Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lessons from Saint Patrick

I taught religion class this morning at Evergreen and introduced them to St. Patrick. As you can imagine there are not many Irish people here celebrating today. We talked about one of the spiritual lessons that St. Patrick is known for... using a clover to teach about the trinity. A clover has three sections but that does not make it three separate plants. It is one just as God is one. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit together make up the Trinity. The Divine Godhead. God the Three in One.

As I prepared my lesson for the children I learned a few things from reading about the life of St. Patrick:
Love Others- St Patrick dedicated many years of His life to loving the people of Ireland and bringing them to the Christian faith.

Listen to God- He followed God's leading to Ireland which brought a great and lasting blessing to all to came to Christ through His work.

Leave the results to God- St. Patrick had no idea that his efforts to reach Ireland for Christ would be successful or that he would be honored with a holiday bearing his name.  His task was to trust and obey the calling he was given.

I am very familiar with the prayers of other saints... my favorite being St. Francis of Assisi.  But during my research I found this prayer of St. Patrick that I am sure I will come to treasure as well...

Prayer of St. Francis

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 hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding

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 in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.


  1. That prayer is known as "The Breastplate of St. Patrick." It's a great way to start every day. I also have found it a great source of comfort on those days when nothing is going my way. Thanks for sharing.

  2. That's great to see the whole prayer together. I just had a snippet of it in my post. I'm not sure if you've seen my St Patricks Day post but it is taken from St Patricks Centre in NIreland and has pictures of his grave and videos aswell telling the story of his life.

  3. i am your newest follower and i really needed to read this prayer. the last two weeks have been rough-car accidents,broken appliances,etc.... this puts it all in perspective.