Breastplate

Saint Patrick was born in the year 387 in the Roman-British town of Banna Venta Berniae – believed to be near, or the actual, town of Ravenglass. This town has the distinction of being the starting point of Hadrian’s Wall in Northwest England.

Patrick was raised a Christian – his father, Calpornius, was a deacon and his grandfather, Potitus, was a priest (the Catholic Church didn’t officially require celibacy of priests until 1123).

When he was 16 he was captured and taken as a slave to Ireland. He would write in his autobiography that his faith in Christ grew strong during his captivity and that he prayed daily. After six years, he said he had a dream or heard a voice telling him that he would soon return home to England. Soon after the voice said his ship was ready, so he fled his master, escaped to the sea coast two hundred miles away, and found a ship that took him back to England and to his family.

Several years later, he says he had another dream. In his words:

I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Focluth, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.”

This he did. He was ordained a priest and made it his mission to bring the Gospel to his former slave-masters. He died on March 17 in about the year 460.

There are several legends that have grown up around St. Patrick. The connection to the shamrock is one of them. The legend is that Patrick used a shamrock to help teach the concept of the Holy Trinity. Its three leaves but one plant, and its green color signifying eternal life.

The other is that Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland. However, there is no evidence that Ireland ever had snakes. It is more likely that this legend grew out of the fact that Patrick, in bringing the Gospel of Christ to the Irish people, clashed with the pagan Druids – many of whom were known to have had snake tattoos on their arms.

Perhaps Patrick’s greatest contribution has been his inspiration to bring the Gospel to all people, even our enemies and those who would mistreat us.

Patrick’s best-known writing is his prayer, known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.”

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,

Christ in the chariot seat,

Christ in the poop [deck],

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.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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