Saint Patrick

Lorica

The Lorica, or Breastplate, is a prayer for protection attributed to Saint Patrick

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 faith 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 harm,
afar and anear,
alone or in a mulitude.

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.

May 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 confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.


This Orthodox irish prayer is attested as early as the eighth century, but tradition attributes it to Saint Patrick, the fifth-century Enlightener of Ireland.

An old tradition has it that on Pascha, as Saint Patrick and his band of missionaries walked in procession to the king’s court, they sang this prayer.

As the minions of the pagan druids lay in ambush to intercept and kill Patrick's band on their way to court, the assassins now saw not Patrick and his companions pass, but a harmless herd of gentle deer, a doe followed by her twenty fawns. Hence the hymn’s Irish title, the Faed Fiada — the Deer’s Cry.

Having been carried safe by the Lord through the ambush prepared for them, Saint Patrick led his host into the king’s presence, singing from Psalm 19, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God.”

Fr Silouan Thompson

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