St Patrick is one of the Church’s most well known saints and is practically synonymous with all things Irish. This saint is ultimately very mysterious, living, preaching and converting the inhabitants of the Emerald Isle in the 5th century AD. This beloved saint also gave us a beautiful prayer known as St Patrick’s Breastplate or the Lorica (meaning the ‘cry of the deer’). Recent scholarship suggests that the author of this prayer is not necessarily St Patrick. However, according to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. This prayer is a little on the long side, but, like the Litany of Saints, has a lovely rhythm that allow for prayerful meditation. There is also the short version which is easier to introduce to your kids which we have coloured in orange. You could take turns leading the prayer or say it all together. St Patrick’s Breastplate I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism, Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension, Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom. 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. I summon today All these powers between me and those evils, Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and soul, Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul; Christ to shield me today Against poison, against burning, Against drowning, against wounding, So that there may come to me an abundance of reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Amen. Have you ever come across this prayer? What do you and your family do to mark St Patrick’s feast day? Tell us in the comments below.