Another stirring patriotic hymn to Saint Patrick, this time from 1884. The author was the then vice-president of Thurles College, an institution first established as a school in 1837 but which later became a seminary. It is still in existence today as Mary Immaculate College and the campus retains many of its splendid nineteenth-century buildings. It is obvious from Father Arthur Ryan's hymn that he is writing in the heady days of the Irish national revival. Saint Patrick is referred to as a 'patriot saint' who champions faith and fatherland and has stood by the Irish people as they battled for their freedom. It may be that in his sense that 'morn is breaking', the author is anticipating the First Home Rule Bill of 1886 and he ends with a prayer that free from the chains of sin, he may be laid in 'a freeman's grave', an aspiration with a political as well as a spiritual dimension:
HYMN TO ST. PATRICK.
THE following beautiful hymn, from the pen of the Rev. A. Ryan, vice-president , The College, Thurles, is taken from his lately published novena to St. Patrick :—
Hail, glorious saint of Ireland! We,
Thy children, raise our song to thee;
Defend our land, and make her free
From sin and Satan's tyranny.
HYMN TO ST. PATRICK.,New Zealand Tablet, Volume XII, Issue 7, 6 June 1884
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