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St. Patrick’s Breastplate

This might be a shocker for some people: St. Patrick of Ireland was born in Scotland of Roman parents. He’s not Irish at all, but he is the saint of Ireland because he spent most of his life in that country. He was there first as a young slave, with the chore of tending sheep. He escaped about six years later, and made his way back home to Britain for a brief while, where he reunited with his family. But the country of Ireland called to him, and he could not stay away. Ordained first a priest, and then Bishop, he returned to the green land and began to preach the Gospel there. By the end of his life he had converted most of pagan Ireland to the Catholic faith.

There are many posts written today about St. Patrick, and his feast. Therefore, I am not going to post too much about his life, works, and death. Instead, I’m going to share with you what I think is the absolutely most gorgeous prayer ever. It is commonly known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate, though it is also known as Faeth Fiada, or the Lorica of St. Patrick.

ST. PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same, 
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
By power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the Cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour;
The service of the Seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death-wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Other links to peruse:
Old-Fashioned Girl
Occasional Randomness
Fire, Fleet, and Candlelight

Now, enjoy “The Deer’s Cry” by Angelina. This song is also called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” because the words are taken from the prayer. Gorgeous. Don’t you love her voice? LOVELY!!

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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