The Breastplate of Saint Patrick is a prayer of protection against evil. This prayer has numerous versions and according to tradition it was used by Bishop Patrick of Ireland to transform himself, along with eight of his brothers, into deer aware that they were walking through the forest and were being harassed by the druid Tara . Find out more by continuing to read this article.
The Breastplate of Saint Patrick, Prayer Against the Snares of Evil
This prayer or breastplate is used as a powerful prayer of protection and invocation to God, whose purpose is to defend us from evil that may lie in wait for us.
Patrick’s Prayer: Short Version
Christ beside me,
Christ in front of me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,
Christ below me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ cal time to get up,
Christ in the heart of every man
who believes in me,
Christ in the mouth of every man
who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that contemplates me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Patrick’s Prayer: Long Version
I got up today. By means of the powerful force, the evocation of the Trinity,
By believing in its Three Persons, By revealing the Unity, Of the Creator of Creation.
I have risen today, Through the strength of the Christ born and his baptism,
Through the strength of the crucified Christ and his tomb, Through the strength of the risen Christ and his assumption, Through the strength of the Christ descended to judge evil.
I have risen today Through the strength of the love of Cherubim, In submission to the Angels, in the service of Archangels, In the hope that the resurrection finds retribution, In prayers of Patriarchs, In phrases of Prophets, In sermons of Apostles, In candor of Holy Virgins, In labors of benevolent men.
I have risen today By the power of heaven:
Clarity of the sun, Brilliance of fire,
Lightness of lightning, Lightness of the wind, Honduras of the seas, Balance of the earth,
Solidity of the rock.
I have risen today Through the strength of God that guides me:
Divine Power that sustains me, Erudition of God that guides me, Glance of God that supervises me, Ear of God that hears me, Word of God that pronounces for me, Hand of God that defends me.
Path of God stretched out before me, Shield of God that protects me, Legions of God to redeem me From the traps of the devil, From incitement to vices, From those who wish me ill, Distant and close, Solitary or in crowds.
I invoke this date all these forces between me and the evil one, Against heartless forces that resist my body and soul, Against spells of false prophets,
Against the dark rules of the pagans, Against the false rules of heretics,
Against fetishes and amulets of idolatry, Against spells of witches, enchanters and sorcerers, Against any understanding that perverts body and soul.
Christ protect me today Against potions and poisons, Against burns, Against drowning, Against injuries, In such a way that I can obtain retribution in abundance.
Christ beside me, Christ in front of me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ cal time to get up, Christ in the heart of every man who believes in me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that contemplates me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
I have risen today By the mighty force, the invocation of the Trinity, By believing in its Three Persons, By revealing the Unity, Of the Creator of Creation. Amen.
Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Perhaps these are minor things that we should not pay attention to? It is considered that if we have to attend to them, if we do not want to go to the spiritual battle without weapons and little training. Our power to build ourselves a breastplate that defends us from the temptations and incitements of the world is possibly the main weapon we must have as soldiers of Jesus.
Saint Patrick elaborated in Ireland centuries ago that breastplate with prayer, and it is still prayed today. I call on you to get to know it, to pray about it, to think about it, since it was built more than 1,500 years ago and yet it has not lost strength in the least. It is that the enigma of iniquity (evil) has not changed too much. He continues to employ the same tricks to tempt us and lead us to our own doom.
The Breastplate of Saint Patrick fills us with repudiation for the perverse things that the world offers us. For the charlatanism, the figures of impurity, the phrases that should not come from our mouths, the offensive statements or looks.
In summary, that the Breastplate of Saint Patrick trains us to have authentic repugnance to sin, so that the mere notion of sinning makes our stomachs shake, and the idea of keeping quiet, looking serenely at what happens, turning our heads, gives us peace and relief. when it is required to do so to prevent seeing or hearing what does not benefit us, and to avoid curiosity and harmful gossip.
History of the Breastplate of Saint Patrick
The Breastplate of Saint Patrick, also known as lorica, shield, chant, prayer of Saint Patrick or cry of the Deer (in English, Deer’s Cry), is a prayer to protect oneself whose original sample in ancestral Irish is usually imputed to Saint Patrick through from his sermon in Ireland in the fifth century. In 1889 the prayer was adapted to the English hymn I Bind Unto Myself Today.
The Old Irish Prayer
The prayer is part of the Liber Hymnorum, a collection of hymns found in two manuscripts preserved in Dublin and made public in 1903 in the Thesaurus Paleohibernicus. This text relates how Patrick used this sentence:
Patricio intoned this when he was stalked on his way through Loegaire, so that he could not reach Tara to cultivate faith. Thus, Patricio and his monks, appeared in the eyes of those who stalked them, like a wild deer with a fawn accompanying him.
The review ends with the phrase «fáeth fiada un hainm», which the Thesaurus Paleohibernicus interprets as «its denomination is the cry of the deer (Deer’s cry)». However, the phrase “fáeth fiada” is used within Irish mythology to describe a magical mist of concealment. If the Thesaurus Paleohibernicus review is accurate then the prayer would date back to the 5th century, that is, to the time of Saint Patrick.
Modern scholars, however, have dated it as late as the 8th century. Although the recitation has a Christian content, it exposes pre-Christian influences, by requesting the protection of Christ using the form of a pagan invocation to the deities or lorica (shield or breastplate). For this reason it is called “Lorica de San Patrick” or “Armor of Saint Patrick”.
The prayer includes certain biblical quotes such as the Epistle to the Ephesians 6:10-17 (Eph. 6:11: «Put on the divine armor, so that you can withstand the snares of the devil»).
Structure of the Breastplate of Saint Patrick
Each verse of the prayer begins with the phrase “Atomruig indiu”, which could mean “I get up today”, “I bind myself today” or “I bind myself”, and which is repeated at the beginning of most of the verses. Continued by a list of sources of strength that the prayer invokes as support.
- The opening verse appeals to the Catholic dogma of the Trinity.
- The second verse turns to the baptism of Christ, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, and his future return on the last day.
- The third verse turns to the angels, patriarchs, saints and martyrs.
- The fourth verse turns to the natural world: the sun, moon, fire, lightning, etc.
- The fifth verse draws on various semblances of God: his erudition, his eye, his ear, his hand.
- The sixth verse enumerates the things against which protection is implored: against the traps of devils, against natural temptations, in relation to those who wish something evil.
- The next verse goes on to enumerate the things against whom protection is implored: pretended prophets, heathens, heretics, women (sorceresses), druids (druad), blacksmiths (gobann).
- The next verse calls on Christ to make his appearance in all things: Christ in me, around me, in the eye, ear, and mouth of familiar people.
- Finally, this final verse returns to the theme of the Trinity.