An excerpt

St. Patrick
  • St. Patrick
  • 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.

St. Patrick (circa 5th Century) was the Apostle of Ireland, the first to bring the Catholic faith to the Emerald Isle and whose name has forevermore been associated with the “Isle of Saints.” While most likely not written by the saint, “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” is a poem-prayer recalling the protection that God gave St. Patrick and his followers, turning them into deer so that they might pass unharmed through an ambush set by their pagan enemies. Whether it is original to St. Patrick, the “Lorica” (gaelic for “Breastplate”) captures both the faith and the poetry of a country that could just as well be called the “Isle of Poets.”

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Wow. This is some heavy stuff. I'm not into religion but there is some real power running through these words. Too bad ol' St. Patrick isn't still around. He could kick some butt at one of the local poetry slams.

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