Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saint Patrick's Prayer

The first time I read "St. Patrick's Prayer" was from the pages of Thomas Cahill's fine little book How the Irish Saved Civilization.

It seems a fitting meditation for this special day named in honor of the saint of Ireland.

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, [i.e., at home]
Christ in the chariot seat, [i.e., travelling by land]
Christ in the poop. [i.e., travelling by water]
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.


penny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
penny said...

St. Patrick- the Patron Saint of Ireland... in case anyone wonders about who St. Patrick is, he "drove the snakes from Ireland" (meaning that he brought forth to Ireland Christianity, and drove out the spirit "snake" of paganism... that is, if I remember correctly).
This is a lovely piece of prose- one that sounded so sweet in my ear. We should all be bound by the Holy Trinity, and by righteousness and virtue. This causes me to stop and consider how so often I find myself bound by worldliness, and that I might do well to pause each day to renew my bonds to Christ. Thank you for these sweet words- they reassure me that St. Patrick's Day means so much more than the "wearin' o' the green," and an enormous rise in beer sales!

Deirdra Doan said...

Thank you for posting this prayer. I like the version of it that Cahill used. I was looking online for it.
My husband John Doan does music and we even made a video in Ireland about this prayer. His CD Eire has the song on it.