The following extract is taken from the prayer, “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”. It is a powerful prayer composed by Saint Patrick asking for the Lord’s protection and guidance:
Through the strength of Christ’s Birth with his Baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion and burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of doom,
I arise today.
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to Guide,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak to me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me.
God’s host to save me from the snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill.
Afar and near, alone and in multitude,
…. …. I arise today.
The bishops of Ireland stated that Saint Patrick was called to serve and bring God to a people far from his homeland. They quoted from ”The Confession of St. Patrick” in which Saint Patrick said, “May it never befall me to be separated by my God from his people whom he has won in this remote land. I pray God that he gives me perseverance, and that he will deign that I should be a faithful witness for his sake right up to the time of my passing.”
As disciples who are called to embrace the mission and ministry of Christ, we are invited and challenged to follow the example of Saint Patrick and truly be faithful witnesses to the Gospel as we continue on our Lenten journey of faith.