Saint Patrick - a man of great patience, love, valor and honor. A man who willingly risked his life to light a torch in a dark place. A place where he had once been forced to go, torn away from his family, from every thing that he ever knew, from loved ones and familiar places and to unwillingly be put to work. Once a freeman - now a slave.
And yet, when he returned to his place of captivity, Ireland, he went once more a slave. No longer a slave to man and darkness, but a slave to Christ and His everlasting promises and life. Knowing full well what he was returning to, he put aside the comforts of home and took a ship and a band of brothers to spread the good news that had changed their lives.
Too quickly do we Christians forget what those who have gone before us have done, the pain they went through, the lives that they gave up for the truth that they believed in. St. Patrick knew the danger he was stepping into, and yet, instead of fearing man, he feared his God - instead of putting his trust in man, he put his trust in his Savior.
Our church is working on this beautiful song, penned so long ago by Saint Patrick, and known as St. Patrick's Breastplate.
I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the sameThe Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this today to me forever, by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in 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 doomI bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power of the great love of 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 star lit 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 hostilityI 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, 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.
By Whom all nature hath creation, Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
Happy St. Patricks Day!