Would the real Pat, please stand up?!

“If I be worthy, I live for my God to teach the heathen, even though they may despise me.” St Patrick

On 17th March many people will celebrate a nation, however the Church will celebrate the feast of a great Scotsman… or possibly a Frenchmen, or was he Welsh?!

There has always been a lot of mythology and legend surrounding St Patrick and what is historically correct.  The most recent studies now suggest that what we know of St Patrick is a blend of two people.  Firstly, Palladius, a frenchmen sent to Ireland by Pope Clement I in 431 to support the growing Christian communities and therefore becoming the first Bishop of Ireland.

The second is the Patrick we all thought we knew.  A young British boy who was kidnapped by Celts and taken to Ireland.  He eventually escaped but returned tis home thought to be in either Scotland or Cumbria in the North of England.  The following prayer is attributed to him:

As I arise today, may the strength of God pilot me, the power of God uphold me, the wisdom of God guide me. May the eye of God look before me, the ear of God hear me, the word of God speak for me.

May the hand of God protect me, the way of God lie before me, the shield of God defend me, the host of God save me. May Christ shield me today.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.  Amen.

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