Lent 2016: Saint Patrick’s Breastplate


(Artists: Shaun Davey and Rita Connolly, The Deer’s Cry, available on iTunes)

I first heard it recited on the Halloween episode of the short-lived series, Nothing Sacred (fabulous 1990’s CBS show that was taken off the air and never released on video). Its title wasn’t given, so it took a bit of research to find it. There are a few translations of the prayer, and a few hymns that adapt its words. It’s also called The Deer’s Cry, among other things. In all of its incarnations, it is beautiful.

This year, Saint Patrick’s Breastplate will guide the Lenten writings. I’ll be joined by a few other writers, just as during Advent. I hope your Lent is blessed by this prayer and the meditations offered.

This prayer makes a great Lenten devotional. Read daily, its imagery will be written on your heart – a blessing for years to come…

I arise today 

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
 Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today

Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection with 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 the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,

In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,

In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,

In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through

The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,

The splendor of fire,
 The speed of lightning,
 The swiftness of wind,
 The depth of the sea,

The stability of the earth,
The firmness of 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 for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me

From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
I summon today

All these powers between me and those evils,

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

Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,

Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of witches 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 an 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 everyone 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 belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
Our Catholic Prayers (ourcatholicprayers.com)
The Prayer Foundation (prayerfoundation.org)
The Cyber Hymnal (cyberhymnal.org)