16 Mar 2015

St Patrick - Apostle and Patron of Ireland

From all the team at Sacred Space 102fm
Happy St Patrick's Day!!

On dream go léir ag "Sacred Space 102fm" Lá fhéile Phadraig shona díobh go léir

St Patricks Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

At the inauguration of Uachtárain na h-Éireann (President of Ireland) Michael D. Higgins one of the pieces of music performed by Rita Connolly was the "The Deer's Cry" which is St Patrick's Breastplate arranged by Shaun Davy:

Who was St Patrick?

Saint Patrick was a Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saint of the island along with Saints Brigid and Columba. Two authentic letters from him survive, from which come the only generally-accepted details of his life. When he was about 16, he was captured from his home and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland as an ordained bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.

Why is St Patrick associated with snakes?

Legends suggest that Saint Patrick drove out snakes from Ireland, although scientific evidence suggests that snakes did not exist in post-glacial Ireland. Some scholars believe that the "snakes" that Saint Patrick drove out are a metaphor for the serpent symbolism of Druids who inhabited Ireland during Patrick's time, or even heretical beliefs, e.g. Pelagianism. Saint Patrick probably did have a role in driving out Druid and Pelagian influence in Ireland.

Was St Patrick the first Irish Bishop?

No, Palladius was sent by Pope Celestine around 431 to Ireland, ‘to the Irish believers in Christ’. He is considered a saint by both the Anglican and Catholic church. Patrick worked more in the west and north of the country, principally with those who weren’t already Christian, and Patricks legacy is the one which endured. Patrick is well known because of the writings he left – they help us to feel connected with him and his faith.

Is St Patrick a Patron Saint in other countries?
Yes. In fact, Saint Patrick is a very popular patron saint. He is the patron saint of various dioceses and archdioceses, including Adelaide (Australia), Armagh (Ireland), Auckland (New Zealand), Ballarat (Australia), Boston (USA), Burlington (Vermont, USA), Cape Town (South Africa), Dromore (Ireland), Erie (Pennsylvania, USA), Fort Worth (Texas, USA), Harrisburg (Pennsylvania, USA), Kilmore (Ireland), Melbourne (Australia), Mymensingh (Bangladesh), New York (USA), Poona (India), and Sacramento (California, USA). He is also the patron of the countries of Ireland and Nigeria. He is the patron of engineers, excluded persons, and ophidiophobics (those who fear snakes). He is the patron saint against snakes, fear of snakes, and snake bites.

What is St Patricks Purgatory?
Since the 12th century, Saint Patrick's Purgatory has been a place of pilgrimage on Station Island, Lough Derg, Co. Donegal, in Ireland. This is where Christ is said to have revealed to Saint Patrick the entrance to purgatory and the earthly paradise. The earliest recorded visit to Saint Patrick's Purgatory is by an Irish knight named Owein around AD 1146. Saint Patrick's Purgatory became a popular pilgrimage site for knightly pilgrims from different countries in the 14th and 15th centuries. Pilgrims still visit the Island, which now has a modern basilica.

As part of our Celtic heritage and renowned throughout Europe since the Middle Ages, Lough Derg is a unique place of peace. In today's modern world - where everything is fast and instant - Lough Derg still manages to maintain a pace where people have to move more slowly, where the mind can be stilled. This small island offers no distractions, no artificialities, but instead a warm welcome, for there are no strangers here. If you are seeking an opportunity for calm, for renewal or growth, then this ancient Sanctuary of St. Patrick might well be the place. Everyone is welcome to become part of what has been an Irish tradition since the sixth century.Given that it has survived for over a thousand years, that it continues to attract pilgrims and give them hope, there is nothing to suggest that it will not be here in another thousand years.


The Confessio of St Patrick

"My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many. My father was Calpornius. He was a deacon; his father was Potitus, a priest, who lived at Bannavem Taburniae. His home was near there, and that is where I was taken prisoner. I was about sixteen at the time.

At that time, I did not know the true God. I was taken into captivity in Ireland,along with thousands of others. We deserved this, because we had gone away from God,and did not keep his commandments. We would not listen to our priests, who advised us about how we could be saved. We have gone aside from your commandments … we have not listened to your servants the prophets".The Lord brought his strong anger upon us, and scattered us among many nations even to the ends of the earth. It was among foreigners that it was seen how little I was."

While we have many legends about St Patrick, it is makes sense to look to see what writings the saint himself has left us which are regarded as some of the earliest literature from Ireland.

The Royal Irish Academy have published a booklet by Padraig McCarthy which is freely available online HERE.

The other writing of St Patrick that comes down to us in the Book of Armagh is his Letter to Coroticus, appealing for the return of Irish Christians who had been taken in a slave raid.

Both are written in a very easy to read style which makes sense if you consider that Patrick's education was interupted when he was taken as a slave. Have a look and a quick read through as it is not very long or difficult and as they say, hear it straight from the horses mouth.


Give up Yer Aul Sins - Story of St Patrick

This series, including the original Oscar-nominated short, from Brown Bag Films is based upon the 1960s recordings of young children telling Bible stories in a classroom to their schoolteacher. When a film crew arrives at an inner city Dublin National School to record the children, the result is a warm, funny and spontaneous animated documentary, featuring young children telling the story of John the Baptist, The birth of Jesus, the Crucifixion, Saint Patrick and others. Give Up Yer Aul Sins combines simple humour with clever animation to create films with a timeless quality and appeal to a family audience. Give Up Yer Aul Sins has screened in almost 50 film festivals, including The Galway Film Fleadh (where it won Best Animation), Cork Film Festival (Best Irish and Best International Animation), Cartoons on Bay (Special Award for Original Idea), NewYork Comedy Festival, Boston Irish Film Festival, Aspen Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.

You can find all previous blog posts on St Patrick and St Patrick's Day from SS102fm HERE including some wonderful reflections from Fr Michael Liston.

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