When people think of St. Patrick’s Day (yesterday, March 17), they think of an Irish leprechaun wearing a green jacket with a four-leaf clover on the lapel, sporting a green hat, smoking a pipe, and drinking green beer. Nothing could be further in fiction than this. In fact, Patrick’s real name was Maewyn Succat (which is a name you might want to change). He wasn’t even born in Ireland, but England. He did not drink beer because beer probably wasn’t invented or discovered or made yet.
The facts about Patrick are actually that he was captured by marauding bands and was taken from England to what is now present-day Ireland, as a slave. It was as a slave that he became a Christ follower. He escaped from his captors back to England, became a priest, and returned to Ireland to evangelize the nation.
The rest of his story is steeped in both legend and history. The truth we know is that this young man turned Ireland right-side up for the Gospel! In his thirty years of ministry, he came against Celtic Druids, pagan priests, witches, and warlocks. Most were converted to Christianity. It is documented that wherever he went, signs and wonders followed his path. I would call Patrick the first warrior of the 5th century. He died on March 17, 461AD.
One of the writings that still remains is the following prayer. As we look at the rise of darkness and paganism in our nation, you might consider making this your prayer. This is the prayer of a warrior.
St. Patrick’s Warrior Prayer
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 everyone who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.
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 witches 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.
Praying the Warrior Prayer of St. Patrick,