Saint Patrick’s Feast Day

Happy Feast of St. Patrick! (Secularly known as St. Patrick’s Day! ;D ) He’s one of the most beloved saints of all time. I wonder what he would think of the way his feast day is celebrated today…
I’ve always loved the story of St. Patrick. I’m studying the countries of my heritage for history this year, and when I was studying Ireland I read a book that had traditional Irish stories in it. One of them was the story of how St. Patrick drove “the snakes” out of Ireland. Most of the time what comes to mind when one hears that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland is a mental picture of the rolling green hills covered in an infestation of slithering snakes, and St. Patrick in his green bishop’s garb raising his staff and herding them into the sea. But in this version at least, St. Patrick goes to face the devil, who’s hiding out in a cave, which is guarded by two big snakes. There’s this whole big battle of words between the devil and St. Patrick, but in the end St. Patrick drove him out with his “Breastplate” and hurled the snakes out of the country. Or something like that. : D (Actually, if I remember correctly, the theory is that the devil and the snakes ended up in America…)
Of course, all this is beloved Irish folklore, most likely all of which is false. But St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a real, powerful prayer. Perhaps powerful enough to drive out demons? Here it is:

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

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with 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 the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold 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 guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

[Note that people sometimes pray a shorter version of this prayer just with these 15 lines about Christ above. The conclusion follows below.]

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

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2 thoughts on “Saint Patrick’s Feast Day

  1. Wow, so this is what a blog by Sarah looks like…! (Haha, I had to make an account to leave a comment – but maybe that means I’ll make my own blog after all! πŸ˜€ ) Anyway yeah, I remember we used to say the short version of the St. Patrick’s prayer when I was in ECYD… if I never told you about that, I’ll tell you later… But yeah, this is a great blog!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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