17th March… Feast of St Patrick

17th March… Feast of St Patrick

Click here to read the Catholic Encyclopaedia account of the life of St Patrick.

We’re  launching this thread on St Patrick  – and shortly, a thread to mark the Feast of  St Joseph – ahead of the Feast Days, which are, of course, 17th and 19th March respectively. That is because, in preparation for our usual closure during Holy Week, we’ve closed all the discussion threads early. The atmosphere on the blog has not been good recently, and so we need time to recollect ourselves as the end of Lent approaches, and we enter into the events of Holy Week.  

This thread is a purely devotional and fun thread.  As with all Feast Day threads, we may post favourite prayers, hymns litanies, etc. And a few good clean fun jokes will also be welcome.  This is not the place for controversy – it is a Feast Day thread to learn more about the saint of the day and to share favourite prayers and jokes.  Enjoy!

Saints are used to handling snakes...
Saints are used to handling snakes…


Comments (35)

  • editor

    I thought this rendition of the hymn to St Patrick might help get us in the mood!

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJbbkai2rak&w=441&h=219%5D

    March 15, 2016 at 12:58 am
    • Michaela

      That’s a beautiful version of Hail Glorious Saint Patrick, really beautiful.

      I’m ashamed to say I don’t really have a devotion to St Patrick, but love the hymn!

      I’ll come back later to post an joke as I always love the jokes on this blog!

      March 15, 2016 at 8:20 am
      • Margaret Mary

        I agree – I think we had that hymn posted last year as well. It’s gorgeous.

        March 15, 2016 at 7:18 pm
    • Lily

      I love the hymn to St Patrick, so rousing! Those old hymns always stir something in our souls, a love of the faith, they touch something very deep. That’s a beautiful video.

      March 15, 2016 at 11:31 pm
  • Nicky

    I really love the hymn to St Patrick also, but I thought I’d post the St Patrick’s Breastplate. There are different versions of it but I took this one from Catholic Prayers Online:


    St. Patrick’s Breastplate is a popular prayer attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. (The term breastplate refers to a piece of armor worn in battle.)

    More recent scholarship suggests its author was anonymous. In any case, this prayer certainly reflects the spirit with which St. Patrick brought our faith to Ireland! St. Patrick’s Breastplate, also known as The Lorica of Saint Patrick was popular enough to inspire a hymn based on this text as well. (This prayer has also been called The Cry of the Deer.)

    I arise today
    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the Threeness,
    Through confession of the Oneness
    of the Creator of creation.

    I arise today
    Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
    Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
    Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
    Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

    I arise today
    Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
    In the obedience of angels,
    In the service of archangels,
    In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
    In the prayers of patriarchs,
    In the predictions of prophets,
    In the preaching of apostles,
    In the faith of confessors,
    In the innocence of holy virgins,
    In the deeds of righteous men.

    I arise today, through
    The strength of heaven,
    The light of the sun,
    The radiance of the moon,
    The splendor of fire,
    The speed of lightning,
    The swiftness of wind,
    The depth of the sea,
    The stability of the earth,
    The firmness of rock.

    I arise today, through
    God’s strength to pilot me,
    God’s might to uphold me,
    God’s wisdom to guide me,
    God’s eye to look before me,
    God’s ear to hear me,
    God’s word to speak for me,
    God’s hand to guard me,
    God’s shield to protect me,
    God’s host to save me
    From snares of devils,
    From temptation of vices,
    From everyone who shall wish me ill,
    afar and near.

    I summon today
    All these powers between me and those evils,
    Against every cruel and merciless power
    that may oppose my body and soul,
    Against incantations of false prophets,
    Against black laws of pagandom,
    Against false laws of heretics,
    Against craft of idolatry,
    Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
    Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
    Christ to shield me today
    Against poison, against burning,
    Against drowning, against wounding,
    So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

    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 down,
    Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man 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.

    [Note that people sometimes pray a shorter version of this prayer just with these 15 lines about Christ above. The conclusion follows below.]

    I arise today
    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the Threeness,
    Through confession of the Oneness
    of the Creator of creation.

    When St. Paul referred to putting on the “Armor of God” in his letter to the Ephesians (6:11) to fight sin and evil inclinations, he could have been thinking of prayers just like this one! We may not wear combat gear in our daily lives, but St. Patrick’s Breastplate can function as divine armor for protection against spiritual adversity.

    March 15, 2016 at 8:54 am
    • editor


      Thanks for that – although it’s much longer than any version I’ve heard sung in churches! They usually sing only the bit “Christ be beside me” etc. – now I know why! 😀

      March 15, 2016 at 5:39 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        Me, neither – never head all those verses! I don’t think it’s meant to be sung, though although “Christ be beside me” was always nice, catchy without being irreverent, IMHO.

        March 15, 2016 at 7:20 pm
      • crofterlady

        I learned that version at school and I still remember it. Ahem……

        March 17, 2016 at 11:39 am
  • crofterlady

    Comment deleted. I have asked bloggers to steer clear of provoking controversy in the devotional threads.

    March 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm
  • Theresa Rose


    I don’t recall having heard St Patrick’s Breastplate before. But then sometimes my memory is not as good as it once was.

    March 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm
  • Fr Arthur

    Comment removed. We always permit jokes on Feast Day threads, as they enjoy them in religious communities, along with cakes and other goodies. Please steer clear of anything likely to provoke an argument on these devotional threads because they will be deleted by me, without further comment.

    March 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm
  • editor

    I love this hymn to Our Lady of Knock… here to honour St Patrick as well!

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm6ss1PBC1Q&w=1280&h=720%5D

    March 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      I find the story of Knock quite hard to understand because there was no “message” but that’s a beautiful hymn, and beautifully sung, as well.

      March 15, 2016 at 7:21 pm
      • Athanasius

        Margaret Mary

        I think the purpose of the knock apparition was to herald the imminence of Apocalyptic events. The manifestation was one from the chapters of the Apocalypse. It fits closely with the Fatima Secret that was revealed not too many decades later and events that began to unfold from 1960.

        But listen, I have detoured off the thread topic and will probably get deleted for doing so. If it happens, editor will henceforth be called “the eraser”. Now I surely will get rubbed out!

        As for St. Patrick. How we could be doing with just a couple of great saints like him in the world today. Things would be so much different.

        March 15, 2016 at 9:30 pm
  • Fr Arthur

    “If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.” St Patrick

    March 15, 2016 at 7:03 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      That’s a very humble statement from St Patrick. I think we could all apply that to ourselves.

      March 15, 2016 at 7:22 pm
      • editor


        Sometimes, though, humility is a much misunderstood virtue.

        There’s the well known story about Henry Augustus Rowland, professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University, who was once called as an expert witness at a trial.

        During cross-examination a lawyer demanded, “What are your qualifications as an expert witness in this case?”

        The normally modest professor replied quietly, “I am the greatest living expert on the subject under discussion.”

        Later a friend who knew Rowland well as a humble, self-effacing man, mentioned his surprise on hearing the professor’s seemingly proud, even arrogant answer. Rowland answered, “Well, what did you expect me to do? I was under oath.” 😀

        Still, I think we can take it as a given, that St Patrick had a good grasp of the true nature of humility!

        March 15, 2016 at 11:08 pm
      • Lily

        I agree about humility being misunderstood, but I think the lady in this picture understands it well enough! LOL!


        March 15, 2016 at 11:28 pm
  • Attono

    A little hymn I wrote a few years ago.

    St Patrick.

    From a far off distant land you came among us,
    You heard the cry of Erin in the night,
    And to the Emerald Isle came swiftly sailing,
    From darkness, you brought us to the light.


    Patrick, St Patrick, Erin’s still calling,
    Dear saint of Ireland, bless us this morning.

    From your mansion in heaven with the angels,
    And Our Lady, Mother Mary, Queen of all,
    Remind her of her children in Erin,
    Where St Patrick, you answered God’s call.

    Patrick, St Patrick,Erin’s still calling,
    Dear saint of Ireland, bless us this morning.

    March 15, 2016 at 8:22 pm
    • editor


      Lovely! Did you write some music for it, as well – if so, you should get it on YouTube and we could enjoy it here. Whatever, it’s a great talent to be able to write poetry. All I’ve got is half a dozen unfinished limericks to my name – there’s just no justice!

      March 15, 2016 at 10:55 pm
    • Lily


      that is a beautiful hymn. You have a real talent.

      March 15, 2016 at 11:29 pm
  • Attono

    Editor, Lily,

    For your kind comments, many thanks.

    March 16, 2016 at 7:50 pm
  • Helen

    A lass went to Confession and received 3 Hail Marys for her Penance. She replied to the priest: I don’t ken how to say the Hail Mary to which the priest replied: Well, do you know the Angelus? She confirmed she did and he therefore gave it to her as her Penance and off she went. The priest got to thinking and went after her. There she was saying her Penance; he asked her, how can you pray the Angelus if you don’t know the Hail Mary? Easy Father she replied: Dong, dong, dong…….

    March 16, 2016 at 8:32 pm
    • editor


      That’s a new one or at least I’ve never heard it before – hilarious.

      Here’s an old one, but it never fails to make me laugh:

      A Jesuit priest decided to visit a small island off the coast of Connemara. The inhabitants numbered no more than a couple of dozen, but the Jesuit threw himself into the Lord’s work with a vengeance. Having taken over the bar of the pub for Mass, and having delivered a fire and brimstone sermon, he questioned the congregation.

      ‘How long is it since any of you had your confessions heard?’ he asked.

      ‘Well, Father,’ answered Brendan, the oldest inhabitant. ‘It must be three years since the last priest was here.’

      ‘Why didn’t you make a trip to the mainland?’ asked the priest.

      ‘Well, Father,’ said Brendan, ‘the water between us and the mainland is very rough, and our boat is old and leaky. So you see if we’ve only venial sins to confess it’s not worth the bother, and if we’ve mortal sins it’s not worth the risk!’ 😀

      March 16, 2016 at 10:52 pm
      • crofterlady

        Now that really is very funny!

        Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

        March 17, 2016 at 11:36 am
      • Elizabeth

        Love it! Happy St Patrick’s day to you all.

        March 17, 2016 at 12:41 pm
  • editor

    Happy Feast of St Patrick, everyone!

    March 17, 2016 at 9:18 am
  • Vianney

    Nellie and Sadie are sitting in the hall having a coffee after Mass. Nellie says “did you hear Father asking for more helpers to clean the chapel?” Sadie says “Aye, I did, but you notice those two women he’s always talking about never show up to help.” “What two women?” asks Nellie. “Those two women he mentions every Sunday” says Sadie. Nellie looks at her perplexed and and says “I don’t know who you’re talking about.” “You must have heard him mention their names, he does it every Sunday” says Sadie and adds, “I think they must be Italians.” “What’s their names?” askes Nellie to which Sadie replies “Gloria Patri and Agnes Dei.”

    March 17, 2016 at 10:23 am
    • editor

      Priceless! That’s another new one on me!

      March 17, 2016 at 11:43 am
  • Nicky

    Happy St Patrick’s day everyone!

    The jokes are great – here’s mine –

    A sobbing Mrs Murphy approaches Fr O’Grady after mass.

    He says: “So what’s bothering you?”

    She replies: “Oh, Father, I’ve terrible news. My husband passed away last night.”

    The priest says: “Oh, Mary, that’s terrible. Did he have any last requests?”

    “Certainly father,” she replied. “He said: “Please Mary, put down that damn gun.”

    March 17, 2016 at 11:47 am
  • Michaela

    Happy St Patrick’s day!

    I’m posting these two jokes

    1) Six Irish men were playing poker when one of them played a bad hand and died.

    The rest drew straws to see who would tell his wife. One man draws the shortest straw and goes to his friend’s house to tell the wife.

    The man says to her, “Your husband lost some money in the poker game and is afraid to come home.”

    The wife says, “Tell him to drop dead!” The man responds, “I’ll go tell him.”

    2) Irish diplomacy – the art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way they’ll look forward to the trip.

    LOL! Happy Feast, especially to all the Patricias and Patricks here!

    March 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm
  • Elizabeth

    A little reflection to end the feast day:

    May those that love us, love us.
    And those that don’t love us–
    May God turn their hearts.
    And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
    May he turn their ankles
    So we’ll know them by their limping.

    March 17, 2016 at 6:30 pm
    • editor


      That’s my kinda reflection! Priceless

      Here’s what is probably my last Irish joke of the Feast Day – a day which was topped, for me, by the singing of every single verse of Hail Glorious St Patrick after Mass in Balornock this evening! Or more accurately, after the lovely novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour AFTER Mass. We began the novena with one of my all time favourites, I’ll sing a hymn to Mary, and ended with the hymn to St Patrick. Beautiful…

      To that joke, then…

      Mick says…

      There I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to me, grabs my drink and gulps it down in one swig.

      “Well, whatcha gonna do about it?” he says menacingly, as I burst into tears.

      “This is the worst day of my life” I say. “I was late to a meeting and my boss fired me. When I went to the car park, I found my car had been stolen and I don’t have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my wife had left me, and then my dog bit me”

      “So I came to this bar to work up the courage to end it all, I buy a drink, I drop in a capsule and sit here watching the poison dissolve; then you show up and drink the whole thing!

      But…enough about me, how’s your day going?!”

      March 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm
  • Vianney

    Paddy and Mick were on board a ship travelling to America. They were sitting in the bar enjoying a drink when over the tannoy came the announcement “ABANDON SHIP, ABANDON SHIP.” Paddy turns to Mick and says “come on, drink up and we’ll go and listen to the music.”

    March 17, 2016 at 10:34 pm
  • editor



    It’s been a good laugh, this St Patrick’s Day thread – although we should make clear, for the record, and for any PC readers out there, that our jokes are of the affectionate type, and in no way intended to be insulting to our Irish sisters and brothers. Far from it.

    I’m about to close this thread down now, with thanks to all who contributed – your names have been written in the Book of Pay Rises. But before I do close the thread, here’s one more joke…


    A double-homicide defendant is in court in Dublin. The Judge says to him, “You’re charged with beating your wife to death with a hammer. ” A voice at the back of the courtroom yells out, “You evil so & so!”

    The Judge says, “You are also charged with beating your mother-in-law to death with a hammer.”

    The voice at the back of the courtroom yells out, “You rotten evil so & so!”

    The Judges stops and says to Paddy in the back of the courtroom, “Sir, I can understand your anger and frustration at these crimes, but no more outbursts from you, or I’ll charge you with contempt. Is that understood?”

    Paddy stands up and says, “I’m sorry, Your Honour, but for fifteen years I’ve lived next door to that man and every time I asked to borrow a hammer, he said he didn’t have one.”

    THE END!

    March 18, 2016 at 12:29 am

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