Tuesday 11 December 2012

Prayers to our Patrons: For those at home and far away

Brian O'Higgins (1934)

The 1934 edition of the Prayers of an Irish Mother, published by Brian O'Higgins at his Dublin office in Upper O'Connell Street and bearing his splendid illustration on the front cover, contains a few prayers to Ireland's patrons. I note that the three saints are allotted their familiar roles in Irish culture- Patrick as guardian of the faith he brought, Brigid as exemplar of chastity, charity and humility and Colum Cille as patron of those in exile. Although the three prayers form an obvious group, they are actually published two pages apart. The book is a product of the confident Irish Catholicism of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which simply couldn't foresee the secularist, consumerist Ireland of the twenty-first.

For those at Home

St.Patrick, Apostle of the Gael, keep the light of the True Faith ever brightly burning in the hearts of our people!

St. Brigid, Mary of the Gael, keep the virtues of Chastity, Charity and Humility in our hearts and homes for ever!

For Our Loved Ones far away

St. Colmcille, who suffered the pain and grief of exile, watch over the children of Ireland, scattered throughout the world. Obtain for them solace and courage, and keep them true to God in every trial and temptation!

Prayers of an Irish Mother compiled by Mary T. Dolan (Dublin, 1934), 48, 50.

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