Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Feth Fiada . . . The Lorica of St. Patrick

An Seamróg, is é seamair Éireannach. (The Shamrock, a typical Irish clover. Photo & caption courtesy of Wikipedia). 

 Many people become Irish for a day each March 17. Green beer miraculously flows from taps, pipes skirl, and people greet each other with "Erin go Bragh!" -- a bit of bastardized Irish loosely translated as "Ireland Forever." The day is named after St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, who is also the patron saint of Nigeria and of engineers, according to

No beer here, and not much in the way of pipes or patriotic platitudes.

Just a bit to share from The Wisdom of St. Patrick: Inspirations from the Patron Saint of Ireland by Greg Tobin. According to Tobin, legend has it that Patrick and his followers were hid from enemy soldiers by seeming to be only a herd of wild deer. One of Patrick's disciples, Benin, appeared as a young fawn and bleated out the prayer that became the Lorica (Latin for "breastplate") of St. Patrick. Feth Fiada means "Deer's Cry."

It seems appropriate to share the Lorica in these last few minutes of St. Patrick's Day, 2010:


I arise today:
  vast in might, invocation of the Tirnity;
  belief in a Threeness;
  confession of a Oneness;
  meeting in the Creator.


I arise today:
  in the might of Christ's Birth and His Baptism;
  in the might of His Crucifixion and Burial;
  in the might of His Resurrection and Ascension;
  in the might of His Descent to the Judgment of Doom.


I arise today:
  in the might of the Cherubim;
  in obedience of the Angels;
  in ministration of Archangels;
  in hope of resurrection through merit;
  in prayers of Patriarchs;
  in predictions of Prophets;
  in preaching of Apostles;
  in faiths of Confessors;
  in innocence of Holy Virgins;
  in deeds of good men.


I arise today:
  in the might of Heaven;
  Splendor of the Sun;
  whiteness of Snow;
  irresistibleness of Fire;
  the swiftness of Lightning;
  the speed of Wind;
  Absoluteness of the Deep'
  Earth's stability;
  Rock's durability.


I arise today:
  in the might of God for my piloting;
  in the power of God for my stability;
  in the wisdom of God for my guidance;
  in the eye of God for my foresight;
  in the ear of God for my hearing;
  in the word of God for my speaking;
  in the hand of God for my guard;
  in the path of God for my prevention;
  in the shield of God for my protection;
  in the host of God for my salvation;
     against every demon's snare;
     against all vices' lure;
     against concupiscence;
     against ill-wishes far and near.


I invoke all these forces:
  between me and every savage force that may come upon me,
     body and my soul;
  against incantations of false prophets;
  against black laws of paganism;
  against false laws of heresy;
  against idolatry;
  against spells of women and smiths and druids;
  against all knowledge that should not be known.


Christ for my guard today:
  against poison, against burning,
  against drowning, against wounding,
  that there may come to me merit;


Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ under me, Christ over me,
Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me,
Christ in lying down, Christ in sitting, Christ in rising up.


Christ in all who may think of me!
Christ in the mouth of all who may speak to me!
Christ in the eye that may look on me!
Christ in the ear that may hear me!


I arise today:
  in vast might, of the Trinity prayed to:
  believing on a Threeness;
  confessing a Oneness;
  meeting in the Creator.
  Salvation is the Lord's, salvation is the Lord's
  Salvation is Christ's
  May Thy salvation, O Lord, be always with us.


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