Friday, March 17, 2006
The Original Meaning of St. Patrick's Day
In America St. Patrick's day by and large is just an excuse for justified public intoxication. The day has evolved from being a holy day to remember Patrick, to a celebration of Irish ancestry, to an alcohol free for all. This is somewhat disapointing when one acutally looks at the life of St. Patrick and his zeal to see souls converted to Jesus Christ. It was Patrick that brought the gospel to Ireland, a land where he was previously taken to as a slave. As a college student I am sorrounded by people who glory in their love of drunkenness, so I felt it would be good to post on the man who seems to be forgotten whose life we are supposedly celebrating by getting trashed. Somehow I doubt that Patrick would aprove, nor of course the God He loved. All I will do is quote Patrick's "breastplate" or prayer, it is beautiful, and provide a link to a video on the history channel's web page documenting Patrick's life.
Here is the prayer of St. Patrick:
I arise todayThrough a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,Through the belief in the threeness,Through confession of the onenessOf the Creator of Creation.
I arise todayThrough the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.
I arise todayThrough the strength of the love of Cherubim,In obedience of angels,In the service of archangels,In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,In prayers of patriarchs,In predictions of prophets,In preaching of apostles,In faith of confessors,In innocence of holy virgins,In deeds of righteous men.
I arise todayThrough the strength of heaven:Light of sun,Radiance of moon,Splendor of fire,Speed of lightning,Swiftness of wind,Depth of sea,Stability of earth,Firmness of rock.
I arise todayThrough 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 host to save meFrom snares of devils,From temptations of vices,From everyone who shall wish me ill,Afar and anear,Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,Against incantations of false prophets,Against black laws of pagandomAgainst 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.
C hrist to shield me todayAgainst poison, against burning,Against drowning, against wounding,So that there may come to me abundance of reward.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 when I arise,Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise todayThrough a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,Through belief in the threeness,Through confession of the oneness,Of the Creator of Creation.
Patrick's love and dependence upon Christ are clearly seen. To "celebrate" the life of a man who penned such words by intoxication is to dishonor his life I think. To see a brief summary of Patrick's life click here: http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/stpatricksday/ there is a video clip as well as other informative links about St. Patrick.