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St. Patrick's Breastplate & Resurrections

An Anti-Ecumenical St. Patrick
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Dear TIA,

About a year ago I came across a holy card of St. Patrick which had a prayer on the back, titled St. Patrick's Breastplate. The militant word in the title "Breastplate" seemed interesting so I read the prayer.

Unfortunately, I found that the prayer, known to be written by the great saint himself, had little to do with Militancy or the Catholic fight; the war which every Catholic must wage everyday against the world,the flesh and the devil. Knowing that the Second Vatican Council followers always try to hide, put in a closet or apologize for the Faith's militancy, I suspected foul play.

Sure enough, months latter I found that the original version of St Patrick's Breastplate is much more militant and anti-ecumenical, and that the Vatican II holy card version had shortened and removed the more radical verses. The opening phrase had been wrongly translated to "I arise today" but should really read "I bind unto myself." Now I see why it is called the Lorica or Breastplate of St. Patrick.

Compare the two versions yourself.


Vatican II version:

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 see before me.
God's ear to hear me.
God's word to speak for me.
God's hands to guard me.
God's way to lie before me.
God's shield to protect me.
God's host to secure me:
Against snares of devils,
Against temptations of vices,
Against inclinations of nature,
Against everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear, alone and in a crowd'

Christ be 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 where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise.
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me.
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me.
Christ in every eye who sees me.
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation O Lord, be ever with us.

An authentic translation:

I bind unto myself today
Through a might strength,
The invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I bind unto myself today
The strength of Christ's birth and His baptism,
The strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
The strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
The strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I bind unto myself today
The strength of the love of the Cherubim
The obedience of angels,
The service of archangels,
The hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
The prayers of the patriarchs,
The preaching of the apostles,
The faith of confessors,
The innocence of virgins
The deeds of righteous men.
I bind unto myself today
The strength of heaven;
The light of the sun,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of the wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of the rock.
I bind unto myself today
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 the snares of the devil,
From the temptations of vices,
From the lusts of nature
From every one 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 the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black law of pagandom,
Against the false laws of heretics,
Against the 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 fort, Christ in the chariot,
Christ in the captain's deck of a ship,
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 bind unto myself today
Through a mighty strength,
The invocation of the Trinity,
Though a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

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Resurrection Miracles by St. Patrick
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Dear TIA,

It has been said that St. Patrick (c. 389-c. 461) performed a thousand miracles. And why not? Many more (40,000) were prudently attributed to St. Vincent Ferrer, the Dominican missionary and "Angel of Judgment."

Moreover, the author knows of no saint for whom there are claimed so many resurrection miracles during one apostolic lifetime as for St. Patrick; there were as many as 39 of these wonders. Thirty-three are mentioned in the following report.

This article on St. Patrick is from a chapter in Saints Who Raised the Dead, True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles, by Fr. Albert J. Hebert, S. M. The article is available on our website here.

     St. Patrick, pray for us.


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For the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb, the palsied, the lunatic, the leprous, the epileptic, all who labored under any disease, did he in the Name of the Holy Trinity restore unto the power of their limbs and unto entire health; and in these good deeds was he daily practiced. Thirty and three dead men, some of whom had been many years buried, did this great reviver raise from the dead, as above we have more fully recorded.

St. Patrick was a great missionary bishop who converted a whole land from paganism, overturning the religion of the Druids. He consecrated 350 Bishops, erected 700 churches, and ordained 5,000 priests. In less than 30 years the greater part of Ireland was Catholic. St. Patrick so consolidated it in the Christian faith that during the Protestant Revolt, Ireland was almost unique in its preservation of the Faith. Even today, people speak of "the faith of the Irish."

It is hard, indeed impossible, to comprehend such a vast and enduring transformation without the visible support of God through great works and wonders. But that is what Christ promised to His Apostles, and it has been historically demonstrated in the well-attested lives of His great missionary saints.

Since St. Patrick is claimed to have worked 33 resurrection miracles, it seems a moral certitude that he truly must have worked at least a good number of such wonders, even if the count of 33 may not be exactly accurate. (Some details may be confused, and thus two slightly different accounts could actually refer to the same event.) It is only fair to report at least several of these.

* One day St. Patrick came to a place called Fearta. On the side of the hill two women had buried. Patrick ordered the earth removed; in the Name of Christ, he raised them up. The two proclaimed that their idols were vain and that Christ was the true God. Along with the women, many bystanders were baptized. As the ancient writer observes, Patrick not only revived these two from a double death (both temporal and eternal death), but by this miracle he gave spiritual resurrection to many other souls. ...

* On another occasion a band of men who hated St. Patrick falsely accused him and his companions of stealing, and sentenced them to death. Patrick raised a man from a nearby tomb and commanded him to witness to the truth of the case, which the resurrected man did. He protested the innocence of Patrick and his companions and the deceit of the evil ones. In the presence of all, the resurrected man also showed where the alleged stolen goods - some flax - were hidden. Many of those who had conspired for the death of St. Patrick now became his converts. ...

* An evil man named Machaldus, and his companions, who placed on their heads certain diabolical signs called "Deberth," signifying their devotion to Satan, plotted to mock St. Patrick. They covered one of their group, Garbanus, with a cloak as if he were dead. Garbanus, though in perfect health, was placed on a couch as if laid out in preparation for burial. The men then sent for Patrick, asking him to raise the covered Garbanus from the dead. This was a fatal mistake.

St. Patrick told them it was with deceit, but not with falsehood, that they had declared their companion dead. Disregarding their entreaties, Patrick went on his way, praying for the soul of the derider.

Then, uncovering their friend, the plotters found Garbanus not feigning death, but actually dead! Contrite of heart, they pursued St. Patrick; they obtained pardon and were baptized. At their entreaty, St. Patrick also revived the dead Garbanus.

The same once-evil Machaldus became a great penitent, a bishop eminent in holiness and miracles, and became known as "St. Machaldus."...

Let no one doubt that the Lord gave to the humble Patrick the gift of raising the dead to life - for the glory of God, the proof of the True Faith, and the salvation of countless souls.

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted March 17, 2009

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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
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