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Date: 17 March 2019
St Patricks feast day: Patron of Ireland

Celebrating the feast day of St Patrick. 2012

St. Patrick is one of the world's most popular saints. Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, his legend has transcended cultures and creed - for one day every year, everyone is Irish!

Catholics celebrate this day by gathering at Mass to give thanks for the life of Patrick and to be inspired by his life and teachings. For details of Mass times in your parish on holy days click HERE.



St. Patrick's Breastplate is contained in the ancient Book of Armagh, from the early ninth century, along with Patrick's authentic "Confession." St. Patrick is said to have written this prayer to strengthen himself with God's protection as he prepared to confront and convert Loegaire, high king of Ireland.


HERE is a musical version of this prayer, written by Shaun Davey and sung by Rita Connolly at the inauguration of our President this year. Its text captures much of the original beautifully.


St Patricks Prayer

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
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
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 everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation


A full version of the prayer, with an explanation, is available HERE


Resources for parish newsletters (Q&A about St Patrick) and for parish liturgy groups (resources for the celebration of Eucharist) are available HERE


The Irish Bishops have created two packs for parishes which are relevant to our celebration of a saint who was both an immigrant slave and an emigrant:


- The Irish Episcopal Council for Immigrants have produced a number of resources to assist parishes in welcoming those from other countries in their liturgical celebrations. These include a welcome poster, first steps for welcoming the stranger into our parishes, prayers in different languages and Catholic Social Teaching on Migration. These resources are available HERE


- The Irish Bishops Council for Emigrants have created a parish pack for Emigrants that can be used all year round. It was launched and posted to parish priests this week. It is available to download HERE.  A video explaining the work of this group can be seen HERE