Reclaiming St Patrick’s Day

Did you know that, in his lifetime, Patrick of Ireland was never associated with the Roman Catholic Church?  In fact, if one examines Patrick’s beliefs and practices, along with his British Christian heritage, we find that if he were alive today Patrick, that pioneer missionary, would actually fall quite naturally within Evangelicalism. 

Check out these resources about Patrick & Celtic Christianity:

And in his article, Reclaiming St. Patrick’s Day, Ted Olsen makes 5 suggestions about how we might better celebrate Patrick’s legacy:

  1. Figfhting Human Trafficking
  2. Evangelism
  3. Multi-ethnic Community & Incarnational Ministry
  4. Christian Education
  5. Submitting to Authorities AND Rebelling Against Them

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

This famous prayer, one of the earliest known European vernacular poems, has been attributed to Patrick – though some scholars say a few of the words indicate a later period. But there is no question that they ooze the spirit and substance we see in Patrick’s Confession. And they reverberate with the power of Christianity that Patrick gave to his adopted land – Ireland.

Some Christians today find great value in memorizing this classic prayer and repeating it each morning upon arising. But even if that is not something you think you might want to try, at least take some time to read through this prayer, reflect on the awesome truths expressed in thus poetic prayer.


I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity. Through belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today through 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 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 host to save me from snare 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 and merciless power that may oppose my body and soul Against incantations of false prophets,against black laws of pagandom, Against 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.

Christ to shield me today against 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 today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness, Of the Creator of Creation.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!