Amidst much of the silliness and shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day, it is easy to forget the man this holiday was created to celebrate. St. Patrick looms large as a great missionary in church history. Born in 5th Century Roman Great Britain, Patrick was captured into slavery by the the Irish at a young age. He worked as a slave for many years amidst the pagan Celtic culture, before escaping to England. However, he could not but hear the voice of the Irish calling him to return, saying, "We beg you to come and walk among us once more." He heeded the call to take the Gospel to Ireland, and such began a great missionary spurt through Ireland that would soon spread back into Scotland and Britain. So, whatever St. Patty's Day festivities you partake in today, remember that this great man was a key instrument of God in the growth of the early church. Below is the great prayer that has famously been attributed to him, and we can very much make this our own today. I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three. I bind this day to me for ever, by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation; his baptism in Jordan river; his death on cross for my salvation; his bursting from the spicèd tomb; his riding up the heavenly way; his coming at the day of doom: I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself the power of the great love of cherubim; the sweet “Well done” in judgment hour; the service of the seraphim; confessors’ faith, apostles’ word, the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls; all good deeds done unto the Lord, and purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven the glorious sun’s life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even, the flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks, the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old eternal rocks.
I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, his eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to hearken, to my need; the wisdom of my God to teach, his hand to guide, his shield to ward; the word of God to give me speech, his heavenly host to be my guard.
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three. Of whom all nature hath creation, eternal Father, Spirit, Word: praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord.