Breastplate of St. Patrick

The “breastplate” or “lorica” of St. Patrick is an ancient Trinitarian prayer of protection that is attributed to the 5th century bishop and missionary saint to Ireland. It is a wonderful prayer to begin the day on St. Patrick’s Day, Trinity Sunday, or any other time of the year.

For my shield this day, I call: A mighty power: The Holy Trinity! Affirming threeness, confessing oneness, in the making of all through love.

For my shield this day I call: Christ’s power in His coming and in His baptising; Christ’s power in His dying on the cross, His arising from the tomb, His ascending; Christ’s power in His coming for judgment and ending.

For my shield this day I call: strong power of the seraphim, with angels obeying, and archangels attending, in the glorious company of the holy and risen ones, in the prayers of the fathers, in visions prophetic and commands apostolic, in annals of witness, in virginal innocence, in the deeds of steadfast men.

For my shield this day I call: Heaven’s might, sun’s brightness, moon’s whiteness, fire’s glory, lightning’s swiftness, wind’s wildness, ocean’s depth, earth’s solidity, rock’s immobility.

This day I call to me: God’s strength to direct me: God’s power to sustain me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s vision to light me, God’s ear to my hearing, God’s word to my speaking, God’s hand to uphold me, God’s pathway before me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s legions to save me: from snares of the demons, from evil enticements, from failings of nature, from one man or many, that seek to destroy me, anear or afar.

Around me I gather these forces to save my soul and my body from dark powers that assail me: against false prophesyings, against pagan devisings, against heretical lying and false gods all around me; against spells cast by women, by blacksmiths, by Druids, against knowledge unlawful that injures the body, that injures the spirit.

Be Christ this day my strong protector; against poison and burning, against drowning and wounding, through reward wide and plenty. Christ beside me, Christ before me; Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me; Christ to right of me, Christ to left of me; Christ in my lying, my sitting, my rising; Christ in heart of all who know me, Christ on tongue of all who meet me, Christ in eye of all who see me, Christ in ear of all who hear me.

For my shield this day I call a mighty power: the Holy Trinity! Affirming threeness, confessing oneness in the making of all — through Love.

For to the Lord belongs salvation, and to the Lord belongs salvation and to Christ belongs salvation. May Your salvation, Lord, be with us always.