Tag Archives: St Patrick



O blessed St Patrick, glorious Apostle of Ireland, who didst become a friend and father to me for ages before my birth, hear my prayer, and accept the sentiments of gratitude and veneration with which my heart is filled. Through thee I have inherited that faith which is dearer than life. I now make thee the representative of my thanks, and the mediator of my homage to Almighty God. Most holy father and patron of my country, despise not my weakness; remember that the cries of little children were the sounds that rose, like a mysterious voice from heaven, and invited thee to come amongst us.

Listen, then, to my humble supplication: may my prayer ascend to the Throne of God, with the praises and blessings which shall ever sanctify thy name and thy memory in the Irish Church. May my hope be animated by the patronage and intercession of our forefathers, who now enjoy eternal bliss and owe their salvation, under God, to thy courage and charity. Obtain for me grace to love God with my whole heart, to serve Him with my whole strength, and to persevere in good purpose to the end.

O faithful shepherd of the Irish flock, who wouldst have laid down a thousand lives to save one soul, take my soul, and the souls of my countrymen, under thy special care. Be a father to the Church of Ireland and her faithful people. Grant that all hearts may share the blessed fruits of that Gospel thou hast planted and watered. Grant that, as our ancestors of old had learned, under thy guidance, to unite science with virtue, we, too, may learn, under thy patronage, to consecrate all Christian duty to the glory of God. I commend to thee my native land, which was so dear to thee while on earth. Protect it still, and, above all, direct its chief Pastors, particularly those who teach us. Give them grace to walk in thy footsteps, to nurture the flock with the Word of Life and the Bread of Salvation, and to lead the heirs of the Saints thou hast formed to the possession of that glory which they, with thee, enjoy in the kingdom of the Blessed. Through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons, Leeds, 1916


Tags: , , , , ,



Hail, glorious Saint Patrick, dear saint of our isle,
on us thy poor children bestow a sweet smile;
and now thou art high in the mansions above,
on Erin’s green valleys look down in thy love.

On Erin’s green valleys, on Erin’s green valleys,
on Erin’s green valleys look down in thy love.

Hail, glorious Saint Patrick! Thy words were once strong
against Satan’s wiles and infidel throng;
not less is thy might where in heaven thou art;
O, come to our aid in our battle take part.

In the war against sin, in the fight for the faith,
dear saint, may thy children resist unto death;
may their strength be in meekness, in penance, in prayer,
their banner the Cross which they glory to bear.

Thy people, now exiles on many a shore,
shall love and revere thee till time be no more;
and the fire thou hast kindled shall ever burn bright,
its warmth undiminished, undying its light.

Ever bless and defend the sweet land of our birth,
where the shamrock still blooms as when thou wert on earth,
and our hearts shall yet burn, wheresoever we roam,
for God and Saint Patrick, and our native home.
(Sister Agnes)


Tags: , , ,


“[On] 17th March we celebrate St Patrick’s Day, the patron saint of Ireland. In his ‘Confessio’ St Patrick writes about the Trinity:

There is no other God, nor ever was, nor will be, than God the Father
• Unbegotten
• Without beginning
• From whom is all beginning
• Who upholds all things, as we have been taught.

And His Son Jesus Christ
• Whom we acknowledge to have been always with the Father
• Who before the beginning of the world was spiritually present with the Father
• Begotten in an unspeakable manner before all beginning
• By Him are made all things visible and invisible.
• He was made man, and
• Having defeated death, was received into heaven by the Father
• And He has given Him a name which is above all names
• That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth
• And every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God
• In whom we believe, and whose coming we expect soon to be
• Judge of the living and the dead
• Who will render to every man according to his deeds
• And He has poured forth upon us abundantly…

The Holy Spirit
• The gift and pledge of immortality
• Who makes those who believe and obey sons of God the Father
• And joint heirs with Christ
Whom we confess and adore, one God in the Trinity of the Holy Name.”
– From: “Spiritual Thought from Father Chris”, March 2011


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


We ask the intercession of Saint Patrick to support us as we pray:

R. Come Holy Spirit, into our hearts and lives.

You renew the face of the earth in all times:
– renew our world today. (R.)

You overshadowed the Blessed Virgin Mary:
– cast your bright shadow over the Church. (R.)

You descended on your Son like a dove:
– bring us peace and wisdom in his name. (R.)

You gave the Apostles tongues of fire:
– enable us to speak of your truth even in the darkest shadows. (R.)

(Personal intentions)

Our Father…

God our Father, you converted a people to the glory of your name through the preaching of Saint Patrick. Inspire us by his spirit to walk in holiness, and help us to teach the Gospel to those around us, that our nation may turn again to you, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


Tags: , ,



“Leaving home and undertaking a journey at the behest of God has deep roots in the Bible. God called Abraham to ‘leave your country and your father’s house and go to the land that I will show you… and I will make you a great nation and I will bless you’ (Gen 12:1-2).

The notion of peregrinatio (pilgrim or wanderer) in Ireland goes right back to St Patrick himself. Fr Aidan Larkin, in his book ‘Columban, Pilgrim for Christ’, writes: ‘By returning freely to Ireland, Patrick undertook peregrinatio perennis, exile in perpetuity. He intended to stay in Ireland and die there… in his (Patrick’s letter to Coroticus, ‘I have not laboured for nor has my exile (peregrinatio) been to no purpose.’ For Patrick and those who came after him, exile forever from one’s country is considered to be ‘white martyrdom’. At the time it was a major decision to take because technically peregrinus had no rights. In fact, he could be killed with impunity.


As we have seen, the idea of peregrinatio is rooted in the scriptures, but Larkin claims that ‘for these Irishmen (Colmcille, Columban, etc.) it derived much power from being a form of ascetical renunciation of particular social and political structures of Irish society, in which the position and legal protection of the individual were closely linked to the family group and the local community.’ In this way the monk imitated the self-emptying of Christ which St Paul writes about in Philippians 2:6-11.

Columban’s biographer, Jonas of Susa, tells us that a holy woman who originally encouraged to leave his home expressed her own regret that she did not opt for portior peregrinatio (a more intense exile).

Presumably this advice remained with Columban as he lived his adult life at Comgall’s monastery in Bangor. Jonas tells us that after many years in Bangor, Columban ‘began to long for exile.’ Jonas points out that, at first, comgall refused permission, presumably because of the important roles Columban fulfilled in Bangor. Then, in either 590 or 591, Comgall relented and gave Columban permission to leave.


TM Charles-Edwards, the Oxford historian of early Christian Ireland, claims that Columban is ‘the greatest of the perigrini who left Ireland for continental Europe.’

Peregrinatio for Irish monks was not a choice for solitude. Colmcille and later Columban brought a community with them. In Columban’s case the group was composed of 12 monks with Columban as the abbot – patterned on Jesus and the apostles. Furthermore, in Letter IV which Columban wrote from Nantes to the monks of Luxeuil before he thought he would be deported back to Ireland, we learn that there is an added, missionary dimension to Columban’s peregrinatio: ‘It was my wish to visit the pagan people and to have the Gospel preached to them by us.’ Larkin argues persuasively that peregrinatio is intertwined with mission or preaching the Good News of the Gospel.


Dr Marie Therese Flanagan of Queen’s University, Belfast, points out how successful Columban and his companions were. When Columban arrived in Gaul in 590 AD the rural areas had only absorbed Christianity superficially. She claims that the situation changed dramatically with the arrival of the ‘holy men from Ireland,’ endowed with spiritual gifts, willing to travel, to run risks and prepared to face up to the paganism of the country people in their own rural dwelling places. They succeeded in creating the conditions for conversions through a conscious choice of the Christian way of life. The arrival of the Irish peregrini initiated a movement of spiritual renewal in Gaul which also showed itself in a wave of new monastic foundations not directly subject to the bishops, as in Ireland.

Around 600 AD, Dr Flanagan asserts, there were around 200 monasteries in Gaul, but with the Irish influence, in the course of the seventh century, around 320 more were added, the majority of them in northern Gaul, an area which Pierre Riche has defined as a ‘barbarous zone.’ Larkin thinks the figure is high, but agrees that the impact of Columban and his monks was remarkable.”
– This article by Fr Sean McDonagh was published in The Catholic Universe newspaper on Sunday 31st March, 2013.


Tags: , , , , ,


As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.

May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.

May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.

May Christ shield me today…
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,
Christ when I stand,

Christ in the heart of everyone
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.
– St Patrick


Tags: , , , , , , , ,



The apostle of Ireland was born in Great Britain about 385, and taken captive and sold as a slave to Ireland when he was a young boy. He worked as a herdsman, escaped, and decided to become a priest. He was made Bishop for Ireland, and was indefatigable in preaching the faith throughout the country and in organising the Church there. He died in about 461, and was buried at Downpatrick.


God our Father,
you sent Saint Patrick
to preach your glory to the people of Ireland.
By the help of his prayers,
may all Christians proclaim your love to all men.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Tags: , , , , ,