The Lorica of Saint Patrick

The Lorica of Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick's Lorica is a prayer for protection. Lorica, in Latin, means breastplate and refers to ancient armor worn to protect the chest.

An old tradition has it that on Easter morning, as Saint Partick and his band of missionaries proceeded in processional order, toward the king’s court, they chanted the sacred Lorica, called the Faed Fiada, or  Deer’s Cry, specially composed by Patrick for their protection.

As the minions of the Druids lay in ambush to intercept and kill Patrick's band on their way to court, the assassins now saw not Patrick and his companions pass, but a harmless herd of gentle deer, a doe followed by her twenty fawns. Hence the hymn’s title, the Faed Fiada—Deer’s Cry.

Having been carried safe by the Lord through the ambush prepared for them, Saint Patrick led his host into the king’s presence, chanting: “Let them that will, trust in chariots and horses, but we walk in the name of the Lord.”

Through all the centuries since, the Faed Fiada—which many authorities pronounced to be Patrick’s own work and the first hymn written in Gaelic—has been used by the Irish as a lorica for protection.

Saint Patrick's Lorica for Protection

I bind me today,
God's might to direct me,
God's power to protect me,
God's wisdom for learning,
God's eye for discerning,
God's ear for my hearing,
God's word for my clearing.
God's hand for my cover,
God's path to pass over,
God's buckler to guard me,
God's army to ward me,
Against snares of the devil,
Against vice's temptation,
Against wrong inclination,
Against men who plot evil,
Anear or afar, with many or few.

Christ near,
Christ here,
Christ be with me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ be o'er me,
Christ before me.
Christ in the left and the right,
Christ hither and thither,
Christ in the sight,
Of each eye that shall seek me,
In each ear that shall hear,
In each mouth that shall speak me—
Christ not the less
In each heart I address.

I bind me today on the Triune—I call,
With faith in the Trinity—Unity—God over all.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet shared this prayer and said that we may offer it for spiritual protection from all evil.

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