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The Lorica of Saint Patrick

As we prepare to celebrate the Memorial of Saint Patrick on Wednesday, March 17, we reflect on one of his most widely circulated writings: his lorica, or prayer. It is commonly referred to as Saint Patrick's Breastplate. It is a prayer of protection whose Old Irish lyrics are traditionally attributed to Saint Patrick during his Irish ministry in the 5th century.

The Lorica of Saint Patrick

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 see 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 host to secure me – against snares of devils, against temptations and vices, against inclinations of nature, against everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd... Christ, be 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 where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Christ. May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

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