My Favorite Contribution From Saint Patrick

 

“Daily I expect murder, fraud or captivity, but I fear none of these things because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God almighty who rules everywhere.”–Saint Patrick [1]

330px-Slemish_mountain_County_Antrim

Compared to other Christian saints, we don’t know a lot about Saint Patrick. For instance, we don’t know for sure if he actually was the first missionary to Ireland.  However, we do know that when he arrived in Ireland paganism still ruled the land and that he faced opposition from many druids who wished to kill him.

We also know that in the face of such opposition Patrick wrote a simple prayer that today is known as “Patrick’s Breastplate”.  It’s a prayer that expresses complete confidence in the Lord and his protection. The prayer is by far my favorite contribution from Saint Patrick.

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 forever.
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 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.

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.

 

In the 19th century the prayer was turned into a song.  To hear the song click here

 

For more on the life of Saint Patrick click here for a brief video or click here for a helpful article.

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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[1] 131 Christians Everyone Should Know