minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

St. Patrick c. 387 – 17 March, 493/c 460

St. Patrick was a fifth century Bishop who is most known for his missionary work in Ireland.  The patron saint of Ireland, Patrick is also known as the Apostle to Ireland. He is one of Three catholic Saints that have found popularity outside of the church. Patrick, along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine are also celebrated in popular culture. Lá Fhéile Pádraig is The festival of Patrick, or as we say in America, St. Patrick’s Day.

Patrick was born in Scotland, and around his 16th year was captured and sold as a slave in Ireland. He would escape around four years later at the age of 20, with an understanding of the Irish/Celtic language, culture and mythology.

At this time he began to study for the priesthood and would eventually be sent back to Ireland to bring the Gospel to his former captors. He arrived in Ireland around 433 and through the rest of his life would see all of Ireland converted.

Patrick leaves behind not only the legacy of a Catholic country that would stand its ground even through the Reformation, but also many great stories and legends. The most popular would be the use of a shamrock to demonstrate the christian belief in the trinity. Another would be the legend of Patrick chasing all the snakes out of Ireland. There are also 2 epistles in Latin, the Declaration/Confessions and Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus as well as blessings and hymns.

There is a beautiful hymn known as St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate:

The Hymn of St. Patrick

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.

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One thought on “Lá Fhéile Pádraig

  1. Lady of Winchester on said:

    I like Patrick even though I dont have a drop of Irish blood in me that I know of. I have a post on him, and and Christianity in Post Roman Britain here http://medievalreader.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/st-patrick-and-early-british-christianity/

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