(Because of a technical malfunction that crashed this site on April 4, and took down every post and comment after March 14, the following has been re-posted. It was originally written March 17, 2008.) The Family Foundation wishes everyone a very happy Saint Patrick's Day! We appreciate all the festivities surrounding it and hope Irish and non-Irish alike enjoy the fun responsibly. But lost in the commercialization and secularization of this day is the understanding as to why, even now, at its core, it still has such resonance, significance and relevance.
Saint Patrick, lore tells us, drove out the snakes from Ireland. In truth, Ireland probably never had snakes. But the lore has a purpose in its tale. Ireland and all of Britain were pagan in his era, the fifth century. Snakes (or their images) often were worshipped by pagans at that time. Patrick, who escaped slavery and became a priest, then elevated to bishop, converted the islands to Christianity, thus the elimination of the snakes - no more paganism.
So let Saint Patrick's example be a constant reminder to us today that we have a responsibility to lead by example to let others see Christ reflected in us and constantly spread the Gospel, no matter what the audience. No one is ever too far removed from hearing the Truth and accepting Christ. Here, then, in true celebration of St. Patrick, are two prayers written by him:
Prayer For The Faithful
May the Strength of God guide us. May the Power of God preserve us. May the Wisdom of God instruct us. May the Hand of God protect us. May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us. May the Angels of God guard us - Against the snares of the evil one.
May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord, Always be ours, This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.
Saint Patrick's Breastplate
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort me 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.