The Celtic Literature Collective

The Lorica of Patrick

Also known as "The Deerís Cry" and "St. Patrickís Breastplate," it is thought to be authentic. I included it on my site not only because it is authentic, but because it is reminiscent of the early bardic poetry of Ireland, in particular, the "Song of Amergin". Moreover, it is also the origin of "Patrickís Rune," a real prayer which is found in Madeline LíEngleís A Swiftly Tilting Planet.

It is said to have turned St. Patrick and his followers into deer when they were being pursued by the kingís men early one morning--hence the title "The Deerís Cry." However, it is also called the Lorica of St. Patrick--a lorica being a type of prayer of protection (literally meaning "breastplate"), which was popular in Celtic countries. Since then, it has always been used not only as a morning prayer, but as a prayer of protection.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity
Through belief in the threeness
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the creator.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ 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 decent for the Judgement of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim
In obedience to the Angels,
In the service of the Archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of Holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun
Brilliance of moon
Splendor of fire
Speed of lightning
Swiftness of wind
Depth of sea
Stability of earth
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through Godís strength to pilot me:
Godís might to uphold me,
Godís wisdom to guide me
Godís eye to look before me,
Godís ear to hear me,
Godís word to speak for me,
Godís hand to guard me,
Godís way to lie before me,
Godís host to secure me
against snares of devils
against temptations of vices
against inclinations of nature
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear,
alone and in a crowd.

A summon today all these powers between me and these evils
Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of heathenry,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that endangers manís body and soul.

Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come 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 where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise
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.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Thrones,
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the Creator.

Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of Christ
May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

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