St. Patrick’s Prayer

March 17 is of course St Patrick’s Day when we celebrate the fifth century Christian bishop and missionary who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. I have always enjoyed this holiday though not for all the spiritual reasons. I do like those Shamrock shakes, look good in green, have Scot-Irish background, and love knowing that spring is around the corner.
In researching background about St. Patrick, I learned more about a prayer attributed to him. I have read it in the past, a shorter version, but its history and longer version are worth the time to read.
This prayer is called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” because of those parts of it that seek God’s protection, especially protecting the heart. 
According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish
King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. Recent researchers think its author was anonymous. In any case, this prayer certainly reflects the spirit with which St. Patrick brought our faith to Ireland.
Monks memorize and pray this prayer every morning when they awake, sometimes also adding Psalm 5. You may enjoy hearing this prayer sun by Ken Read on YouTube. Its version is slightly different from what is printed below but is just beautiful. 
St Patrick Prayer

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness 
Of the Creator of creation. 
I arise today  

Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,  

Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,  

Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension, 

Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today 

Through the strength of the love of cherubim, 

In obedience of angels, 

In service of archangels, 

In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, 

In the prayers of patriarchs,  

In preachings of the apostles, 

In faiths of confessors, 

In innocence of virgins, 

In deeds of righteous men. 
I arise today
through the strength of Heaven 

the rays of the sun, 

the radiance of the moon, 

the splendor of fire, 

the speed of lightening, 

the swiftness of the wind,
the depth of the sea, 

the stability of the earth 

the firmness of rock.
I arise today through the power of God:
God’s might to comfort me, 
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to lead me, 
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s Heavenly Host to save me
from the snares of the devil,
from temptations to sin,
from all who wish me ill,
from near and afar,
alone and with others.
May Christ shield me today
against poison and fire, 

against drowning and wounding, 

so that I may fulfill my mission 

and bear fruit in abundance. 

Christ behind and before me, 

Christ behind and above me, 

Christ with me and in me,  

Christ around and about me, 

Christ on my right and on my left, 

Christ when I lie down at night, 

Christ when I rise in the morning, 

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 

Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me, 

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.
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  • Luther

    That is a wonderful prayer filled with passion for the Strength of our Creator and the Mercies that are His that allow us to rise every morning

  • Phather Phil Malmstrom

    I love your Godly history lessons Jean! Thank you for teaching me something today!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  • Laura@OutnumberedMom

    Love this, Jeanie. We were thinking similar thoughts today…

    Happy St. Paddy’s to you!