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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Remembering St. Patrick


St. Patrick (Pātricius, according to his own writings) was a 5th century Bishop and missionary, known as "the Apostle of Ireland", although he wasn't Irish himself, but most likely Scottish. His father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest. At the age of 16, and an unbeliever, Patrick was captured and enslaved for six years by a group of Irish pirates, working as a shepherd. It was during this time that he called upon the Lord and was told by God that he would soon return home. After accepting Christ, he escaped slavery and, after various struggles, made it home. After a few years of study, he had a vision that led him back to Ireland as a missionary, preaching to the very people that had enslaved him years before and baptizing thousands, converting the poor and wealthy alike, including sons of Irish kings. He never accepted payment or gifts for his work which put him outside the 'norm'. With no legal protection, he was often received with ridicule and insult. He was arrested, beaten, and awaited execution on several occasions but persisted in his mission of spreading the Gospel. After 40 years of living in poverty, teaching, traveling and working tirelessly, Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.
I find it ironic that 'the drunkerd's holiday' should be named after such a holy man of God and...

I wanted to share this prayer, written by Patrick in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity.
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 on the 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.
Amen

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