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Scott P. Richert

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

By March 17, 2014

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I may be half-Polish and half-German, but my middle name is Patrick. So when March 17 rolls around, you'll find me celebrating the feast day of one of my patron saints just as joyfully as any of the Irish.A statue of Saint Patrick in the basement of Saint Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Bay City, Michigan. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)

Saint Patrick's life and example should be an inspiration to us all, particularly in these days, when so many traditionally Christian countries, including Ireland herself (where Saint Patrick's Day is a Holy Day of Obligation), are in need of some serious re-evangelization. The figure of Saint Patrick has meant many things to many different people, but above all else, his life represents an unswerving commitment to orthodoxy and to spreading the Gospel of Christ.

Today, before you settle down to your corned beef and cabbage (since we have eight kids, we have three cuts of corned beef simmering already!) and your Guinness or (shudder) green beer, make sure to spend a few minutes reading through, and reflecting on, the most famous of Saint Patrick's prayers: the Breastplate of Saint Patrick (also known as the Lorica).

You have undoubtedly seen a short version of the Lorica before, but the full version of the Breastplate of Saint Patrick is majestic, incorporating all the elements of Catholic morning prayer: It is an Act of Faith (expressing the Catholic teaching on the Trinity and on Christ); an Act of Hope (in God's protection throughout the day and throughout life, as well as in eternal salvation); and an Act of Charity (in the love expressed for God).

The Breastplate of Saint Patrick is the prayer of a man confident in his faith, preparing every day to win souls to Christ and, if necessary, to win the crown of martyrdom. On his feast day, let us pray to Saint Patrick, the apostle of Ireland, that our own faith may be increased, and that we may follow Christ as wholeheartedly as he did.

Saint Patrick, pray for us!

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Comments
March 21, 2011 at 10:54 am
(1) Lorizia says:

What a beautiful statue of St.Patrick: )

March 17, 2013 at 2:55 pm
(2) Joe says:

St. Patrick’s life like many are filled not with sterling deeds for the Lord at an early age but one that realizes a mistake and makes up for it amplified. I’m not Irish but with every Saint that God brings forth there is a light and lesson for all and I truly celebrate in the lesson for redemption and only pray for guidance and wisdom that only God can provide. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all !
Joe (from South Shore MA)

March 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm
(3) Gatomon41 says:

Thank you for the St. Patrick’s Day post! :)

I love these articles that expand on the history of various celebrations. Keep up the good work!

March 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm
(4) Peter says:

wow Scott, thanks for so much rich info & stuff on such a great saint & our awesum Catholic faith….
we used to get so much factal & educational stuff on the tv
and [when i was younger] i really miss all the invaluable & nurishing educational material i recieved when i was lucky enough to attend Catholic schools [not to mention that the Catholic schools are at least 3 years ahead of any public school which i learned first hand during the times my parents could'nt afford it , & i had to switch over to public school temporarily]then back again ] — anyway now with Your awesum site on Catholicism & the saints & so much more.
i wanna thank you so very much for your allways so accurate & sincere & factual & vey rich info & education on so many issues about God, Our Blessed Mother, The saints, our awesum Catholic faith & so much more; as the only thing you are gonna get today on the tv &/or newpapers is exactly what the Devil “wants” us to hear [i.e. promoting anti -l

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