The Breastplate of St. Patrick


March 17th
Troparion (Tone 3)
O holy hierarch, Patrick, wonderworker, equal to the Apostles and illuminator of the Irish people, pray to the merciful God that He will pardon our transgressions.

Patrick was British by birth, born about 373, the son of a deacon and the grandson of a priest. His first trip to Ireland was as a slave, having been kidnapped by Irish pirates. He managed to run away and eventually made his way back to England. He was then sent as bishop to Ireland around 435, setting up his see in Armagh. He had sincere simplicity and deep pastoral care and worked tirelessly to abolish paganism. He is often depicted with a shamrock which he used to explain the Trinity. His scroll reads: “I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity.” This is taken from his “Breastplate”, a prayer that he wrote and used for protection on his journeys.

This is by the hand of Nick Papas and is from St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA.

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