St. Patrick

[The beautiful icon we've used on this card is on the website of the late Fr. Luke Dingman. While we never sell any of our Visio Divina cards, we have gratefully received a blessing for giving this one away to our incarcerated friends and our friends in recovery or whoever wants one. Beautiful mounted prints can be purchased for your own prayer corner however, so please consider supporting the production of such beauty and the legacy of Fr. Dingman's art by visiting Union of All Icons shop online.]

Where does one start to explore all the prayers and images associated with one of the most celebrated Saints in the world?

For yours truly it was a strange beginning. As a much younger man I read Madeleine L'Engle's 'Swiftly Tilting Planet' and was immediately struck by her use of a poem/prayer she called "Patrick's Rune". It haunted me in a good way even though my faith tradition at that time didn't have room for reciting the prayers attributed to Saints:

Patrick's Rune

At Tara in this fateful hour
I place all Heaven with its power
And the sun with its brightness
And the snow with its whiteness
And the fire with all the strength it hath
And the lightning with its rapid wrath
And the winds with their swiftness along their path
And the sea with its deepness
And the rocks with their steepness
And the earth with its starkness
All these I place
By God's almighty help and grace
Between myself and the powers of darkness!

L'Engle wove the whole plot of this book around this prayer of power which was used in the story as an aid in thwarting a disaster of global proportions. 

While variants abound,
we grew our version from
the best seeds we could find
Fast forward to a time when my faith tradition embraced and encouraged more diversity in prayer forms including those written by heroes of the faith and you find me including parts of Patrick's Breastplate in my daily prayers. Fast forward a few more years and a friend in my Saturday morning prayer group asked me to make a Visio Divina card in the Irish tradition and that is what led to this webpage and the card that goes with it.

Patrick's Breastplate (aka a lorica) is quite long and has so many variants (even Wiki has one!) that the card certainly could not contain even one of them. Here is a longer version than you see on our card taken from the Hallow website:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and 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 obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the 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 way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes 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 women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
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 in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

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