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Blessed Saint Patrick’s Day!
A couple years ago, Bill and I did one of those DNA tests and we discovered we were both VERY CELTIC. We knew we were Scottish (I am of the McMillian Clan, and Bill is a McBean) but according to our DNA ancestry we are primarily Irish. We had heard through our family grapevine that perhaps our last name Farrel, might have at one time been O’Farrell so we could understand his side of the family tree linking back to Ireland but where did the Irish come from on my side?
This year, while visiting my mom, we discovered a wonderful independently published book of our family.
We had met our relatives who shared the history of our ancestors who immigrated four generations ago from New Zealand with their sheep flock and homesteaded in Idaho. In my little home town, a country lane is named after our family :”Going Lane”. What we discovered through this booklet handed down from generation to generation is that these shepherds (and decades and decades of family before) were originally from IRELAND!
We have a renewed interest in learning more about our heritage, so last year, I took a seminary level course in Celtic Christian Studies taught by author and film maker Rebecca Friedlander.
One of the phrases, or life mottos, the Celts are known for is:
Pray your life; live your prayers.
And one of the most inspirational prayer leaders most often associated with Ireland is Saint Patrick. However, the circumstances that developed his prayer life might not be as well known. As a teen, he was kidnaped by warriors and taken from England to Ireland and made into a slave. This trauma led to a reconnection and recommitment to a personal relationship with Christ, Then at risk of his life, God led him to escape slavery through a series of miracles. He returned to his homeland but God kept laying Ireland on his heart and he was compelled to return to Ireland as a missionary!
Saint Patrick lived ALL IN for Jesus!
According to legend and much art depicting Saint Patrick, he used the three leaf clover to explain the Trinity. His ability to take deep and profound truths and make them memorable and understandable for the average person might be why so much of his writing has lasted and been passed down for generations.
So what are a few of Saint Patrick’s beautiful and timeless prayers?
May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
– Against the snares of the evil one.
May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen
The Breastplate Prayer of Saint Patrick (Lorica Prayer) is longer because it is power-packed with theology:
I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism, Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection and 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 service of archangels, In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, In the prayers of patriarchs, In preachings of the apostles, In faiths of confessors, In innocence of virgins, In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today Through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the 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 to 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 every one who shall wish me ill, Afar and anear, Alone and in a multitude.
Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of women 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 every one 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 a belief in the Threeness, Through a confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.
Yes, enjoy some Irish soda bread, corned beef, cabbage , carrots and potatoes or maybe a green cupcake, cookie or milkshake today but we encourage you to learn more about Saint Patrick, the Celtic Christian Faith or use some of these beautiful prayers on other days this year too.
Pam is a lassie who fell in love with a handsome lad, William nearly 44 years ago. Together they have a trip to Ireland on their bucket list in hopes to enjoy a future wedding anniversary. Currently, they reside on a live aboard boat docked in So California. Together, they CoDirect Love-Wise