Bishop of Amagh (d. 461)
Kidnapped and sold into slavery in Ireland, Patrick escaped after six years and returned to his native Britain. A voice in a dream told him to return to Ireland to serve the people he had met there. His life is rich with stories, among them that he used a shamrock to teach about the Blessed Trinity just as the shamrock has three distinct leaves and yet is one plant, God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit—three Persons in one Supreme Being. Using a shamrock to teach about a central Christian mystery appealed to the imagination of the Irish. They sensed that God is present in all creation. St. Patrick showed them that, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, God is beyond all creation as well.
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 when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise
Christ in the heart of everyone
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 today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity.
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
From “St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer”