The Ancient Ones had all departed this world by the time Patrick died. He was the last of that number. Nearly 120 summers had passed since his birth. Patrick was not his real name, it was the name given him by an Anglican king. The people of the North could not get their tongues around the name Patrocles.
Patrick had struggled to learn the language and taught the northerners many things in return. He carried a gift to them from the land of his fathers—a message of truth—a life-giving message. He spoke to them of the Son of God and they eagerly accepted the truth of his message, for he possessed copies of letters received from the Ancients, documenting the truth of the events he taught. In turn, he was loved and revered by them. To this day, they still speak of him with respect. They call him “The Apostle.”
At the age of 110, he returned to his native Palestine from the northern kingdom, to live out his last days. Though wars and pestilence were widespread, he lived in virtual peace in the wilderness and told his stories to whoever stopped by to listen. Stories of barren lands and barbarous peoples, stories of life and love, recounted in a singsong voice.
“They were a wondrous race,” he said. “They sang the psalms of the fathers, learned from a man called Jebuel, a son of David, who’d traveled there in days of old seeking refuge from the great dearth. He it was who first sang the songs to his children and they in turn sang them to their children. The songs spread throughout the kingdom.” He smiled as he leaned in close and pointed a gnarled finger at a child’s nose. “Imagine my great surprise when I came to understand their words, to hear a psalm of David being sung in an Anglican tongue. I was greatly encouraged. They believed in the Father, so of course, they must hear of the Son. I gave them my testimony.
“I told them: When I was a child, the Son of God walked upon the earth. He followed the paths of men and taught great truths. Many followed him, listening to every word that proceeded from his mouth. My mother sent me after him, to hear of his truthful sayings. I carried with me, a basket of loaves and fishes so that I would not get hungry. My mother knew I may be gone for some time, you see. There were many hundreds of men who traveled with us, who had not planned so well. There were women and children besides.
“When the hour grew late, they were hungry, but they were far away from the town and there was no food. This is how much they loved the teachings of this man. They would not leave and give up their place, even for the sake of their bellies. He asked for food and I gave him mine. It was all I had, but I was willing to share. He blessed it and gave it to his men to divide among the many. How great was my surprise when it fed them all and there was somewhat left over.” He shook his head. “It was a miracle. But there were many in those days.”