A popular prayer associated with Saint Patrick is "Saint Patrick's Breastplate," of uncertain authorship but attributed to the saint himself. A traditional greeting exchanged between Irish speakers translates to "God and Mary with you" with the response "God and Mary and Saint Patrick with you."Continue Reading
Some of the best-known lines of "Saint Patrick's Breastplate" include "Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me" and "Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me." The prayer, also known as the Lorica of Saint Patrick, has many more lines, and its style resembles that of the Irish druids to whom the saint, a slave from Roman-occupied Britain, preached the Christian religion.
Many sayings that do not mention Saint Patrick or have any purported direct connection to him are theless associated with Saint Patrick's Day. One is the prayer sometimes called "An Old Irish Blessing," which begins "May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back." Because Saint Patrick's Day has become a celebration of Irish heritage instead of a day with religious meaning for many Americans, the phrase "Erin go bragh," meaning "Ireland forever," is also common in recognition of the day.Learn more about Christianity