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The Breastplate of St. Patrick, also known as The Lorica

The Daily Knight

The Lorica is an ancient Gaelic prayer attributed to St. Patrick and is an invocation to the Holy Trinity, usually recited in the morning. In the early Irish Church, loricas were numerous; some were written in Gaelic and some in Latin. In fact, the word, Lorica, is Latin, meaning shield or breastplate. Since prayer is a spiritual shield, these Irish loricas were prayed for protection against spiritual evils, but also from physical ones; the loricas came into being when the Gaelic pagans converted to Catholicism: the loricas were the replacement for the old incantations, which the new Christians discarded.


I. I bind to myself today The strong power of an invocation of the Trinity, The faith of the Trinity in Unity The Creator of the Universe.


II. I bind to myself today The might of the Incarnation of Christ with that of His Baptism, The might of His Crucifixion with that of His Burial, The might of His Resurrection with that of His Ascension. The might of of His Coming on the Judgment Day.


III. I bind to myself today The power in the love of the Seraphim, In the obedience of the Angels, In the ministration of the Archangels, In the hope of Resurrection unto reward, In the prayers of the Patriarchs, In the predictions of the Prophets, In the preaching of the Apostles, In the faith of the Confessors, In the purity of the holy Virgins, In the deeds of righteous men.


IV. I bind to myself today The power of Heaven, The brightness of the Sun, The whiteness of Snow, The splendor of Fire, The speed of Lightning, The swiftness of the Wind, The depth of the Sea, The stability of the Earth, The firmness of Rocks.


V. I bind to myself today God's Power 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 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.


VI. 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 blinds the soul of man.


VII. Christ protect me today Against poison, against burning, Against drowning, against wounding, That I may receive abundant reward.


VIII. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left, Christ when lying down, Christ in sitting, Christ in rising up.


IX. Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.


X. I bind to myself today The strong power of an invocation of the Trinity, The faith of the Trinity in Unity The Creator of the Universe.


XI. Salvation is of the Lord, Salvation is of the Lord, Salvation is of Christ; May Your salvation, O Lord, be with us forever.


IN THE ORIGINAL ALL THE VERSES BUT THE LAST WERE IN GAELIC, THE LAST BEING IN LATIN. TRANSLATION FROM THE IRISH LIBER HYMNORUM, J. H. BERNARD, D.D. AND R. ATKINSON, LL.D., 1898


In Christ Crucified and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus.


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