The world owes a huge debt to the sons and daughters of Ireland who ventured forth into the unknown to spread the Gospel therewith.
These brave souls were all filled with the same spirit that filled their spiritual mentor St Paddy. Here is a beautiful hymn derived from his famous “Breastplate” prayer:
Christ be beside me, Christ be before me,
Christ be behind me, King of my heart.
Christ be within me, Christ be below me,
Christ be above me, never to part.
Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand,
Christ all around me, shield in the strife.
Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting,
Christ in my rising, light of my heart.
Christ be in all hearts thinking about me,
Christ be on all tongues telling of me.
Christ be the vision in eyes that see me,
In ears that hear me Christ ever be.
James Quinn, adapt. from St. Patrick’s Breastplate, 8th cent.
Another version of St. Patrick’s Breastplate
The Irish people used to be famous for their ability to laugh at themselves, at any pomp or grandeur that intruded into their souls. I am not so sure that they still possess this gift of humility, given recent developments.
St Paddy still watches over that nation all the same, with all the Angels and all the Saints. All is not lost.