The hope of Patrick was Jesus

The life of St. Patrick, known as the apostle of Ireland, bears no resemblance to the festivities most of us in America associate with the day. As with many holidays, St. Patrick’s day has become a celebration of Irish heritage through traditions that have nothing to do with Patrick himself, and often have little even to do with Ireland. More so, the parades, green beer/rivers/food/clothing are uniquely American.

Patrick was a witness to the Gospel among the people of Ireland – at that time, a people unreached for Christ. Patrick was born in Scotland, the son of Roman nobles. At age 16 he was kidnapped and forced into slavery in Ireland, during which time he grew in his devotion and faith in spite of his circumstances. God used this time of slavery to give Patrick understanding of the native language, the druid religion, and the culture – all of which would become essential to his service to God as a missionary to Ireland later in his life.  Read more about Patrick here and here.

In the prayer of St. Patrick, said to have been composed as he faced fierce opposition from the Druids, shows his dedication to Christ alone, the source of his faith and strength.  This version is a more literal translation from the Irish language:

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.

Today, I’m praying for God to use the circumstances of the lives of those who love him to teach us to reach whole cultures for him, in the way of Patrick. Rath Dé ort! (May the grace of God be with you!)

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