A comment I hear a lot over here is, ‘In America, everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.’ Growing up, I associated St. Patrick’s Day with wearing green to school on 17 March. If I forgot to wear green on this day (and invariably, no one in my family ever seemed to remember), others would pinch me.
As I grew up, the day became associated with such saintly rituals as getting blind drunk. I can only assume this was behind what a family friend’s daughter meant when she proclaimed on Facebook that her favourite day of the year is St. Patrick’s Day. I attended the same University where she is now and the only thing I remember happening was the pub crawl in Columbia’s Five Points. Granted, a fun festival with green beer, but best day of the year?
Anyway, since coming over here, I have learned that there are still some great traditions behind St. Patrick and he even left a few of his prayers behind. One of my favourites is a part of what is known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate. So, if anyone has a chance today between other festivities, I hope you will take a moment to pray this prayer:
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, and in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.