Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lenten Mercy~Meditation: Saint Patrick's Prayer for Protection in Unsettling Times

The Cry of the Deer, also called the Lorica or Breastplate is a poem-hymn attributed to Saint Patrick which serves as a wonderfully alive and powerful prayer for protection. We might pray it on his Lenten Feast Day in dangerous and confounding times.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the three-ness,
Through confession of the one-ness
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 obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
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 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 these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel 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 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 one 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 three-ness,
Through confession of the one-ness,
Of the Creator of Creation.


  1. Thanks for everything.

  2. And thank you for following the posts! Blessed Feast of Patrick!

  3. Powerful prayer and so relevant. I am thankful that you shared it with us. There is more to St. Patrick's Day than parades and green bagels.

  4. There are times when I need a prayer like this just to get out of bed. Christ be with me, give me strength.

    1. Oh my goodness, I very much understand! Keep this prayer close - even on your nightstand.

  5. Even though far apart, there is a closeness, a familiarity, an everydayness that refuses to subside. I thought it would fade with passing time, but it does not. Missing you more than I could tell you.

    1. I'm all the more pleased then that you have found the posts, and that there is a closeness found here. Let us pray for each other. And a blessing for your family as Lent draws to its close and there is the Feast of Saint Patrick.

    2. Thank you Father. Your kind words mean so much to me.

  6. Fr. Morris,

    My religion teacher has been using your blog ever since she wrote to you after Christmas. She said one of us could write here to tell you that we like it and that it's pretty cool that you can think of all these different kinds of things. Like today's prayer that we never heard of before. It says a lot and we talked about it for St. Patrick's Day instead of the usual stuff. So thanks for listening to us. She said you would like to know this.
    Mrs. Brennan's 10th grade class.

  7. Hello James, Yeah, I'm very happy to hear this and glad to meet you! So thanks for writing. This prayer is important in a world with lots of troubles and problems. I'm just realizing that you're in 10th grade - long after your Confirmation - and you're still studying your faith. Keep the faith and carry on. If you have ideas for the blog let me know. Sometimes I run out of ideas and then God gives me new insights. It's very neat! I never worry anymore about what's next - the ideas come to me from many places. I love knowing that young people are looking at the posts. Send my good wishes and a Holy Week and Easter Blessing to all your classmates and teacher!

  8. What joy in every word of this poem. It just sums up everything about my faith and lifts up my soul. Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day, Father.

  9. One of my favorites. Heard it years ago for first time and it was haunting. Don't see it much in print. Glad to have it s fuller version. Peace and a blessed Holy Week.