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St. Patrick’s Breastplate

St. Patrick’s Breastplate. (This poem may date from the eighth century and so post-date St. Patrick. But is is traditionally assigned to Saint Patrick.)

Today I put on a terrible strength invoking the Trinity confessing the Three with faith in the One as I face my Maker.

Today I put on the power of Christ’s birth and baptism, of his hanging and burial, His resurrection, ascension, and descent at the Judgement.

Today I put on the power of the order of the Cherubim, angels’ obedience, archangels’ attendance, in hope of ascending to my reward; patriarchs’ prayers, prophets’ predictions, apostles precepts, confessors’ testimony, holy virgins’ innocence and the deeds of true men.

Today I put on the power of Heaven, the light of the Sun, the radiance of the Moon, the splendour of fire, the fierceness of lightning, the swiftness of wind, the depth of the sea, the firmness of earth and the hardness of rock.

Today I put on God’s strenghth to steer me, God’s power to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye for my vision, God’s ear for my hearing, God’s word for my speech, God’s hand to protect me, God’s pathway before me, God’s shield for my shelter, God’s angels to guard me from ambush of devils, from vice’s allurements, from traps of the flesh, from all who wish ill, whether distant or close, alone or in hosts.

I summon these powers today to take my part against every implacable power that attacks my body and soul, the chants of false prophets, dark laws of the pagans, false heretics’ laws, entrapments of idols, enchantments of women or smiths or druids, and all knowledge that poisons man’s body or soul.

Christ guard me today from poison, from burning, from drowning, from hurt, that I have my reward.

Christ beside me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.

Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left,

Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I rise.

Christ in the hearts of all who think of me, Christ in the mouths of all who speak to me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

Today I put on a terrible strength, invoking the Trinity, confessing the Three, with faith in the One as I face my Maker.

Domini est salus. Domini est salus. Domini est salus. Salus tua, Domine, sit semper vobiscum.


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