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St. Patrick’s Breastplate: A Powerful Prayer That Can Inspire Your Faith

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In this article we will look at St. Patrick’s Breastplate a powerful prayer that is written the ancient Book of Armagh and how we can pray it as well. So, get ready to dive into history…

I remember doing a study on church history and reading the life of many of the church fathers and saints. And good ol’ Saint Patrick was one of them.

Here is a little about his life…

Saint Patrick was born in 386 AD and passed in 460 AD. Just to give you an idea on history…John the Apostle is said to have passed away in 100 AD and the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 395 AD.

St. Patrick's Breastplate

He was a Christian missionary to Ireland. Originally being born in a Christian Roman home in Britain. He became a bishop and was later known as the apostle of Ireland.

It is said that at times he would baptize over a 100 people in one day and that he raised 33 people from the dead. Many people say these are legends. But I do believe the Saint Patrick moved in God’s mighty power and saw a multitude of people come to Jesus!

March 17th is the day Saint Patrick went to be with his Savior. And that’s the day we celebrate Saint Patrick‘s Day! So, nope it has nothing to do with a leprechaun, rainbows, and a pot of gold. Sadly, once again another holiday paganized.

But there is a reason connected to Saint Patrick on why we see shamrocks or three-leaf clovers associated with the holiday. And that is because it is said that he used the three-leaf clover as a illustration to teach others about the trinity. The rare four-leaf clover not so much.

His life is pretty incredible and I encourage you to check it out in details. Now, for the St. Patrick’s breastplate.

The prayer is found in the Book of Armagh or Canon of Patrick. Historically it is believed that St. Patrick wrote and prayed this prayer for God’s strength, guaidence, and protection as he evangelized to the King of Ireland or dealt with druids.

Even though the breastplate of St. Patrick was written over a thousand years ago it’s still a prayer that we can use and be inspired by. We will look at that later in how we can personalize the prayer! For now let’s take a look at the prayer.

And if you are interested in learning more about prayer then I would encourage you to take a look at my page on Prayer and Intercession.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Other Names for St. Patrick’s Breastplate

There are multiple names that St. Patrick’s Breastplate goes by. I thought it would be helpful to provide a list of them.

  • The Breastplate of St. Patrick
  • The Deer’s Cry*
  • Lorica of Saint Patrick 
  • The Prayer of St Patrick
  • I Arise Today
  • Morning Prayer of St. Patrick
  • The Breastplate Prayer

*The name The Deer’s Cry comes from the story that Patrick was in route to the King’s court and an ambush was planned out to have him killed. Patrick was aware of this evil plot and him and his companions prayed the breastplate prayer as they went. It is said that the druids didn’t see St. Patrick but they saw a doe followed by twenty fawns.

1911 Catholic Encyclopedia Translation

I would like to share two versions of St. Patrick’s breastplate. The first one was translated by Patrick Francis Cardinal Moran, “St. Patrick,” Catholic Encyclopedia (1911) the second one is a more modern version translation. I was not able to find who actually translated it. If you happen to know please leave me a comment as I would like to cite the translator.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,
   Against the snares of demons,
   Against the seductions of vices,
   Against the lusts of nature,
   Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
      Whether far or near,
      Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort, [i.e., at home]
Christ in the chariot seat, [i.e., travelling by land]
Christ in the stern. [i.e., travelling by water]

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

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Modern Translation of The Breastplate 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, 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 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, smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man’s body and soul.
Christ to protect me today against poisoning,
against burning, against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come abundance in 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.
Amen.

St Patrick’s Breastplate Hymn

There are lots of renditions of the St. Patrick’s Breastplate hymn or song. It sometimes goes by the name, “I arise today.” But my personal favorite it a version done by David Ruis, it’s a slightly different translation then the one that is above.

If you click on closed captioning you will be able to read the lyrics as well.

The first time I heard it was in church and it really impacted me. I wanted to share this version with you as well. I hope it blesses you greatly.

How to Personalize St. Patrick’s Prayer

 St Patrick Preaching to the Kings
 St. Patrick Preaching to the Kings (Image Source)

If you have been around my site, Think About Such Things you will know how I feel about written prayers. I think they are great, and can be very powerful. But at the same time we need to be careful with them.

Prayer is communicating with God and it deepens our relationship with Him. We don’t go to a close friend or a spouse and read someone else’s words to them. We share from our own heart. This is the same way we should pursue prayer.

It should be from the heart….real and authentic! King David is a prime example of this in the Psalms.

Here are some tips on how you can take The Breastplate Prayer and make it personal between you and Jesus!

  • Read through the entire prayer and if anything stands out to stop and begin to pray.
  • Add your own situations to the prayer. For example you are probably not dealing with sorcerers or druids in your life, but perhaps you want protections from those who would try to seduce you or manipulate you.
  • Another way to make this prayer personal is to read or pray through a paragraph and stop. Begin to speak to the Lord personally expanding on what you just read/prayed. Do this throughout the whole prayer.
  • Don’t pray in haste! Take your time and wait in God’s presence.

Free PDF of The Breastplate of St. Patrick

St Patrick's Breastplate prayer PDF printable

I have created two St. Patrick’s Prayer printables for you! One from the 1911 translation and one of the more modern version. They are completely free to download! All I ask is that you sign up for my newsletter. Then you will get access to the prayer and MANY more printables that will enrich your faith.

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FREE PDF Printable of St. Patrick’s Breastplate

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