Monday, March 17, 2014

It is the day of Patricius Qatrikias Pádraig Padrig

Irish Kings and Archers, 13th Century

Patricius;  Qatrikias;  Pádraig;  Padrig, -- also known as Saint Patrick -- was born on March 17 in A.D. 385  (d.461). A Romano-British Christian missionary and the bishop in Ireland -- of equal importance, he was also a poet.

Patrick composed a poem call "The Lorica," the first hymn written in Gaelic. ('Lorica' is a type of poem that invokes God's protection.) In Patrick's poem he asks for God's protection from druids, whom he believes are planning an ambush as he and his friar traveled to the King's court in A.D. 433.

(The portion below, called Faed Fiada, is translated by Seumas MacManus in The Story of the Irish Race.)

"Deer's Cry" (Faed Fiada)  ~ For protection from an ambush of the Druids"

I bind me today, God's might to direct me,
God's wisdom for learning,
God's eye for discerning,
God's ear for my hearing,
God's word for my clearing.

God's hand for my cover,
God's path to pass over,
God's buckler to guard me,
God's army to ward me
against snares of the devil,
against vices, temptation, against wrong inclination,
against men who plot evil, anear or afar, with many or few.

Christ near, Christ here, Christ be with me, Christ beneath me,
Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ be o'er me, Christ before me.
Christ in the left and the right, Christ hither and thither,
Christ in the sight, of each eye that shall seek me, in each ear that shall hear, in each mouth that shall speak me --
Christ not the less in each heart I address.

(Go here to read a Celtic prayer for endangered travelers.)

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