have survived to the present day, have been neglected.

In ‘The Spiritual Journey of St Patrick’, Fr Aidan, by uncovering the wealth of references to the Fathers of the Church in Patrick’s own writings, argues the case for recognising and engaging with Patrick’s spiritual legacy to the Church.

He encourages us to reframe Patrick as a religious thinker in dialogue with the Church’s past and future.

The Spiritual Journey of Saint Patrick by Aidan J. Larkin SSC with a foreword by Archbishop Eamon Martin is published by Messenger Publications €14.95/£12.95

The launch takes place on Tuesday 30th May 2023 at 7pm in St Columban’s, Dalgan, Navan, Co Meath.

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