Thursday 8 November 2012

Prayers to Our Patrons: Saint Colum Cille

Below is a selection of prayers in honour of Ireland's tertiary patron, Saint Colum Cille (Columba), taken from the 1941 edition of Saint Anthony's Treasury. This edition contains many prayers to Irish saints, which have been successively whittled down in later printings. The 1975 edition preserves only the Novena Prayer to Saint Columba but there is a litany and a short prayer in the older printing too. I would think that these prayers were probably composed in the 19th century, and as the litany invokes the saint as 'shield of our city', probably in Derry itself. There is a fascinating glimpse of what Saint Columcille meant to the Catholics of late nineteenth-century Derry in an 1897 commemorative book preserved by the Internet Archive here.  Indeed, the prayers may well have been written for this anniversary. They present a very different view of Saint Columba to that of the modern 'Celtic Christianity' movement, for here he is sited very firmly within Irish Catholicism as a saint of the Eucharist.

Novena to St. Columba

O Glorious St. Columba, in remembrance of the love you bore your native land in the golden days, when you declared your spirit would always be with us, we beg of you to intercede for us that we may worthily imitate your virtues, especially your great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Turn to Jesus on the altar, and never cease to pray for us until the fire of Divine Love burns brightly and steadfastly in every Irish heart. Obtain for our rulers and for all, the true spirit of charity. Let not your interest in the schools of Ireland be less than it was formerly. Bless the labours of those who work in them that the land you loved so well on earth may become again the "Isle of Saints and Scholars". We invoke your powerful intercession against the dread evils of intemperance and for the preservation of the faith and virtue of the Irish people. Pray for us now and always, that faithfully fulfilling the duties of our state, we may love Jesus and Mary with our whole hearts, and thus prove worthy of your love and protection. Amen.

Litany of St. Columba
(For private recitation only)

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Holy Mary, pray for us
Queen of Angels, pray for us
Queen of all Saints, pray for us
St. Columba, greatest of Irish-born Saints, pray for us
St. Columba, most illustrious of Irish Scholars, pray for us
St. Columba, founder of Derry, pray for us
St. Columba, patron of Ireland, pray for us
St. Columba, apostle of Scotland, pray for us
St. Columba, dove of the Church, pray for us
St. Columba, Saint of the Eucharist, pray for us
St. Columba, companion of the Angels, pray for us
St. Columba, mirror of purity, pray for us
St. Columba, model of humility, pray for us
St. Columba, lover of temperance, pray for us
St. Columba, father of the poor, pray for us
St. Columba, protector of the innocent, pray for us
St. Columba, advocate of the oppressed, pray for us
St. Columba, friend of the children, pray for us
St. Columba, guardian of schools, pray for us
St. Columba, shield of our city, pray for us
St Oran, monk of Derry, pray for us
All ye holy Monks of Iona, pray for us
St. Bran, Nephew of St. Columba, pray for us
All ye holy Dead of Derry, pray for us
St. Martin, pray for us
All ye Patrons and Friends of St. Columba, pray for us

V. Pray for us, O dearest St. Columba.
R. That we may love the Sacred Heart of Jesus daily more and more.

Let us Pray

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to unveil to Thy Servant, Columba, the Angels who guard Thy Tabernacle, grant that we, whose privilege it is to pray where he knelt, may, through his intercession, be enabled to lead such lives of purity and holiness as will one day entitle us to behold those same Angels in the mansions of bliss, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of St. Columba
(Feast, June 9th)

May the fire of God's love burn brightly and steadfastly in our hearts like the golden light within the sanctuary lamp. (Prayer of St. Columba in the Dubhregles of Derry.)

St. Anthony's Treasury - A Manual of Devotions (Anthonian Press, Dublin, 1941), 278-81.

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