I Arise Today: How Saint Patrick Greeted His Day

I don’t know about you, but the way I greet the morning sets the tone for my entire day. I can either begin the day with a sense of anticipation or with a sense of dread. When I accept this day as a gift from God, never to be experienced again, filled with challenges to be met, possibilites to be explored, lessons to be learned, battles to be fought, treasures to be discovered, and growth to be realized, I want to be all there. I want to be completely tuned in to the One who’s orchestrating it. I don’t want to miss a beat. Much easier said than done.

I need lots of help, so one of the things I do is pray in the morning. I set my focus on the One whose lead I purpose to follow. I love using the prayers of godly men and women, who have crossed the finish line of life, as a springboard for my own prayers. Here is one of my favorites:

THE PRAYER OF SAINT PATRICK
(The Breastplate – Lorica – of Saint Patrick, 5th Century)

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I arise today
Through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the 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 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 today
Through 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 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 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 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.

(Tomorrow I’ll post a little about the life of Saint Patrick. Who was St. Patrick anyway?)

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23 Responses to “I Arise Today: How Saint Patrick Greeted His Day”

  1. Love this inspiration

    • Thanks so much for leaving your comment. It caused me to revisit this post and read this prayer again—after a long time. Wow. I’m so grateful to have these words preserved for those of us in this generation and living in these times. Such wisdom, such strength, such truth. Thanks again. Your little three word comment matters.

  2. Love this

    • I just left the following reply to Jimmy (below). It applies to you as well. Thank you.

      “Thanks so much for leaving your comment. It caused me to revisit this post and read this prayer again—after a long time. Wow. I’m so grateful to have these words preserved for those of us in this generation and living in these times. Such wisdom, such strength, such truth. Thanks again. Your little three word comment matters.” [and in your case, your two words]

  3. i know this prayer i try to say evry day. I do really have impact of thisprayer.

  4. What a beautiful prayer. I recently joined a more liturgical church and have fallen in love with the prayers of the saints/book of common prayer/etc. Such deep truths grounded in scripture and eloquently written. Thank you for sharing!

    • I love using written prayers. Sometimes I completely make them my own and sometimes they become a springboard for me where I use my own words. Like you’ve said, they are very deep. They can also be very convicting. I’m grateful we have so many from so many ages past.

  5. Thank you for sharing the way you begin your day. Your reminder about our mindset for the day was much needed this morning…as was St. Patrick’s prayer. A beautiful statement of faith…

  6. I love Celtic prayers and have many published in my colour gift book ‘Celtic Treasure’ (Lion Hudson 2009) including St Patrick’s Breastplate, plus I’ve composed some original prayers for the book. Kregel are distributing ‘Celtic Treasure’ in the US and I’ll be doing blog tours in the lead up to St Patrick’s Day in March. I’m sure my publishers would happily send you a copy should you be interested, Gail.

    Folk also might find my blog of interest
    http://www.celtictreasure.blogspot.com

  7. Pam,

    I am not familiar with that hymn. I’ll google it, but if you happen to find it, passi it on.

    I love this prayer.
    Gail

  8. Gail, do you know the beautiful hymn that is based on this prayer? The music is simply heavenly. In the good ol’ days in the Episcopal Church, we’d sing it for Ordinations, and always on Trinity Sunday. It’s not real easy to find on the Internet…I did have it at one time; I will see what I can come up with for you. Love, Pam

  9. I love this prayer Gail. Thanks so much for sharing it. There are many days I wake up feeling out of sorts, and out of prayers. These ancient prayers help me to center myself with Christ. Blessings!

  10. Colleen,

    I’m always on the lookout for time for “time-tested” prayers. Some I find in books, and some are shared with me by friends.

    This one was introduced to me by my dear friend, Benita Teems. She brought it to our study group, which was studying the subject of prayer at the time. She told us that she and her husband used to pray it together every day during a really difficult time in their life. I instantly fell in love with it.

    (I can’t wait to see you Friday night!!)

  11. Hi Eva,

    How fun to connect with such a fond memory.

    I too was familiar with parts of this prayer. When I read the entire prayer it gave me a whole new perspective of St. Patrick, the person.

  12. Gail, we think so much alike! I posted this prayer yesterday. However, I found a different translation that brought some new ideas to this beautiful poetical prayer. Enjoy the CBE!

  13. I love that prayer, Gail! Where do you find prayers of the saints?

  14. This brings back a lot of memories Gail. At school we were taught to learn the prayer beginning with “Christ before me, Christ behind me…” by heart. While growing up, I had forgotten it and did search for it, but it seems not hard enough as I never found it… Now thanks to you, here it is. Thank you Gail.

  15. A great prayer. Gail thank you for sharing this prayer it is awsome

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I Arise Today: How Saint Patrick Greeted His Day « Treasure Hunt by Gail Hyatt | The Timothy Blog - March 17, 2011

    [...] via I Arise Today: How Saint Patrick Greeted His Day « Treasure Hunt by Gail Hyatt. [...]

  2. The Life of Saint Patrick, The Enlightener of Ireland « Treasure Hunt - March 19, 2009

    [...] A couple of days ago I posted a very famous prayer by Saint Patrick. If you had never read the complete prayer perhaps you recognized a portion of it. [...]

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