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Saint Patrick, the Wonderworker and Apostle to the Irish

WHEN thou camest to Erin, she was heathen; * when thou wentest to Christ, * His Name was signed upon her. * And who can count the Saints that sprouted from the seed * planted through thy preaching * and heroic labours * in every part of Ireland?

ON the night of the Saviour’s Resurrection, * thou didst kindle a light * that showed a new day dawning, * to end the wearied night of dark idolatry, driving out delusion * with the rising splendour * of Christ, the Sun of Glory.

Hymns: Menaion, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Brookline, MA

Life of Saint Patrick

SAINT PATRICK, called the Apostle of Ireland, was born about the year 389, of Roman and British parents.

When Patrick was a boy he was taken prisoner by slavers and carried to Ireland. While he was a slave he placed all of his hope in God and would pray 100 times each day. While watching the flock of his master he would rise before the sun rose in the morning and pray. After  six years an Angel named Victor appeared to him and helped him to escape. After his escape he studied for 20 years to be a priest and to serve God. He would often dream of the people of Ireland where they would ask him to return to them and teach them.

Later, he was consecrated bishop, and was sent back to Ireland. St. Patrick traveled to every part of Ireland, converting many of the people and their leaders by his preaching and the example of his holy life. Saint Patrick worked many miracles,  confirming the truth of the Christian faith.

There is a wonderful story where St. Patrick was tested by one of the great leaders in Ireland. There was a contest between this leader’s priests, also called druids, and St. Patrick, Through many miracles, St. Patrick was victorious and from that moment on, the leader believed in Christ.

When he came to Ireland, as a Bishop, very few people knew or believed in Christ. When St. Patrick ended his earthly life some thirty years later, about 461, the Faith of Christ was established in every corner.

And what about the Shamrock?

The 3 leaf clover that is so common in Ireland was used by St. Patrick to teach the Orthodox doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity: one stem (God) and the three leaves (are the 3 Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). He is often depicted holding up a shamrock between his thumb and first finger in icons.

Dismissal hymn of Saint Patrick. Third Tone

O Holy Hierarch, equal of the Apostles, Saint Patrick, wonderworker and enlightener of Ireland: Intercede with the merciful God that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion of Saint Patrick. Fourth Tone
Be quick to anticipate

The Master revealed you as a skilful fisher of men; and casting forth nets of Gospel preaching, you hauled up the heathen to piety. Those who were the children of idolatrous darkness you rendered sons of day through holy Baptism. O Patrick, intercede for us who honour your memory.

Lorica of Saint Patrick

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 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 the Archangels,

in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,

in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,

in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

 

I arise today

through the strength of Heaven:

light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour 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 secure me:

against snares of devils,

against temptations of vices,

against inclinations of nature,

against everyone who shall wish me ill,

afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

 

I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):

against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul,

against incantations of false prophets,

against black laws of heathenry,

against false laws of heretics,

against craft of idolatry,

against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,

against every knowledge that endangers man’s body and soul.

Christ to protect me today

against poison, against burning,

against drowning, against wounding,

so that there may come 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 in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man 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.

 

Salvation is of the Lord.

Salvation is of the Lord.

Salvation is of Christ.

May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
St. Patrick (ca. 377)

*Also known as Deer’s Cry (Fáed Fíada) and  St. Patrick’s Breastplate.  It is said to have turned St. Patrick and his followers into deer when they were being pursued by the king’s men early one morning–hence the title “The Deer’s Cry.” Since then, it has always been used not only as a morning prayer, but as a prayer of protection

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