Prayer for the Faithful by St. Patrick

Brother John Raymond

	St. Patrick was born to Catholic parents about the year 385 in
 Britain. His father was a nobleman. At sixteen Patrick was captured
 by slave-raiders from Ireland! With a large group of prisoners he
 was transported to then pagan Ireland. Sold as a slave to a king in
 the northeast, Patrick had the lonely task of tending the pigs and
	The harsh conditions of living and the intense solitude drove
 Patrick to turn to God in prayer. He wrote, "Now after I came to
 Ireland I herded the flocks; and often during the day I prayed. The
 love of God and the fear of Him increased more and more and my faith
 grew, and my spirit was stirred up so that in a single day I said as
 many as a hundred prayers and at night nearly as many even when I
 was out in the woods or on the mountain."
	After being captive for six years; one night Patrick heard a
 voice in his sleep say, "Soon you will go back to your homeland." A
 short time later he heard the same voice say, "Your ship is ready."
 Trusting in God Patrick set out on a 200 mile journey through
 unknown territory. When he arrived at the ship the Captain refused
 to take him. Patrick prayed to God for help. The Captain changed his
 mind. So Patrick sailed for Gaul (France). From there he returned to
 his parents in Britain. Here he stayed until he was recalled to
 Ireland by a vision in which he saw a man coming from Ireland with
 countless letters in his arms. He gave one of them to Patrick. This
 letter was entitled "The Voice of the Irish." After reading the
 title he heard a multitude cry out, "We beseech you, holy youth, to
 come and walk once more among us." Yet Patrick was not convinced
 until he had two more such mystical experiences.
	To prepare himself for the difficult mission of converting the
 pagan Irish Patrick set out to visit various monasteries in Gaul.
 For three years he lived under the guidance of the holy abbot, St.
 Honoratus. Following the practice of the times, he moved from one
 center of holy learning to another. He spent 15 years under the
 supervision of St. Germanus. During these years Patrick grew in
 holiness. He labored hard to acquire knowledge toward the
	In 429 St. Germanus, now a Bishop, attended a local gathering of
 Bishops and Priests to discuss improvements in the British Church.
 At this meeting the project of sending a mission to Ireland was
 suggested. This was due to the numberless British Christian slaves
 there. Patrick was considered for the leadership of this mission.
 The following year, with Patrick present, another assembly was held.
 A very dear friend advocated his cause. He even went a step further
 - why not make him a Bishop? There was strong opposition to this
 suggestion. He was declared to be only half-educated, uncultured and
 slow of speech. The decision - Patrick was rejected. St. Palladius
 was chosen. However, Patrick was ordained a priest a year later and
 sent to Ireland to assist Bishop Palladius. On the way Patrick
 learned that the new Bishop had died so he returned home. Finally,
 in 432 Patrick became a Bishop, went to Ireland and became the
 apostle of the Irish nation where he taught the people about the
 Mystery of The Most Holy Trinity by using a shamrock. He was helped
 by the prayer of St. Brigid who lead a community of Nuns in Kildare
 and was known fo her miracles.
	The first seven years of St. Patrick's mission was so successful
 that three assistant Bishops were sent to help him. As time went on
 churches were built in almost every district in Ireland. Yet,
 conversion of the pagan people was not easy. Patrick wrote, "Daily I
 expect either murder, robbery, or enslavement." He escaped from
 twelve attempts on his life.
	Occasionally Patrick found time to spend all of Lent in solitary
 prayer and penitential practices. Once he climbed a solitary
 mountain near the shore of Clem Bay. Since then it has been called
 the Mountain of Patrick. Another time he went to the desolate island
 of Lough Derg. This Island in future generations became a pilgrimage
 site called the Purgatory of St. Patrick. After thirty years of
 labor among the Irish people St. Patrick the apostle died a natural
 death on March 17, 461.

Prayer for the Faithful 
by St. Patrick

May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
- Against the snares of the evil one.

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!

May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.