I Arise Today 

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me…
From all who shall wish me ill,
Afar and are near,
Alone and in multitude…. 

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

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 to shield me.

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

I arise today

About St. Patrick:

Patrick was brought to Ireland as a slave, from one of many raids organised by Niall of the Seven Hostages (an Irish King).  There is no shortage of places that claim to have been Patrick’s birthplace, including the region of the Clyde, and from Carlisle on the Solway.  It is claimed he was the son of a priest (married priests were not unusual in the Celtic church).

After several years as a slave Patrick left Ireland for Gaul, embarking at Marseilles. From there he travelled to Tours, spending several years at learning before going on to return to Britain. He did not return to Ireland at this time, departing instead for further learning at Lérins. He was not the first to be sent to Ireland. The Annals of Ulster record that one Palladius receded him. Patrick went the following year, to find that Palladius was dead.

He was greeted by a local chief, who despatched his hound at Patrick. The hound was, naturally, converted. More effective was that Patrick spoke gaelic and could be easily understood. In next to no time the chief had donated a barn to become Patrick’s first church. He set off north, to pay the ransom needed to free himself from slavery to Milchu. Milchu shut himself up in house and is alleged to have burned it to the ground, pagan to the end. The following Spring he had arrived at Tara. Here he lit a bonfire when the king lit his fire to celebrate Spring. A confrontation was inevitable, the kings chariots blown around by Patrick’s voice. A contest of miracles followed, Patrick once more the winner.

A more interesting tale is his explanation of the doctrine of the Trinity to the High King and the druids. He is said to have plucked a shamrock leaf to show the idea of god the father, son, and holy spirit. Since Patrick had been a slave for some years he almost certainly had a good command of the language. The king gave in and Patrick was allowed to preach throughout Ireland. This he did with effect, but not without some discontent within his own ranks. The Irish church was under the leadership of that in Gaul and Secundius was sent as bishop to succeed Patrick. He was later reinstated, almost certainly by orders from Rome.

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