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Diocese of GalwayKilmacduagh & Kilfenora

Deoise na GaillimheChill Mac Duach & Chill Fhionnúrach

St Patrick's Day

Published on 15/03/2022
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Stained glass window depicting St Patrick

Saint Patrick's Breastplate is an old Irish prayer of protection attributed to Saint Patrick. It's also known as the Lorica of Saint Patrick.
The prayer is found in the Liber Hymnorum, an 11th-century collection of hymns. The text is conventionally divided into eleven sections:

—invocation of the Trinity;
—invocation of Christ's baptism, death, resurrection, ascension and future return on the last day;
—invocation of the virtues of angels, patriarchs, saints and martyrs;
—invocation of the virtues of the natural world: the sun, fire, lightning, wind, etc.;
—invocation of various aspects of God: his wisdom, his eye, his ear, his hand, etc.;
—lists of the things against which protection is required, including false prophets;
—brief invocation of Christ for protection;
—repeated invocation of Christ to be ever present;
—continuation of the theme of Christ within every man;
—repetition of the first verse;
—short verse in Latin invoking psalm 3:8.

1. I bind to myself to-day,
the strong power of the invocation of the Trinity:
the faith of the Trinity in the unity,
the Creator of the elements.

2. I bind to myself to-day,
the power of the Incarnation of Christ, with that of his baptism,
the power of the crucifixion with that of his burial,
the power of the resurrection, with the ascension,
the power of the coming of the sentence of judgement.

3. I bind to myself to-day,
the power of the love of seraphim,
in the obedience of angels,
in the service of archangels,
in the hope of resurrection unto reward,
in the prayers of the noble Fathers,
in the predictions of the prophets,
in the preaching of apostles,
in the faith of confessors,
in purity of holy virgins,
in the acts of righteous men.

4. I bind to myself to-day,
the power of heaven,
the light of the sun,
the whiteness of snow
the force of fire,
the flashing of lightning,
the velocity of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the stability of the earth,
the hardness of rocks.

5. I bind to myself to-day,
the power of God to guide me,
the might of God to uphold me,
the wisdom of God to teach me,
the eye of God to watch over me,
the ear of God to hear me,
the Word of God to give me speech,
the hand of God to protect me,
the way of God to prevent me,
the shield of God to shelter me,
the host of God to defend me,
against the snares of demons,
against the temptations of vices,
against the lusts of nature,
against every man who meditates injury to me,
whether far or near,
with few or with many.

6. I have set around me all these powers,
against every hostile savage power
directed against 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 smiths and druids,
against all knowledge that binds the soul of man.

7. Christ, protect me to-day
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wound,
that I may receive abundant reward.

8. 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,
Christ in the chariot-seat,
Christ in the mighty stern.

9. Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,
Christ in the eye of every man that sees me,
Christ in the ear of every man that hears me.

10. I bind to myself to-day,
the strong power of an invocation of the Trinity,
the faith of the Trinity in unity,
the Creator of the Elements.

(Salvation is the Lord's,
Salvation is the Lord's,
Salvation is Christ's,
May thy salvation, Lord, be always with us!