Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sechnall's Praise of Saint Patrick

November 27 is the feast of Saint Seachnall (Sechnall) to whom tradition ascribes the authorship of the hymn in praise of Saint Patrick Audite omnes amantes. A translation of this text has already been archived at the blog here, but below is a tribute in poetry to its author, first published in the 1880 edition of the journal of the Paulist Fathers. The anonymous writer has added a couple of quotes from other Patrician sources for good measure at the end. His poem is a typically romantic nineteenth-century retelling of the story of the bard and the saint he praised:


SECHNALL, the sweet-voiced bard, at Patrick's feet
Steeping his heart in love of God and man,
At last the holy evening silence broke
Each soul had kept because of thoughtful love,
And, bending o'er his harp, he waked its chords,
That sighed as fearing, in their tremulous joy,
To give some note too harsh for hour so calm,
Yet feeling, 'neath that steadfast hand's control,
True must they give the message of the soul.
Then, lifting up his eyes to Patrick's face,
Out spoke the bard:

" Lo! Patrick, I would sing
The praises of a saint the earth still holds,
Whose feet still blessing to its blossoms give,
Whose eyes two holy mirrors still uplift
Wherein earth, smiling, sees her happy face
And men glad read the mysteries of Heaven."

Then unto Sechnall Patrick soft replied:
"Hasten thy song, for even now thou stand'st
Before the gates of death; upon thy face
Already lie the shadows and the light
Of thy last hour. So lift thy soul and sing,
And God's best blessing be upon thy song."

"O happy hour that wanes at Patrick's feet
And dies in song of Erin's greatest saint! "
Thus answered Sechnall, as his soul o'erfilled
And poured its last earth music from his lips.
"O happy Sechnall! whom his God accepts
When clasp his fingers his e'er faithful harp
And fade its sounds in consecrated song.

''All holy angels, draw ye nigh,
High-hearted seraphim;
Shade with your wings my earthly eyes
God's glory maketh dim:
Against my heart, that throbs with love,
Lay your strong hearts of fire,
That, kindled so, my words of flame
Shall but in Heaven expire.

"And thou, my harp, lift up thy voice,
Soon never more to wake,
And thrill the air with melody
Thou pour'st for Sechnall's sake.
Together thou and I this hour
A living saint must sing-
No more on earth our voices meet :
Thy soul be in each string!

"A living saint we sing, my harp,
Crowned even so on earth,
Who signed Ierne's maiden brow
With sign of heavenly birth.
O restless waves that seek our shore!
What blessing yours to bring
The holy life that spends itself
God's wide flocks shepherding.

"He spoke - the saint we sing, my harp-
And our green island lay
Bound to his feet with chains of love
Loosed not since that strange day;
Nor loosed to be through all the years-
Woe shall but stronger bind
As, in those Heaven-forged links, our land
True liberty shall find.

"God is his guide, God keepeth him,
God's wisdom makes him wise,
God ever lendeth him his ear,
His path before God lies.
So pure he walketh in God's sight
His love hath cast out fear :
The Holy Spirit rules his life,
Christ is his buckler here.

''And, as God shieldeth him, his hand
Guideth our earthly ways;
Our anchor amid stormy seas,
His strength the danger stays :
He is the sun that from our fields
Wins harvest rich for God,
And he the moistening dew that fresh
Shall keep our emerald sod.

''On his heart shall the history
Of our dear land be writ:
His life is like a holy book-
All honour brightening it.
He is the mirror where men find
The perfect image thrown-
No evil darkness dimming it,
God's shadow seen alone.

''And terrible his countenance
When kings their faith betray,
Oppress the poor through greed for gold,
And Erin's honour slay.
Not for himself his life is spent :
God and his people claim
His every thought, his every deed-
So wins he saintly fame.

"Within his heart rests Christ, the Lord,
And so his soul is meek;
He quencheth not the smoking flax,
The bruised reed doth not break.
He seeth Christ in each dear heart
That lifteth thought to God;
He bears the burdens of the weak,
As carrying Christ's own load.

"And as his heart is home for Christ,
The holy angels wait,
Unseen, on him whom God hath crowned
With super-earthly state:
They see the shining aureole
Hidden from mortal eyes,
The thoughts divine about his lips
Their grace doth recognize.

"Where'er he treads, beneath his feet
The virgin lilies spring,
Unto whose maiden purity
No earthly stain doth cling.
White as the foam that girds our shores
The holy garden gleams,
Filling tear-stained, earth-weary eyes
With light of heavenly dreams.

"Dim grow my eyes to earthly things,
And through the thickening mist
I see a golden glory stream
Down streets of amethyst;
I see tall lilies lift their bloom
Beside the jewelled ways;
I hear the voice of martyrs old
Their holy whiteness praise.

"'Lo!  see' so speak these saints of God,
The seed the Lord hath blessed,
Whose shining blossom, as he nears,
Lies softly on his breast.
O happy seed no storm shall blight,
O happy hand that sowed,
O soul beloved ! thy lilies e'er
Bestrew thy heavenly road !'

''Be still, my harp, my voice no more
Shall wake thy soul to song;
To mightier touch than Sechnall's hand
Thy strings henceforth belong.
We sought to praise a living saint-
Our song but does him wrong:
What need earth-poet's faltering voice
Where singing seraphs throng?

We sought to sing a living land,
A garden of the blest:
What words were meet to sing her grace
Whose home is Jesus' breast?
Yet shall a living people lift
Through years of countless days
To Patrick, 'mid his lilies crowned,
Unbroken songs of praise.

"No shadow shall make dim his name,
No sun its light efface;
Deep in his people's heart, no steel
Its graving shall erase.
Holy his prayers shall keep his isle,
Nor ever Erin's name
Shall be forgot, with Patrick's faith
Her dearest thought of fame."

Faint grew the singer's voice, and, lifting up
His misty eyes to Patrick's face, he smiled;
And laying down his harp at Patrick's feet,
He died content at heart that so his saint
Should speed his soul to Heaven with prayer;
Content that so his voice should die in song,
And that last thought of poet-heart should be
His Ireland's glory and his friend's true praise-
Her faithful fame that ever one should be
With that great saint his dying lips had sung.

NOTE. The bishop must be the hand which supports, the pilot who directs, the anchor that stays, the hammer that strikes, the sun that enlightens, the dew which moistens, the tablet to be written on, the book to be read, the mirror to be seen in, the terror that terries, the image of all that is good ; and let him be all for all. - ST.PATRICK.

May the wisdom of God instruct me, may the eye of God view me, may the ear of God hear me, may the way of God direct me, may the shield of God defend me. 

Christ be with me, Christ in me ; Christ be in the heart of each person whom I speak to. - ST. PATRICK.

The Catholic World, Volume 30 (1880), 737-741.

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Friday, 16 November 2012

Ireland's Patrons and the Norman Conquerers

In his magnum opusThe Monks of the West, the 19th-century Anglo-French writer, the Comte de Montalembert, records this popular account of how Saints Brigid and Columba treated the Norman conquerors of Ireland. I have posted a short essay on the coming of the Normans to Ireland at my other blog here. The Norman reputation for haughty arrogance towards those they conquered is firmly established in the popular mind, as anyone who has ever read the stories of Robin Hood must agree. Inevitably, like the Vikings, the Normans are now the subject of some historical revisionism. I suppose I will have to declare an interest here since I myself bear the surname of one of the Norman families who came to Ulster in 1177 with John de Courcy. I am thus glad that de Courcy, whatever his motives, did the right thing by the Irish saints, unlike his countryman Strongbow. Saints Brigid and Colum Cille are pillars of charity, but it doesn't pay to get on the wrong side of them. The image of Saint Brigid waiting to pierce the heart of the proud Norman conqueror on his deathbed is certainly one to conjure with...

It is to Columba that the oppressed and impoverished Irish seem to have appealed with the greatest confidence in the first English conquest in the twelfth century. The conquerors themselves feared him, not without reason, for they had learned to know his vengeance. John de Courcy, a warlike Anglo-Norman baron, he who was called the Conqueror (Conquestor) of Ulster, as William of Normandy of England, carried always with him the volume of Columba's prophecies; and when the bodies of the three saints were found in his new possessions in 1180, he prayed the Holy See to celebrate their translation by the appointment of a solemn festival. Richard Strongbow, the famous Earl of Pembroke, who had been the first chief of the invasion, died of an ulcer in the foot which had been inflicted upon him, according to the Irish narrative, at the prayer of St. Bridget, St. Columba, and other saints, whose churches he had destroyed. He himself said, when at the point of death, that he saw the sweet and noble Bridget lift her arm to pierce him to the heart. Hugh de Lacy, another Anglo-Norman chief of great lineage, perished at Durrow, "by the vengeance of Columb-cille," says a chronicler, while he was engaged in building a castle to the injury of the abbey which Columba had founded, and loved so much. A century after, this vengeance was still popularly dreaded; and some English pirates, who had pillaged his church in the island of Inchcolm, having sunk like lead in sight of land, their countrymen said that he should be called, not St. Columba, but St. Quhalme — that is to say, the saint of Sudden Death. 
[de Montalembert explains in a footnote that Quhalme was the Anglo-Saxon word for sudden death, from whence the English word 'qualm'.]

The Monks of the West, vol.ii, Count de Montalembert (Boston, 1872), 113.

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Slí Cholmcille/The Saint Columba Trail

Slí Cholmcille is a very useful online resource on the places in Ireland and Scotland associated with Saint Colum Cille. Here's a description from the website:

Slí Cholmcille 
Slí means ‘way’, and Slí Cholmcille explores the language and heritage of Ireland and Scotland through the life of Colmcille or St Columba. It is a trail between Ireland and Scotland and between many sites associated with the saint and his followers; it links Gaelic-speaking communities in the two countries.
Slí Cholmcille is the result of connections made over a number of years and of input from many parties. It is hoped that the connections will grow and flourish in years to come. The project has been developed by Colmcille (www.colmcille.net), an initiative named after the saint. It was set up to promote links between Irish and Scottish Gaelic in 1997, a year which saw commemorations of the 1400th anniversary of the death of the Colmcille or St Columba. It is now a partnership between Foras na Gaeilge, which promotes the Irish Language in the island of Ireland, and Bòrd na Gàidhlig which promotes Scottish Gaelic in Scotland and internationally.
The site provides an opportunity to make a virtual visit to the places associated with the saint and has many links for further information. In addition to the Irish and Scottish Gaelic language organizations involved, some leading scholars in the field of Columban studies, both Irish and Scottish, help to provide an overview of Saint Colum Cille and his times. 

Slí Cholmcille is well worth a visit and can be found here.

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Hibernia Appeals to Christ and Saints Brigid and Patrick

Here is an interesting painting which illustrates the part played by the Irish patron saints in the nationalist movement of the 19th century, which I came across while browsing the archives of Whyte's Irish Art Auctions. The main interest for me is the depiction of both of Ireland's patrons, male and female, and the fact that our tertiary patron, Saint Columcille is absent. I can't help noticing too that Saint Brigid is to the fore! From the story attached to the painting, it sounds as if the intercession of the Irish patron saints was certainly needed in the Paris of 1871:


Legrip, Frédéric, (1817-1871)

oil on canvas
 88 by 113cm., 34.5 by 44.5in. 

Joseph McDonnell, ‘From Bernini to Celtic Revival: A Tale of Two Irish Colleges in Paris’, Irish Arts Review Yearbook, Vol. 18, 2002, p. 173, fig. 6. 
This is large scale modello for a painting commissioned by Canon Charles Ouin Lacroix for the Irish College in Paris. A native of Rouen, Canon Ouin Lacroix was professor of French at the college from 1850 onwards and appointed administrator in 1859. He was the author of several books including a history of the church of St Geneviève, illustrated by Frederic Legrip, who was also from Rouen. In the early 1860s the Canon invited Legrip to paint a series of works for the college, mostly of a devotional nature. He also produced a striking large allegorical composition depicting Hibernia turning from the symbols of British repression (an axe, pincers and bags overflowing with money made from Irish soil and labour), towards Catholicism, as represented by the vision of Christ flanked by Saints Patrick and Brigid. In both the Irish College composition and the present work, Ireland’s history of Christianity is represented by the Celtic cross, the church and the round tower. The present work differs in the inclusion of an Irish wolfhound; the figure of Hibernia is also arguably better realised in this, the smaller version. Joseph McDonnell has related how, in 1871, the Canon used this image of Irish nationalism to save his college from vengeful mobs during the desperate days of the Paris Commune: “Canon Ouin Lacroix suddenly found himself cornered by a fanatical group of Communards who had gained access to the Irish College. The Canon pleaded that the College was foreign property and dramatically turning to the Legrip paintings behind him, he ingeniously informed the Communards that they represented the Irish as the enemies of the British and that they showed the young students ready to join up alongside the French to fight the English armies. The Canon’s powers of persuasion must have been formidable as the Communards departed, leaving the College unharmed. Yet all the while the Union Jack flew over the main entrance of the building” (2002, p. 173). With the frame maker’s label of O’Connor & Co., 123 George’s Street, on reverse.

€ 4000-6000 Price Realised: € 0

Date of Sale: 5 April 2008

Saturday, 10 November 2012

A Prayer to Saint Colum Cille for Emigrants

M.F. Cusack, An Illustrated History of Ireland (1868)

A common motif in the story of Saint Colum Cille was the pain that he endured for the sake of Christ in being exiled from his native land. As an illustration of the link in the Irish mind between Saint Colum Cille and the sorrow of living in exile, here is a short prayer from the classic collection Prayers of an Irish Mother. Prayers for emigrants were a staple of Irish prayer books in the nineteenth and in the first half of the twentieth century. Alas, the current economic crisis has brought forced emigration once again to the people of Ireland, although in these days of air travel and the worldwide web, the parting does not have to be quite so final as it once was.

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), 50.

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Friday, 9 November 2012

Confessio: A Resource for the Study of Saint Patrick's Writings

The Royal Irish Academy have made a wonderful online resource available for the study of Saint Patrick's writings. The site is called Confessio and brings together the original Latin of the Confessio and Epistola texts along with translations in English, Irish, German, Italian and Portuguese. In addition there is a special features page which introduces the writings and provides an exhaustive bibliography. The texts from Saint Patrick's original hagiographers, Muirchú and Tírechán, are supplied there along with two articles on these writers. A novel, 'Seeking Patrick' by Derick Mockler is available in both print and mp3 audio form and there is also an audio reading of the Confessio as a dialogue. There is a separate Manuscripts/Prints page which provides illustrations and downloads of the various editions of Saint Patrick's writings throughout the ages. All in all this is a superb resource and highly recommended.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Prayers to Our Patrons: Saint Colum Cille

Below is a selection of prayers in honour of Ireland's tertiary patron, Saint Colum Cille (Columba), taken from the 1941 edition of Saint Anthony's Treasury. This edition contains many prayers to Irish saints, which have been successively whittled down in later printings. The 1975 edition preserves only the Novena Prayer to Saint Columba but there is a litany and a short prayer in the older printing too. I would think that these prayers were probably composed in the 19th century, and as the litany invokes the saint as 'shield of our city', probably in Derry itself. There is a fascinating glimpse of what Saint Columcille meant to the Catholics of late nineteenth-century Derry in an 1897 commemorative book preserved by the Internet Archive here.  Indeed, the prayers may well have been written for this anniversary. They present a very different view of Saint Columba to that of the modern 'Celtic Christianity' movement, for here he is sited very firmly within Irish Catholicism as a saint of the Eucharist.

Novena to St. Columba

O Glorious St. Columba, in remembrance of the love you bore your native land in the golden days, when you declared your spirit would always be with us, we beg of you to intercede for us that we may worthily imitate your virtues, especially your great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Turn to Jesus on the altar, and never cease to pray for us until the fire of Divine Love burns brightly and steadfastly in every Irish heart. Obtain for our rulers and for all, the true spirit of charity. Let not your interest in the schools of Ireland be less than it was formerly. Bless the labours of those who work in them that the land you loved so well on earth may become again the "Isle of Saints and Scholars". We invoke your powerful intercession against the dread evils of intemperance and for the preservation of the faith and virtue of the Irish people. Pray for us now and always, that faithfully fulfilling the duties of our state, we may love Jesus and Mary with our whole hearts, and thus prove worthy of your love and protection. Amen.

Litany of St. Columba
(For private recitation only)

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Holy Mary, pray for us
Queen of Angels, pray for us
Queen of all Saints, pray for us
St. Columba, greatest of Irish-born Saints, pray for us
St. Columba, most illustrious of Irish Scholars, pray for us
St. Columba, founder of Derry, pray for us
St. Columba, patron of Ireland, pray for us
St. Columba, apostle of Scotland, pray for us
St. Columba, dove of the Church, pray for us
St. Columba, Saint of the Eucharist, pray for us
St. Columba, companion of the Angels, pray for us
St. Columba, mirror of purity, pray for us
St. Columba, model of humility, pray for us
St. Columba, lover of temperance, pray for us
St. Columba, father of the poor, pray for us
St. Columba, protector of the innocent, pray for us
St. Columba, advocate of the oppressed, pray for us
St. Columba, friend of the children, pray for us
St. Columba, guardian of schools, pray for us
St. Columba, shield of our city, pray for us
St Oran, monk of Derry, pray for us
All ye holy Monks of Iona, pray for us
St. Bran, Nephew of St. Columba, pray for us
All ye holy Dead of Derry, pray for us
St. Martin, pray for us
All ye Patrons and Friends of St. Columba, pray for us

V. Pray for us, O dearest St. Columba.
R. That we may love the Sacred Heart of Jesus daily more and more.

Let us Pray

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to unveil to Thy Servant, Columba, the Angels who guard Thy Tabernacle, grant that we, whose privilege it is to pray where he knelt, may, through his intercession, be enabled to lead such lives of purity and holiness as will one day entitle us to behold those same Angels in the mansions of bliss, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of St. Columba
(Feast, June 9th)

May the fire of God's love burn brightly and steadfastly in our hearts like the golden light within the sanctuary lamp. (Prayer of St. Columba in the Dubhregles of Derry.)

St. Anthony's Treasury - A Manual of Devotions (Anthonian Press, Dublin, 1941), 278-81.

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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Prayers to Our Patrons: Saint Brigid

I felt it my duty while browsing in a charity bookshop to pick up a battered prayerbook, sitting forlornly on the shelves. It turned out to be a 1941 edition of Saint Anthony's Treasury, a volume still in print, although like many classic prayerbooks (the Garden of the Soul comes to mind) it is not what it used to be. The 1941 edition, however, had a comprehensive selection of prayers to Irish saints, which, alas, have been gradually whittled down in successive editions. Below are the prayers in honour of Saint Brigid which I have reproduced exactly as they appear in the book:

1. A prayer composed in 1902 by Cardinal Moran.

2. A prayer whose source is unknown to me.

3. A Novena to Saint Brigid which remains in popular use.

4. A collect.

5. A Litany of St Brigid. The wording is slightly different to that found in the collection of litanies by Benjamin Musser O.F.M which circulates online. The Musser version also concludes with the collect above, whereas the version in St. Anthony's Treasury concludes with two different prayers.

Cardinal Moran's Prayer to St. Brigid

O Glorious St. Brigid, Mother of the Churches of Erin, patroness of our missionary race, wherever their lot may be cast, be thou our guide in the paths of virtue, protect us amid temptation, shield us from danger. Preserve to us the heritage of chastity and temperance; keep ever brightly burning on the altar of our hearts the sacred Fire of Faith, Charity, and Hope, that thus we may emulate the ancient piety of Ireland's children, and the Church of Erin may shine with peerless glory as of old. Thou wert styled by our fathers " The Mary of Erin," secure for us by thy prayers the all-powerful protection of the Blessed Virgin, that we may be numbered here among her most fervent clients, and may hereafter merit a place together with Thee and the countless Saints of Ireland, in the ranks of her triumphant children in Paradise. Amen.

Prayer to St. Brigid

Dear St. Brigid, brilliant star of sanctity in the early days of our Irish faith and love for the omnipotent God Who has never forsaken us, we look up to you now in earnest, hopeful prayer. By your glorious sacrifice of earthly riches, joys and affections obtain for us grace to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His justice" with constant trust in His fatherly care. By your life of laborious charity to the poor, the sick, the many seekers for light and comfort, obtain for us grace to be God's helpers to the utmost of our power during our stay on earth, looking forward, as you did, to our life with Him during eternity. By the sanctified peace of your death-bed, obtain for us that we may receive the fulness of pardon and peace when the hour comes that will summon us to the judgment seat of our just and most merciful Lord. Amen.

Novena to St. Brigid
Foundress of Religious Women in Ireland
(To begin on the 23rd January)

O Glorious St. Brigid, Patroness of Ireland and Mother of the Churches, protect the Irish Church and preserve the true Faith in every Irish heart, at home and abroad. Obtain for us the grace to walk faithfully in the path of Christian perfection during life, and so to secure a holy and happy death, with life everlasting, in thy blessed company, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to St. Brigid
Patroness of Ireland
(Feast, February 1st.)

O God, Who givest us joy by the power of the intercession of Blessed Brigid the Virgin, graciously grant that we may be assisted by her merits by the example of whose chastity we are enlightened. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Litany of St. Brigid

(For private recitation only.)

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Divine Son, have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Virgin of Virgins, Pray for us.
Blessed St. Brigid, Pray for us.
Consecrated spouse of the King of Kings, Pray for us.
Corner-stone of the Monastic Institute in the Island of Saints, Pray for us.
Brigid, Patroness of Ireland, Pray for us.
Model of Irish Virgins, Pray for us.
Mother of Religious, Pray for us.
Pattern of holiness, Pray for us.
Intercessor for the Irish clergy, Pray for us.
Mediatrix for the Irish people, Pray for us.
Protectress of the faith preached by St. Patrick, Pray for us.
Enjoying with him the clear vision of God, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy on us.

Let us Pray

O God, the Author of all sanctity, grant that we who inhabit the Island of Saints, may, through the intercession of St. Brigid, walk in their footsteps on earth, and so arrive with them to the possession of Thee in Heaven. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pour forth on us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the spirit of Thy wisdom and love, with which Thou hast replenished Thy holy Servant, St. Brigid, that sincerely obeying Thee in all things, we may by a zealous imitation of her virtues, please Thee in faith and works. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Anthony's Treasury - A Manual of Devotions (Anthonian Press, Dublin, 12th edition, 1941), 275-278.

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Prayers to Our Patrons: Saint Patrick

Below is a prayer to our patron saint taken from a manual of prayers, instructions and meditations originally issued in the nineteenth century for the seminarians of All Hallows College:

A Prayer to Saint Patrick

O great ambassador of God, we praise thy name. Rejoicing we recall how all things worked together unto good for thee and for thy children in the faith. When thou wert young, our fathers did gird thee and lead thee where thou wouldst not; but the Father of all did not suffer thy soul to dwell a captive in the woods and on the mountain. Rather did he convert it to himself and, lifting up thy mind to heavenly desires, vouchsafe thee princely entry into the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free. How incomprehensible are his judgements and how unsearchable his ways! For when thou wert at home again, a free man, he bound thee in the spirit to return to the land of thy captivity, there to expend thy residue of years in the embassy of Christ. Hearkening to the great word, thou didst come, an envoy of Rome, and didst walk once more with those whose dwelling was by the western sea. Wherefore now we give, with thee, unwearied thanks to God. Before thy years were spent, he gave thee to record that a whole people had been reborn to him and confirmed; that priests had been ordained in every place; that the sons and daughters of the Scots had become monks and virgins of Christ. And to that first swift testimony that God is true, succeeding generations have been privileged to attach the great seal of blood. O wondrous mercy of God our Father! O how blessed is the nation that has received fellowship in the sufferings of Christ and known the power of his resurrection! Dear apostle, zealous patron, we are not worthy to be called thy children; but thou art still our father. Behold thy foes make tumult and they that hate thee proudly raise their head. Remember, we beseech thee, how God has bound thee to us in the spirit. Withstand the wrath. Compass our hearts about with truth and that mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity; be thy merit our strong cry and tears before the great and holy God. Thy children have resisted unto blood, striving against sin; let them not now faint or fail. Inspire them, rather, with zeal for the better gifts. Show them the more excellent way, so that, doing the truth in charity, they, with all the faithful, may grow in grace and persevere to the end in the truth and life, the justice, love and peace of Jesus Christ our King.

V. Pray for us, O glorious Saint Patrick.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

O God, who didst graciously send the blessed confessor and pontiff Patrick to preach thy glory to the peoples; grant, through his merits and intercession, that what thou dost bid us to do, we may by thy merciful assistance be able to accomplish. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Breviary of Piety for Clerics being the Seventh Edition of the All Hallows Manual, revised and enlarged, (Dublin, 1948), 116-117.

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