Tuesday, March 13, 2007

St. Patrick, a Model of Christian Knighthood

This week is St. Patrick's Day, and another day of cheerful green-ness, ubiquitous shamrocks, and drunken pub crawls. Would that we all could really celebrate the life of this Man of God...

"and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me."

The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate", is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for the victory over Paganism in Ireland. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

[The Catholic Encyclopedia]


Indeed, this prayer is a strong breastplate of righteousness. Not hard to see how a man who prayed this prayer with fervor would be remembered down through the ages.

May God clear the eyes of all who celebrate the Day of St. Patrick so that they may see Christ as clearly as did the goode saint.

Sir Chuck, armed with a new prayer

1 comment:

  1. This week is St. Patrick's Day, and another day of cheerful green-ness, ubiquitous shamrocks, and drunken pub crawls. Would that we all could really celebrate the life of this Man of God...

    -------------------
    Aye. But no one can live at a high pitch of piety all the time, many don't do so at any time. Therefore there is no reason to begrudge people their good fellowship and merriment simply because there is something even better. Jesus attended the wedding at Cana, dined with publicans and sinners and enjoyed the Paschal feast. As for drunkenness, that is a corruption of merriment and the abuse does not abolish the use.
    Nontheless 'twould be good to remember St. Patrick on that day.

    To the mythical luck of the Irish

    Sir Jason

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