45When John de Courcy was consolidating his hold on Downpatrick after his 1177 victory there, he brought in a group of Benedictines in 1183 to assume religious dominance in the town. He is said to have ordered the bones of the other patron saints of the country, St. Brigid (d. 525 CE) and St. Columcille (d. 594 CE) to be exhumed and re-interred along with the supposed bones of St. Patrick on the cathedral hill of Downpatrick According to some sources, this may have been part of his effort to bolster his popular allegiance. "On the 9th of June 1196, on the feast day of St Columcille, in the presence of fifteen bishops, from all over Ireland and a large number of clergy, the relics of Sts. Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille were buried in one tomb with great solemnity." As the traditional Irish rhyme puts it:
"In Down three Saints one grave do fill –
Patrick, Brigid, and Columcille."