© 2014 John Casimir O'Keefe

Lúireach Phádraig

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Lúireach Phádraig
(The Breast Plate of Patrick)

The lyr­ics are a trans­la­tion (Original Gaelic version follows) of a Gael­ic po­em called “St. Pat­rick’s Lor­i­ca,” or breast­plate. (A lorica – showing passion the word is Lúireach – was a mys­tic­al gar­ment that was sup­posed to pro­tect the wear­er from dan­ger and ill­ness, and guar­an­tee ent­ry in­to Hea­ven.)

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 the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet ‘well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

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,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

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 hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
For those with the heart for the Gaelic; here is the prayer in the original Irish language.

“Faeth Fiada” (The Deer’s Cry – the original title)

Atomriug indiu
niurt tréun:
togairm Trindóit
faístin Oendatad,
i nDúlemon dáil.

Atomriug indiu
niurt gene Críst cona bathius,
niurt a chrochtho cona adnacul,
niurt a essérgi cona fhresgabáil,
niurt a thoíniudo fri brithemnas mbrátho.

Atomriug indiu
niurt gráid hiruphin,
i n-aurlataid aingel,
i frestul inna n-archaingel,
i freiscisin esséirgi
ar chiunn fochraicce,
i n-ernaigthib uasalathrach,
i tairchetlaib fáithe,
i preceptaib apstal,
i n-iresaib foísmedach,
i n-enccai noebingen,
i ngnímaib fer firén.

Atomriug indiu
niurt nime,
soilsi gréne,
étrochtai éscai,
áni thened,
déni lóchet,
luaithi gaíthe,
fudomnai mara,
tairismigi thalman,
cobsaidi ailech.

Atomriug indiu
niurt Dé dom luamairecht.
Cumachtae nDé dom chumgabáil,
ciall Dé dom inthús,
rose nDé dom remcisiu,
cluas Dé dom étsecht,
briathar Dé dom erlabrai,
lám Dé dom imdegail,
intech Dé dom remthechtas,
sciath Dé dom imdítin,
sochraite Dé dom anacul
ar intledaib demnae,
ar aslagib dualche,
ar forimthechtaib aicnid,
ar cech duine mídúthrastar dam,
i céin ocus i n-ocus,
i n’uathud ocus i sochaidi.

Crist dom imdegail indiu
ar neim, ar loscud, ar bádud, ar guin,
condom-thair ilar fochraicce.
Críst limm, Críst reum, Críst im degaid,
Críst indium, Críst ísum, Críst uasum,
Críst desum, Críst tuathum,
Críst i llius, Críst i sius, Críst i n-erus,
Críst i cridiu cech duini immumrorda,
Críst i ngin cech oín rodom-labrathar,
Críst i cech rusc nonom-dercathar,
Críst i cech cluais rodom-chloathar

Atomriug indiu
niurt tréun:
togairm Trindóit,
cretim Treodatad,
faístin Oendatad,
i nDúlemon dáil.

Domini est salus,
Domini est salus,
Christi est salus
salus tua, Domine, sit semper nobiscum.

 

One Comment

  1. Posted 2014/03/20 at 9:02 pm | #

    It’s really gorgeous when read aloud in the original Gaelige. Truly one of my favorites.

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