The Lorica of the Great Saint Patrick

This article was originally posted March 17, 2020, during the early days of Covid 19 fear, nonstop mainstream news fear-intensity and abrupt government-ordered business and social lockdowns.  As something a little different, and especially in light of the current battle against the spread of COVID-19 as well as the no less insidious battle for our Faith and culture, we at Catholic Business Journal decided to share with you what is believed to be one of St. Patrick’s prayers before battle entitled, The Lorica.  (As mentioned above, In monastic tradition, a lorica is a prayer for protection.)

We also post the beginning and context of author Anthony Lilles’ commentary — (worth reading) –CBJ ed.

Enjoy and Savor both on this Feast of Saint Patrick!!!

Commentary by Dr. Anthony LillesA few years ago, I attempted a translation on the Breastplate of St. Patrick. In this latest attempt, I want to stir a sense of both the spiritual battle as well the power of the Creed that is part of the very structure of this great prayer.  Indeed, there are even hints of the Eastern liturgies of Egypt that live in this prayer if a soul is attentive enough to pick them up.  Scholars and translators of this text probably have greater insight into such things and I must admit having to indulge in a little dynamic equivalence that a true translator might find extremely imprecise. But I think there is a certain accuracy captured below.

Indeed, I do not know how to better bring out the full sense of this ancient text in a way that would evoke the confidence and courage it did for those who first prayed it. But we certainly need the faith they had all those centuries ago renewed today in us.   Indeed,  to arise, to stand and to bind is language that speaks of a pledge to fight unto death. And so our faith is a spiritual battle and we must stand with courage against fear and anxiety and… Read More (a worthwhile read)>>


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 faiths 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 ill,
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.
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 a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)


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