The Breastplate of St. Patrick

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

— Philippians 1:21

On this day, many people will sadly get drunk, supposedly to honor the memory of St. Patrick. But in fact they dishonor his memory. This man was a great Christian missionary from England to Ireland. He brought the Gospel to the Emerald Isle and saw virtually the whole country converted under his ministry.

St. Patrick was fearless and bold, and Christ was the source of his strength. He prayed something (“the breastplate of St. Patrick”) that we can all pray:

I bind to myself this day
The Power of His Incarnation,
The Power of His Crucifixion,
The Power of His Resurrection
With His Ascension.

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, Christ in danger,
Christ in the hearts of all that love me,
Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.

Christ is life. Christ is all in all. “For me to live is Christ.” That is the real meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.

Question to ponder:
What does it mean that Christ is all around us?