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March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Breast-Plate: the powerful prayer of a powerful man

"The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as 'St. Patrick's Breast-Plate,' is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text . . ."

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 Judgement 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 splendour 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,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
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.
(Catholic Encyclopedia)


  1. This is awesome! Thank you so much for this Mr. Madrid!

  2. Thanks. Lovely to see it and share it all written out.

  3. Patrick, Happy Feast Day!
    This Prayer is a sure protection, a shield against all darkness and dread and premature death!
    A Treasure!
    Thank you.

  4. "Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man."

    Given this follows 'merciless power, false prophets, black laws, heresy, idolatry, spells, smiths, and druids', I'm getting a sense of what 'knowledge' Adam and Eve were not to have known - every error and boast of Satan and his like.

    As we are seeing these same Gnostic crafts becoming ever more broadcast in movies, novels, TV shows and the like, perhaps St. Patrick is to be a particular intercessor for our times?

    Glorious St.Patrick, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

  5. My patron saint and his feast day. Erin Go Bragh!

  6. Thank-you very much for posting this Mr. Madrid.

  7. In school we used to sing, 'May St. Patrick and St. Briget bless and guard our native shore'. (They dont sing it nowadays.) I always felt a little bit safer knowing the big man was on the job. Patrick was truely an heroic man, physically and morally. Guard us now, Patrick. Guard poor Ireland.