Palladias, bishop of Ireland
Palladius (11), July 6, the first bp. sent to Ireland and the immediate
predecessor of St. Patrick. Facts known about him are few, though legends are numerous.
His birthplace is placed by some in England, by others in Gaul or Italy; some even
make him a Greek (see Ussher, Eccles. Britann. Antiq. t. vi. c. xvi. of Elrington's
ed.). His ecclesiastical position has also been disputed. He seems to have been
an influential man in the earlier part of the 5th cent., as Prosper of Aquitaine,
a contemporary, mentions him twice, affording the only real record. of his life
which we possess. Under 429 Prosper writes in his Chronicle: "By the instrumentality
of the deacon Palladius, pope Celestinus sends Germanus, bp. of Auxerre, in his
own stead, to displace the heretics and direct the Britons to the Catholic faith."
Prosper's words under 431 are, "Ad Scotos in Christum credentes ordinatur a Papa
Celestino Palladius et primus Episcopus mittitur." This mission of Palladius is
referred to in the Book of Armagh, where Tirechan (Analect. Boll. t. ii.
p. 67), or more probably some writer towards a.d. 900, calls him Patricius as his
second name. Rev. J. F. Shearman, in his Loco Patriciana, p. 25 (Dubl. 1879),
has discussed with vast resources of legendary lore the different localities in
Wicklow and Kildare where Palladius is said to have preached and built churches,
but his authorities have little historical value, being specially the Four Masters
and Jocelyn. His work contains, however, much interesting matter for students of
Irish ecclesiastical history and antiquities, its accuracy being guaranteed by his
extensive knowledge of the localities.