Lá Fhéile Pádraig – Happy St Patrick’s Day

Croagh Patrick with Westport in the foreground

Lá Fhéile Pádraig – Happy St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan river,
his death on cross for my salvation,
his bursting from the spiced tomb,
his riding up the heavenly way,
his coming at the day of doom,
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even’,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.

 I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay,
God’s ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward,
the word of God to give me speech,
God’s heavenly host to be my guard. Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three,
of whom all nature has creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
salvation is of Christ the Lord!



For visitors to Westport a beautiful sculpture of St Patrick stands proudly in the Octagon, in the town centre.

“An eight-foot-high sculpture in Portland stone of our Patron Saint dominated this significant setting on the Octagon. Ken Thompson, a native of Cork, had lavished all his creativity and artistic talents on an imaginative portrayal of our National Patron. It is the first depiction of him which was true to Patrick’s own words. It caused a huge amount of comment and debate in that it was not the usual presentation of Patrick.

This sculpture presents a youthful energetic young man very much alive and it carries a very rich symbolism. Patrick’s stature with his forward leaning head and broad shoulders depict a man of energy on a journey with a purpose. His features are strong and firm and his huge rugged size carries a gentleness and compassion with his hand out-stretched with a blessing. It continues to arouse the curiosity and stimulate the imagination of so many people who visit Westport and walk around the Octagon.”

Excerpt from Turning the Tide – Dean Bernard Burke by Fr Anthony King.


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  1. Mattie Long says:

    Lá Fhéile Pádraig…

    The message of Patrick is as relevant today as it was in the 5th century.
    On this day, in the context of the ongoing murder in Ukraine, Patrick’s Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus is worth reading and quoting from.

    “With my own hand I have written and composed these words, to be given, delivered, and sent to the soldiers of Coroticus; I do not say, to my fellow citizens, or to fellow citizens of the holy Romans, but to fellow citizens of the demons, because of their evil works. Like our enemies, they live in death, …. Dripping with blood, they welter in the blood of innocent Christians ….”

  2. Kevin Timothy Walters says:

    Lá Fhéile Pádraig…

    … As Christians, we should take comfort from Trust in the Lord but we have to acknowledge that not everyone is a Puritan (as in not making merry at Christmas time, etc) including many of those valiant Catholic priests who left Ireland’s shores and contributed so much to the Missionaries in distant lands.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  3. Sean O’Conaill says:

    Lá Fhéile Pádraig…

    Great sculpture indeed – the saint in his prime, afraid of nothing.

    Yet these times we need also depictions of Patrick as the kidnapped teenager on the hillside, with nothing to do but pray to the God of his lost home.

    How many young candidates for confirmation this year are being told, with conviction, that this is why prayer to the Holy Spirit -especially in times of trial – is never unavailing? … And that ‘Paraclete’ means ‘advocate for the defence’ – the one who ‘has your back’?

    It was a grace to myself back c. 1953 to be told that I was a temple of the Holy Spirit, for I never forgot it. Restoration of soul following prayer has followed ever more strongly in the wake of personal trials and wider church disasters in recent decades.

    That in the wake of Confirmation this year those young people should be listened to for their own ‘take’ on the Holy Spirit and the trials of life is obvious – if synodality is to mean anything for those families. Patrick became a saint – and a hero – because, as a teenager, he prayed to the Trinity to save his life.

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