The Lorica of St. Patrick (The Cry of the Deer)

Patrick made this hymn. It made in the time of Loegaire son of Niall. The cause of its composition, however, was to protect him and his monks against deadly enemies that lay in wait for the clerics. And this is a corslet of faith for the protection of body and soul against devils and men and vices. When anyone shall repeat it every day with diligent intentness on God, devils shall not dare to face him, it shall be protection to him against every poison and envy, it shall be defence to him against sudden death, it shall be a corslet to his soul after his death. Patrick sang this when the ambuscades were laid against his coming by Loegaire, that he might not go to Tara to sow the faith. And then it appeared before those lying in ambush that they (Patrick and his monks) were wild deer with a fawn (Benén) following them. And its name is Deer’s Cry.

I arise to-day

through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity

through belief in the threeness,

through confession of the oneness

of the Creator of creation.

 

I arise to-day

through the strength of Christ with His baptism,

through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial

through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,

through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.

 

I arise to-day

through the strength of the love of Cherubim,

in obedience of angels,

in the service of the archangels,

in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

in prayers of Patriarch,

in predictions of Prophets,

in preachings of Apostles,

in faiths of Confessors,

in innocence of holy Virgins,

in deeds of righteous men.

 

I arise to-day

through the strength of heaven:

light of sun,

brilliance of moon,

splendour of fire,

speed of lightning,

swiftness of wind,

depth of sea,

stability of earth,

firmness of rock.

 

I arise to-day

through God’s strength to pilot me:

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to secure me,

against snares of devils,

against temptations of vices,

against inclinations of nature,

against every one who shall wish me ill,

afar and anear,

alone and in a multitude.

 

I summon to-day all those powers between me (and these evils),

against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul,

against incantations of false prophets,

against black laws of heathenry,

against false laws of heretics,

against craft of idolatry,

against spells of women and smiths and wizards,

against every knowledge …… man’s body and soul.

Christ to protect me to-day

against poison, against burning,

against drowning, against wounding,

so that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left.

Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height.

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

 

I arise to-day

through mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

through belief in the threeness,

through confession of the oneness,

of the Creator of creation.

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

 

Source: Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus, A collection of Old-Irish glosses scholia prose and verse

Volume II, Edition 1903, Pages 354-358.

Free and Online

 

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