I Arise Today Through a Mighty Strength

In 1999 my husband and I took an anniversary trip to Ireland. It’s green rolling meadows lined with ancient stone fences mesmerized us. We fell in love with the people, the culture, and the food. We both dream returning some day.

One of the places we visited was Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. It is believed that at this location he baptized early converts to Christianity. (His approximate dates were 385-461 AD.) There is an amazing stone cover over what they think was his baptismal pool.  The meager wooden church that once contained the baptistry has long since been replaced with a large, majestic stone cathedral and beautiful stained glass windows.

Over the years I’ve researched the life of Saint Patrick trying to sort out the true stories from the legends. The truth is an amazing story of a young man stolen from his home in Roman Britain by slave pirates, served as a slave of a Druid Chieftain for six years and then escaped back to his family in Britain. The call of God upon his life to return as a missionary to the heathens of Ireland, to the very ones who enslaved him and the phenomenal founding and growth of the church, is an amazing testimony of God’s grace upon his life. I have a deep admiration for his life and ancient writings.

One of the most famous writings that is attributed to him is now called “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”.  Whether or not he actually wrote it is debated today. Some believe monks influenced by Saint Patrick’s words wrote it. That is more than likely the case and explains why you will find so many variations of the prayer. Apparently, the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians had an influence as well. There are undertones of the book throughout the prayer. Either way, I’m inspired every time I read it. This is the translation I enjoy meditating on. Its words are a beautiful prayer of protection to pray for ourselves and our loved ones. It actually reminds me of Ephesians 6:13-17. It makes me ask myself, “Is your armor on?”

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

I arise today

Through a mighty strength,

The strong name of the Trinity,

By invocation of the same,

The Three in One, and One in Three.

I arise today

By the power of faith and

Through the strength of Christ’s birth,

His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion and burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection

and His ascension,

Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of Doom.

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 way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to save me

From snares of devils,

From temptations of vices,

From everyone who shall wish me ill,

Afar and anear,

Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all His power to stand

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,

Against false words and heresy,

Against the knowledge that defiles,

Against the hear’s idolatry,

Against the wizard’s evil craft,

Against the death-wound and the burning,

The choking wave, the poison’d shaft,

Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ in breadth,

Christ in length,

Christ in height,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that 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.

I arise today

Through a mighty name,

The strong name of the Trinity,

By belief and confession of

The Three in One, and the One in Three,

The Creator of creation.

Eternal Father,

Spirit Word,

Praise to the Lord of my salvation:

Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

O Lord, be ever with me.

Amen.

If you would like to print a copy of Saint Patrick’s Breastplate prayer, I’ve created a pdf document that can be found on my website. 

3 thoughts on “I Arise Today Through a Mighty Strength

    1. MarshaMarsha Post author

      Thank you, Mary. This has been a favorite prayer of mine for at least 25 years. It’s powerful good, God’s hand is definitely upon its creation, whether it be all of Patrick’s doings or with the aid of some monks.

  1. Iris

    I have never read this prayer before. I really like it. Thank you so much for sharing it here.
    I have always loved history. I think that St Patrick will be my next project to learn more about.

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