Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Patrick's Breastplate


St Patrick


A happy and blessed St Patrick's day to everyone! As an Australian Catholic I have a great love of St Patrick and we see him as an ancient father in faith considering many Australian Catholics have an Irish heritage to thank for their faith. In our home each year we like to thank St Patrick for that original grace and blessing.

As I have mentioned before in two previous posts, here and here ~ we also have a great love for St Patrick's 'Breastplate' prayer and we recite it everyday, this has been a tremendous blessing to us.  It inspired me in a very deep way and I set myself to learning it all to memory. I recite this prayer individually, for each member of our family, daily ~ where you read the words "myself" or "me" etc, I will replace it with the name of the person I am offering it for.

Not long after learning it myself, I taught my three oldest children the poem so they could recite it as part of their daily personal prayer. In the last few weeks we have decided to to add it to our family communal prayers.

I often find that if I haven't recited the breastplate for everyone very early in the morning, travelling in the car is a great place to offer it. I remember my youngest 3 year old daughter who sits directly behind the driver's seat, said to me a few months ago as she listened to this familiar prayer.. "you are praying for me" as she heard me offering the Breastplate with her name added throughout ..sometimes I hear her trying to recite it in her own way along with me. I hope the memories of her mother's prayers will stay with her always...

The version that I know to memory is very rhyming, lilted and I love it. I understand it is the 1889 English translation of Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander that was written in a metered style as a hymn, click here for the tune.

I have made small change to the Breastplate that others in the past have also done, where it is said, "and purity of virgins souls" I say, "and purity of the Holy Virgin's soul" giving it a more direct reference to Our Lady especially as she is the "virgin of virgins." Having a St Louis de Montfort Marian devotion, this was appealing to me. As I was doing some research on the breastplate again I found this:

"The line in the original Gaelic: "Inendgai noemingen" Some translate this line with "The purity of the Holy Virgin." However, the word is clearly plural."

I have to add that a dear baptist friend of mine had wondered about 'binding' people in this prayer, I didn't want to ignore her thoughts and so I talked to the exorcist in my diocese. His comments were that it was an extraordinarily beautiful and powerful prayer to offer in this way and stated that as parents, when we offer our children for baptism, there is a far more powerful 'binding' to God taking place ~ and we are offering for them, on their behalf. When I thought on that, I felt it tied in with my friend's general baptist beliefs ~ if they do not believe in baptism for infants, allowing their children to make their own decision to be baptised, then it may also mean they might feel uncomfortable using this beautiful prayer in this way.

I read online somewhere, an Irish person stating that they were going to be singing this hymn for two baptisms coming up, a perfect hymn for this sacrament. Of course there are other translations for this word "bind"..."I summon" and "I arise" etc, which doesn't have the same feel as the word bind. The original translation to English uses the word, "I arise" and I have that further below for anyone who is interested.

I also discovered that in the original Gaelic prayer, there was a Latin ending, which read as:

Domini est salus,
Domini est salus,
Christi est salusñ
salus tua, Domine, sit semper nobiscum.

Salvation is the Lord's,
salvation is the Lord's,
salvation is Christ's
May Thy salvation, O Lord, be always with us.
We look forward to learning this and adding to it our prayer.

~o0o~
ST PATRICK'S 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 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 spiced 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 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 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, 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.



St Patrick as a shepherd slave, before returning to Ireland to convert it to Christ.

St Patrick Breast Plate Prayer "Faeth Fiada”

In the original Gaelic tongue:

Atomriug indiu
niurt tréun:
togairm Trindóit
faístin Oendatad,
i nDúlemon dáil.

Atomriug indiu
niurt gene Críst cona bathius,
niurt a chrochtho cona adnacul,
niurt a essérgi cona fhresgabáil,
niurt a thoíniudo fri brithemnas mbrátho.

Atomriug indiu
niurt gráid hiruphin,
i n-aurlataid aingel,
i frestul inna n-archaingel,
i freiscisin esséirgi
ar chiunn fochraicce,
i n-ernaigthib uasalathrach,
i tairchetlaib fáithe,
i preceptaib apstal,
i n-iresaib foísmedach,
i n-enccai noebingen,
i ngnímaib fer firén.

Atomriug indiu
niurt nime,
soilsi gréne,
étrochtai éscai,
áni thened,
déni lóchet,
luaithi gaíthe,
fudomnai mara,
tairismigi thalman,
cobsaidi ailech.

Atomriug indiu
niurt Dé dom luamairecht.
Cumachtae nDé dom chumgabáil,
ciall Dé dom inthús,
rose nDé dom remcisiu,
cluas Dé dom étsecht,
briathar Dé dom erlabrai,
lám Dé dom imdegail,
intech Dé dom remthechtas,
sciath Dé dom imdítin,
sochraite Dé dom anacul
ar intledaib demnae,
ar aslagib dualche,
ar forimthechtaib aicnid,
ar cech duine mídúthrastar dam,
i céin ocus i n-ocus,
i n'uathud ocus i sochaidi.

Tocuiriur etrum indiu inna uili nert-so
fri cech nert n-amnas n-étrocar frista-i dom churp ocus dom anmain,
fri tinchetla sa-ibfh-aithe,
fri dubrechtu gentliuchtae,
fri saíbrechtu heretecdae,
fri imchellacht n-ídlachtae,
fri brichtu ban ocus goban ocus druad,
fri cech fiss arachuille corp ocus anmain duini.

Crist dom imdegail indiu
ar neim, ar loscud, ar bádud, ar guin,
condom-thair ilar fochraicce.
Críst limm, Críst reum, Críst im degaid,
Críst indium, Críst ísum, Críst uasum,
Críst desum, Críst tuathum,
Críst i llius, Críst i sius, Críst i n-erus,
Críst i cridiu cech duini immumrorda,
Críst i ngin cech oín rodom-labrathar,
Críst i cech rusc nonom-dercathar,
Críst i cech cluais rodom-chloathar.

Atomriug indiu
niurt tréun:
togairm Trindóit,
cretim Treodatad,
faístin Oendatad,
i nDúlemon dáil.

(the latin ending:)

Domini est salus,
Domini est salus,
Christi est salusñ
salus tua, Domine, sit semper nobiscum.

The direct English translation from that is:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth 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 archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance 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 save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me 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 when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone 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.

(the Latin ending translation:)


Salvation is the Lord's,
salvation is the Lord's,
salvation is Christ's
May Thy salvation, O Lord, be always with us.



Here are our very simple activities for today, would have liked to have done some cooking but it will be such a busy day unfortunately...


We use this at our All Saints Party, "Pin the Shamrock on St Patrick" but perfect for today.

I knew I wouldn't have time to read our St Patrick's books on his feast, so we read one a day leading to his feast:



And lastly, a St Patrick's Breastplate rosary I made in honour of the Breastplate prayer, for more details, pop over to my beading blog.

4 comments:

rox said...

Anne the pics are lovely & I oredred those same books from the library !
Anne I do not have time to read the whole post right now so will retrun in the morning ☺
I sent your letter off yestarday !

Gardenia said...

Anne, what a beautiful rosary. you are so talented. and what an absolutely breath-taking prayer. I knew only the part beginning with Christ be within me ... . And being so Irish, I can't fathom that i never knew there was so much more, so much meaning and faith and devotion, in that prayer. Thanks for sharing, and Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick.

Secret said...

Thank you for this blog post. Yesterday I heard "St. Patrick's Breastplate" sung for the first time at a home Bible study with Anglican friends and found you when searching to learn more. Your rosaries are lovely; I have just made one of my own and am learning to use it. On another blog I found how an Anglican rosary (smaller) can be used for "St. Patrick's Breastplate" and so I thought I'd share it:
http://www.blackkestrel.net/archives/60

PrairieDawn Pam said...

Thank you for this post. I heard the prayer sung for the first time last night at a home Bible study group of Anglican friends and found you while searching to learn more. Your rosaries are lovely; I just made an Anglican rosary (smaller) of my own. On another blog I've found instructions for how to use this prayer with an Anglican rosary so I thought I'd share it:
http://www.blackkestrel.net/archives/60