Posted in LENT, SAINT of the DAY

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Friday 17 March

LENTEN REFLECTION – The Second Week- Friday 17 March


On the Memorial of St Patrick, there can be few better reflections than the complete Prayer/Hymn of the Breastplate.   St. Patrick came to Ireland and showed all of them the way to the truth of God.   He preached the Good News of God to them and called them to repent their past sins and wickedness.   St. Patrick taught them the truth about God, including what is now famous as his symbol of the Holy Trinity, the three-leaf clover.   He taught them how God is a perfect and loving union of three Divine Persons, of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as inseparable as the three-leaf clover’s parts from each other.

And God Who is perfect in Love, and Who is indeed Love, wants to share that love with all of us His people.  That is exactly why He has given us His commandments, His laws and ways and Jesus His Son to be our salvation from the darkness, by bringing us into the light of His new world and life filled with love and grace, no longer with greed, evil, wickedness, ego and all other human ambitions and vileness.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate (also known as The Deer Cry-see the reason below)

St. Patrick of Ireland, 387-460 AD

(translation by Cecil Frances Alexander)

This Celtic hymn, which dates from the late seventh or early eighth century, is ascribed to St. Patrick. It reflects many of the themes found in Patrick’s thought. It is believed that Patrick wrote this hymn as a breastplate of faith for the protection of body and soul against all forms of evil – devils, vice and the evil which humans perpetrate against one another. Legend has it that the High King of Tara, Loeguire, on Holy Saturday 433 AD, resolved to ambush and kill Patrick and his monks to prevent them from spreading the Christian faith in his kingdom. As Patrick and his followers approached singing this hymn, the king and his men saw only a herd of wild deer and let them pass by. This hymn is both a prayer and statement of faith to be recited for protection, arming oneself for spiritual battle, leading us all to reflect upon the power of God in our lives, the strength of His protection and the way we are go on towards our heavenly home.

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.
I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan River;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.
[Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,

I bind to me these holy powers.
Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart’s idolatry,
against the wizard’s evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning.]

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three,
of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation:
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.




Posted in NOVENAS

Novena to St Joseph – Day Seven – 17 March

Novena to St Joseph – Day Seven – 17 March

Day Seven

Saint Joseph, you devoted your time at Nazareth to the work of a carpenter.   It was the Will of God that you and your foster-Son should spend your days together in manual labor. What a beautiful example you set for the working classes!

It was especially for the poor, who compose the greater part of mankind, that Jesus came upon earth, for in the synagogue of Nazareth, He read the words of Isaiah and referred them to Himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor…” (Luke 4:18).   It was God’s Will that you should be occupied with work common to poor people, that in this way Jesus Himself might ennoble it by inheriting it from you, His foster-father and by freely embracing it.   Thus our Lord teaches us that for the humbler class of workmen, He has in store His richest graces, provided they live content in the place God’s Providence has assigned them and remain poor in spirit for He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3).

The kind of work to which you devoted your time in the workshop of Nazareth offered you many occasions of practicing humility.   You were privileged to see each day the example of humility which Jesus practiced — a virtue most pleasing to Him.   He chose for His earthly surroundings not the courts of princes nor the halls of the learned but a little workshop of Nazareth.   Here you shared for many years the humble and hidden toiling of the God-Man. What a touching example for the worker of today!

While your hands were occupied with manual work, your mind was turned to God in prayer.   From the Divine Master, who worked along with you, you learned to work in the presence of God in the spirit of prayer, for as He worked He adored His Father and recommended the welfare of the world to Him, Jesus also instructed you in the wonderful truths of grace and virtue, for you were in close contact with Him who said of Himself, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.”

As you were working at your trade, you were reminded of the greatness and majesty of God, who, as a most wise Architect, formed this vast universe with wonderful skill and limitless power.

The light of divine faith that filled your mind, did not grow dim when you saw Jesus working as a carpenter.   You firmly believed that the saintly Youth working beside you was truly God’s own Son.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to work side by side with Jesus in the carpenter shop of Nazareth.   As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to respect the dignity of labour and ever to be content with the position in life, however lowly, in which it may please Divine Providence to place me.   Teach me to work for God and with God in the spirit of humility and prayer, as you did, so that I may offer my toil in union with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as a reparation for my sins and gain rich merit for heaven.


*NOVENA PRAYER   *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you.  You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you.   You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.   Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession.   I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect resignation to the divine Will.   Be my guide, my father and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 17 March

Thought for the Day – 17 March

The amazing influence of one man!   How do you teach a classroom that’s as big as a whole country?    How do you teach a whole country about God?   St. Patrick’s classroom was the whole country of Ireland and his lesson was the good news of Jesus Christ.  ow in the world did he do it?    Well, it was only possible because he depended totally on God.   But letting God give him strength and direction didn’t always come naturally to St. Patrick.   That was a lesson the Lord had to teach him.  And he didn’t get to learn it from understanding, gentle teachers in a comfortable classroom.   He learned it from a band of thieving, roving pirates.   But when he learned he learned it perfectly and he became the most wondrously hardworking, untiring apostle for Christ.   When one considers the state of Ireland when he began his mission work, the vast extent of his labours and how the seeds he planted which continued to grow and flourish – making Ireland one of the greatest Catholic countries in history, which itself proceeded to evangelise the whole world, one can only admire the kind of man Patrick must have been.   We have no way of knowing the fruits of our own lives or how many people our lives may touch.   And this is power of holiness – it endures forever!

St Patrick please pray for us.



Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 17 March

Quote/s of the Day – 17 March

“I pray that those who believe in God and who read this confession, which I, Patrick, an unlearned sinner have written in Ireland, may recogniSe that whatever I achieved or taught that was pleasing to God, was done so by the gift of God.   This is my confession before I die.”

“The Lord had to humble me first through my captivity to get his attention.   Then in His mercy He came and raised me up and lifted me to the very top of a wall.   And from there I can only shout out in gratitude to the Lord for His great favours which He showed me without measure”

“Whether you be great or small, learned or simple, listen and consider how God summoned me, a fool and a wretch in this world, to serve Him with reverence, faith and humility.   It was the love of Christ that inspired me to give my life in service to this people.”

“I came to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others.   If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for Christ’s name.  H I want to spend myself for that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favour.   It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by Him, who assuredly never tells a lie. HHe makes this promise in the Gospel: “They shall come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  H This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world.”

“I do not seek honour from others because the Lord Himself is enough for me.   Although I am most unworthy, the Lord has exalted me beyond measure.   I prefer poverty and failure rather than a life of wealth and pleasure.   After all, Christ the Lord Himself was poor for our sakes.   I fear nothing, not even betrayal, slavery, or murder because of the promises of heaven.    I am in the Lord’s hands, as Scripture says: “Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you.”

“Whatever befalls me, be it good or bad, I will accept it equally and give thanks always to God.    I will put my trust in him and dare to undertake so holy and so wonderful a work, so that I might imitate those who have gone before as heralds of the Gospel to all peoples, even to the ends of the earth.   This commission is being fulfilled even today, as we witness the Gospel being proclaimed in far away places such as this land.”

– from the Confession of Saint Patrick


Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 March

One Minute Reflection – 17 March

As long as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to me…………..Matthew 25:45

REFLECTION – “May Christ shield me today, Christ with me. Christ before me, Christ behind 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.”………….St Patrick

PRAYER – Lord Jesus the Christ, be with me this day and let me see You in everyone I meet. Grant that I may always serve You in others and so arrive at Your heavenly Kingdom where I will serve You and love You and see You, for ever and ever. St Patrick, pray for us all that we may live as you did and reach our heavenly home, amen.


christ in the mouth - st patrick pray for us

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 17 March

Our Morning Offering – 17 March

Excerpt from St Patrick’s Breastplate (also known as The Deer Cry)

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
[Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility, …….
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three,
of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation:
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.



Saint of the Day – 17 March – St Patrick (c 386–461) “The Apostle of Ireland,”

Saint of the Day – 17 March – St Patrick (c 386–461) “The Apostle of Ireland,” P riest, Bishop, Missionary. Patronages – against fear of snakes or ophidiophobia. ophidiophobics, against snake bites, against snakes, of barbers, hairdressers, barrel makers; coopers, blacksmiths, cattle, engineers, excluded people, miners, Ireland, Nigeria (1961), Loiza, Puerto Rico, 29 Diocese.

Although we think of Ireland when we talk about St. Patrick, he wasn’t actually born in Ireland.   He was born probably in Scotland.   His father was a deacon and his grandfather had been a priest.   But Patrick didn’t think too much about God.   We don’t really know why this was.   He probably thought he didn’t need God.   He probably thought other things could bring him as much happiness as God could.   God just wasn’t on Patrick’s mind as he roamed the fields of his homeland, tending animals and learning how to be a man.


But his happy, carefree life ended one day when crowds of strangers appeared on the horizon.   They looked dangerous and frightening and they were.   They were pirates and thieves, on their way to capture slaves to take back to Ireland.   Patrick was one of those hundreds of captives.   He was snatched from his family and his home.   He was taken from all of his future hopes and dreams.   Patrick was thrown on a ship, bound in chains and taken over the sea to Ireland.   He was sixteen years old.   For six years, Patrick was a slave in Ireland.   He was put to work watching sheep and cattle.   Patrick had just enough food to live on and when he wasn’t working, he tried to rest in tiny huts that were damp and cold.

But something strange and wonderful happened in Ireland.   All alone, frightened for his life and among people who worshiped trees and stones, Patrick opened his heart to God. That happens to a lot of us, doesn’t it?   When everything’s going great, we don’t have any time for God.   But then something awful and painful happens and there we are, back at God’s feet.

During those years, Patrick started to pray.   He thought about God all the time and it gave him peace of mind.   He knew that no matter how much he was suffering, God loved him.

Eventually, Patrick escaped from slavery and travelled to France, which in those days was called Gaul.   We’re not sure exactly how much time Patrick spent in Gaul.   But it was enough time for him to draw closer to God, as he prayed and studied in a Monastery.   One night, deep in a dreamy vision, Patrick heard voices.   He heard many voices, joined together, pleading with him.   “Come back,” the voices cried, “come back and walk once more among us.”   Patrick knew it was the Irish people calling him.

Strengthened by the courage that only God can give, Patrick went back.   He returned to the very people who had stolen him from his family, worked him mercilessly as a slave and knew little, if anything, about the love of the true God.

Before he left Gaul, Patrick was made the Bishop of Ireland.   He then travelled across the sea to teach Ireland about Jesus Christ.   It wasn’t easy. The people of Ireland practiced pagan religions.   They worshiped nature,and they practiced magic.   They feared the spirits, they believed lived in the woods.   The Irish people believed they could bring evil spirits down on those they wanted to harm.

Patrick had a big job ahead of him. He had to show a country full of students that there was no point in worshiping nature.   Trees can’t forgive your sins or teach you how to love.   The sun, as powerful as it is, could not have created the world.   Patrick explained things using simple examples that people could easily understand.   For example, he used the three-leaf clover to show people how there could be three persons in one God.   Patrick preached to huge crowds and small villages.   He preached to kings and princes.   He preached in the open air and he preached in huts.   Patrick never stopped preaching and he never stopped teaching.   He couldn’t stop—the whole country of Ireland was his classroom and he couldn’t afford to miss even one student!

Soon, Patrick had help.   Men became Priests and Monks.   Women became Nuns. Wherever they lived, those Monks and Nuns settled in Monasteries and set up schools. More students were being reached every day. But, of course, the greatest help Patrick had was from God.

When he was young, Patrick had forgotten God but that would never happen again.   He knew that God supported him in every step he took.   God gave Patrick the courage to speak, even when Patrick was in danger of being hurt by pagan priests who didn’t want to lose their power over the people.

Patrick’s most famous prayer (excerpt below) shows us how close he was to God. It’s called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate.”   A breastplate is the piece of armour that protects a soldier’s heart from harm.   We have this prayer and his own story in one of the few certainly authentic writings of Patrick – his Confessio, which is above all an act of homage to God for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left.


Patrick banishes all snakes from Ireland
The absence of snakes in Ireland gave rise to the legend that they had all been banished by St. Patrick chasing them into the sea after they attacked him during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill.    This hagiographic theme draws on the Biblical account of the staff of the prophet Moses.   In Exodus 7:8–7:13, Moses and Aaron use their staffs in their struggle with Pharaoh’s sorcerers, the staffs of each side morphing into snakes. Aaron’s snake-staff prevails by consuming the other snakes.

 Patrick’s walking stick grows into a living tree
Some Irish legends involve the Oilliphéist, the Caoránach and the Copóg Phádraig.   During his evangelising journey back to Ireland from his parent’s home at Birdoswald, he is understood to have carried with him an ash wood walking stick or staff.   He thrust this stick into the ground wherever he was evangelising and at the place now known as Aspatria (ash of Patrick) the message of the dogma took so long to get through to the people there that the stick had taken root by the time he was ready to move on.

St Patrick died between 461 and 464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland of natural causes

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 17 March

St Patrick (Optional Memorial)

St Agricola of Châlon-sur-Saône
St Alexander
St Ambrose of Alexandria
Bl Conrad of Bavaria
St Diemut of Saint Gall
St Gabriel Lalemant
St Gertrude of Nivelles
Bl Gertrude of Trzebnica
St Jan Sarkander
Bl Josep Mestre Escoda
St Joseph of Arimathea
Bl Juan Nepomuceno Zegrí y Moreno
St Llinio of Llandinam
Bl Maria Bárbara Maix
St Paul of Cyprus
St Stephen of Palestrina
St Theodore of Rome
St Thomasello
St Withburga of Dereham

Martyrs of Alexandria – Also known as Martyrs of Serapis: An unknown number of Christians who were martyred together by a mob of worshippers of the Graeco-Egyptian sun god Serapis.. Died c.392 in Alexandria, Egypt