Scéla Pátraic ⁊ Luigdech meic Lóegairi ‘The story of St Patrick and Lugaid mac Lóegairi’

  • prose
  • Cycles of the Kings
Medieval Irish legend about St Patrick, Lugaid son of Lóegaire mac Néill, king of Tara, and Michael the archangel. It is an aetiological anecdote which serves to account for the custom of ‘St Michael’s portion’ at Michaelmas, when sheep would be slaughtered to provide for the poor.
Scéla Pátraic ⁊ Luigdech meic Lóegairi
‘The story of St Patrick and Lugaid mac Lóegairi’
Modern editorial titles include “St. Patrick und Laegaire’s Sohn Lugaid” (Pokorny) and “The Michaelmas sheep” (Stokes). Wiley’s Irish title Scéla Pátraic ⁊ Luigdech meic Lóegairi, is a modern invention which echoes Pokorny. Cf. Conid senchas cháirech fhéili Michil ocus míri Míchil innsin (“So that is the story of the Michaelmas sheep and Michael's morsel”) towards the end of the B-recension in Rawl. B 512, where the text is foll. by Senchas muici fhéili Martain. A similar phrase in the Book of Lismore reads Conadh annsin roordaig Patraic mir Michel, ⁊ líach Michel ó cech aen.
First words (prose)
  • Araile fechtus tánic Pátraic cu Temraigh ar amus na ríghna bái oc Læguiri mac Néill d'fhoirithin a meic imonn ainces búi fair
Recension A
ff. 86ra–86rb
beg. ‘[A]raile fechtus tánic Pátraic cu Temraigh ar amus na ríghna bái oc Læguiri mac Néill d'fhoirithin a meic imonn ainces búi fair’
f. 143rb
beg. ‘Feachtas tanic Patraic co Temraidh ar amas na righna bai ac Laeghaire’
Recension B
ff. 108rb–108vb
beg. ‘Dia mbai conflicht mór etir Loegaire mac Neill ⁊ Patraic’
f. 114
Copy from BL Additional 30512
Other (not yet categorised)
Keating A modernised version is told by Geoffrey Keating in Foras feasa ar Éirinn.
prose (primary)
verse (secondary)
Contains poems
Mairg caithius proinn, a Chríst cain’ » A single quatrain cited in recension A
Textual relationships
Related: Senchas muici fhéili MartainSenchas muici fhéili Martain

Short Irish anecdote which gives an origin story for the monastic custom of slaughtering pigs on the eve of St Martin‘s feast-day (Martinmas, celebrated on 11 November). St Patrick is said have received the monastic tonsure from St Martin and to have instituted the custom in his honour.


Cycles of the Kings
Cycles of the Kings
id. 80


Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
(fl. 5th century)
No short description available

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Lóegaire mac Néill
Lóegaire mac Néill
(fl. 5th century)
(time-frame ass. with Lóegaire mac Néill)
according to medieval Irish tradition, high-king of Ireland, son of Níall , and a contemporary of St Patrick

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Lugaid mac Lóegairi
Lugaid mac Lóegairi
son of Lóegaire mac Néill

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Angás ingen Tassaig
Angás ingen Tassaig
wife of Lugaid mac Lóegairi in the tale of Scéla Pátraic ocus Luigdech meic Lóegairi

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Michael the archangel
Michael the archangel
Archangel in Christianity and other Abrahamic religions.

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Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

Pokorny, Julius [ed.], “Drie Erzaehlungen aus dem Buch von Lismore”, in: J. Fraser, Paul Grosjean, and J. G. OʼKeeffe (eds), Irish texts, fasciculus I, London, 1931. 42–44.  
comments: An edition of three narratives from the Book of Lismore:
I. Colum Cille, Comgall und Cainnech [fol. 43b2 ff], pp. 42-43
II. St Patrick und Laegaire's Sohn Lugaid [fol. 44a1 ff], pp. 43-44
III. Maoil Póil und die tote Nonne [fol. 44b1 ff], p. 44.
Celtic Digital Initiative: <link> CELT: <link>
43–44 An edition of the Lismore version.
Stokes, Whitley, The tripartite Life of Patrick: with other documents relating to that saint, 2 vols, vol. 2, Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores, 89.2, London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1887.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link> Internet Archive: <link>
556–559 [id. 24. ‘The Michaelmas sheep’] First Rawlinson B 512 version (f. 108rb). direct link

Secondary sources (select)

Wiley, Dan M., “An introduction to the early Irish king tales”, in: Dan M. Wiley (ed.), Essays on the early Irish king tales, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008. 13–67.
Kenney, James F., “Chapter IV: The monastic churches, their founders and traditions: I. The primitive foundations”, in: James F. Kenney, The sources for the early history of Ireland: an introduction and guide. Volume 1: ecclesiastical, Revised ed., 11, New York: Octagon, 1966. 288–371.
348 (§ 141.ii) [id. 141.2.]
Flower, Robin, Catalogue of Irish manuscripts in the [British Library, formerly the] British Museum, vol. 2, London: British Museum, 1926.
– IIIF Presentation API v2: View in Mirador – IIIF Presentation API v3: View in Mirador
518 [id. 65.]
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
October 2010, last updated: January 2024