Tuesday 6 November 2012

Prayers to Our Patrons: Saint Patrick

Below is a prayer to our patron saint taken from a manual of prayers, instructions and meditations originally issued in the nineteenth century for the seminarians of All Hallows College:

A Prayer to Saint Patrick

O great ambassador of God, we praise thy name. Rejoicing we recall how all things worked together unto good for thee and for thy children in the faith. When thou wert young, our fathers did gird thee and lead thee where thou wouldst not; but the Father of all did not suffer thy soul to dwell a captive in the woods and on the mountain. Rather did he convert it to himself and, lifting up thy mind to heavenly desires, vouchsafe thee princely entry into the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free. How incomprehensible are his judgements and how unsearchable his ways! For when thou wert at home again, a free man, he bound thee in the spirit to return to the land of thy captivity, there to expend thy residue of years in the embassy of Christ. Hearkening to the great word, thou didst come, an envoy of Rome, and didst walk once more with those whose dwelling was by the western sea. Wherefore now we give, with thee, unwearied thanks to God. Before thy years were spent, he gave thee to record that a whole people had been reborn to him and confirmed; that priests had been ordained in every place; that the sons and daughters of the Scots had become monks and virgins of Christ. And to that first swift testimony that God is true, succeeding generations have been privileged to attach the great seal of blood. O wondrous mercy of God our Father! O how blessed is the nation that has received fellowship in the sufferings of Christ and known the power of his resurrection! Dear apostle, zealous patron, we are not worthy to be called thy children; but thou art still our father. Behold thy foes make tumult and they that hate thee proudly raise their head. Remember, we beseech thee, how God has bound thee to us in the spirit. Withstand the wrath. Compass our hearts about with truth and that mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity; be thy merit our strong cry and tears before the great and holy God. Thy children have resisted unto blood, striving against sin; let them not now faint or fail. Inspire them, rather, with zeal for the better gifts. Show them the more excellent way, so that, doing the truth in charity, they, with all the faithful, may grow in grace and persevere to the end in the truth and life, the justice, love and peace of Jesus Christ our King.

V. Pray for us, O glorious Saint Patrick.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

O God, who didst graciously send the blessed confessor and pontiff Patrick to preach thy glory to the peoples; grant, through his merits and intercession, that what thou dost bid us to do, we may by thy merciful assistance be able to accomplish. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Breviary of Piety for Clerics being the Seventh Edition of the All Hallows Manual, revised and enlarged, (Dublin, 1948), 116-117.

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