Feliz dia de São Patrício
When St. Patrick came over to Ireland to convert the pagans no one would give him a lodging, for so the Druid priests had ordered. And he wandered on till at last he came to a small inn, where he was allowed to rest, the people not knowing him. And in the night he was thirsty, and asked for water, but the mistress told him she had forgotten to fill the vessels, and there was no water except at the well. Then Patrick said he would go and fill the can for himself, and fetch it home.
On this the woman wondered greatly, and asked what country he came from to be so brave, for a great enchanter lived by the well, and no one dared to go near it in the dark night. The saint, however, made answer that he feared no harm, for God and the angels would guard him. So she gave him a wooden noggin with a lid to carry the water, and bade him take care how he lifted his eyes to look at the light set on the rock where the enchanter dwelt, or he would certainly fall down dazed and die.
But Patrick, nothing fearing, went forth; and when he came to the rock by the well he cast a strong spell over the place in the name of the Trinity, and the magician trembled and uttered a loud cry, and then dropped down dead on his face and spake no word.
So Patrick was at peace to fill the vessel with water from the well, and he returned safe to the inn.
And it was a saying afterwards amongst the Irish, if they were offended or suffered injury: “The curse of St. Patrick on the Man of the Well be on your head for evermore!”
Now, the magician had a mother a wicked witch called Churana and she vowed vengeance on Patrick, and turned her sorceries against him.
So he pursued her to Croagh-Patrick, where she lived, and ascended the mountain after her, though she flung down great rocks on him to stop his way. But he prayed to the Lord, who gave him strength to fling them aside, and still he went on up the mountain. Then the witch caused a great fog to arise, and he was left alone, for none of his disciples could find their way to follow him in the darkness. Still Patrick went on all alone, until, by chance, his foot struck against a bell on the mountain path; and when he rang it, his followers heard and came to him. And at last they gained the top, though all was black darkness around them by reason of the fog.
And it was the first Sunday in harvest-time, which Sunday was called ever after through all the years Donagh-tram-dubh (“the Sunday of Gloom”).
Then they began to descend the mountain. But the witch caused water to be poured over them that was nauseous to the smell and taste; so the Sunday is also called “Garlic Sunday” ever since. Still, never heeding, they pursued her even as far as the great lake, where the evil witch plunged into the water. But Patrick struck her with the bell as she passed him and slew her; and her blood changed the water to red, so that the lake was known ever after as Lough-Dearg, or “the Red Lake.”
And Patrick, in memory of his deliverance, established a station there and founded a monastery. And yet once more he ascended Croagh-Patrick, and beheld all the country lying westward ; but, finding that his time was short, and that he could not visit Connemara nor the lands near, he lifted up his hands and invoked a blessing on the bays and the harbours and the shores of Connemara, even a sevenfold blessing. So ever since the fish are abundant there beyond all other places on the coast of Ireland.
Nor yet had he time to visit Erris; but, unhappily, he forgot, before leaving the mountain, to invoke a blessing on the island, so the people of Erris are still pagan in all their ways rakish and prodigal, and given to strong drink, even to this day for the blessing of Patrick never rested on them, nor on their land or coasts
The Writings of Oscar Wilde – Irish Peasant Tales: St. Patrick and the Witch