March 17 is Perfect for St. Patrick, don’t move this Feast!

Saint Patrick (window)Every year I wonder about the draw of so many to the green day. It used to be that you’d see shamrocks and the “Erin go braugh” or more recently, it seems that “luck of the Irish” is the bigger hit anymore, but I don’t see as many shamrocks, more leprechauns than anything else. I think that it is obvious we have drifted away from the reasons why so strong a feast has been nurtured, fostered, and preserved by the Irish and turned into a favorite festivity anywhere they’ve gone. After all, it’s not just an excuse for a party, but the reason it became a party to begin with is a pretty big deal!

Some mention now and then that St. Patrick’s day should be moved out of lent. I would have been sympathetic to that years ago, but once you realize how intertwined his story and the triumph over demonic paganism in Ireland is with the story of Annunciation and Easter, you’ll agree with me that this is a Providential sequence of dates — and it would seem that no day would be better than to have his feast begin the novena prayer for the Annunciation.

Why Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

I’m not Irish, but when you read about the life of St. Patrick, you can see why every Catholic should have some strong feeling of solidarity with such a great saint. You see, Patrick was born around 393, and at the ripe age of 16, he was taken captive and became a slave to an Irish master. Ireland was still under the Occult pagan rites of the druids. Patrick’s master was a druid sorcerer and cruel man. Patrick tended the sheep and recounts that he’d pray hundreds of times a day, saying merely “for the love of God.”  He hadn’t had advanced training in theology by that time in his life and he merely sought to preserve the worship of the one true God throughout his captivity. God blessed his secret agent during this time, though. It was as if God had put Patrick behind the enemy lines to gather reconnaisaince for a later mission. Patrick’s own account of the effect of grace during his captivity are clear that God helped him:

and His fear increased in me more and more, and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer and felt no hurt from it, whether there was snow or ice or rain; nor was there any slothfulness in me, such as I see now, because the spirit was then fervent within me.

God eventually led Patrick to freedom, escaping from his Druid priest master, Milchu. So, Patrick was now fluent in Celtic language, life, and knowledgeable of the rites and life of Druid pagans. He was armed and ready for Irish work in his future.

He headed back to Europe, even studied in the monastery in Tours. Over the next part of his life, he would chase knowledge of God and the Church. Even being prepared more by God, Providence put him in special forces training — falling into the care of St. Germaine — that is the saint who crushed Pelagianism. Eighteen years Patrick was under his care, learning Sacred Scripture and love of God.

The special forces training would pay off.

Previously, Pope Clement I, who had been the champion over the Nestorian and Pelagian heresies, had already tried to break the hold of Satan’s Pagan cults on Ireland. One bishop sent in was Pelladius, who ran back away after being confronted by the pagan chieftain in Wicklow and encountering sorcery and spells.

Germain recommended Patrick for the job to Pope Clement. As a seal of approval and almost a blessing for success, Germain gave Patrick the name “Patritius” — it would bear out to be a true portent, as Patrick would become pater civitum to Ireland, but not without a fight — and a spectacular show of demonic force versus the supernatural grace of God.

Patrick Confronts the Demons of Druidic Priests

Commissioned now by Pope Clement I, Patrick sets journey to Ireland, and “luck” (Providence) had it that he went straight for Wicklow, landing at Vantry, where the chieftain was. In modern terms, this would be like landing his boat on the Potomac at the White House. It was that dramatic and bold. The Wicklow Chieftain was a grand poobah or head of the pagan world of Ireland. This would be a shot across the bow by Patrick, though, as the pagans were immediately at war with him. Patrick thought about a better approach, and carried on toward his old land of captivity.

Landing where he had been previous enslaved, Patrick ransomed his old master out of slavery. It was a message to all that he came to free the captives. From there, he travelled northward along the periphery of the islands preaching about God as he went.

The first miracle of St. Patrick had to do with the Incarnation. He was preaching on the honor due to the Blessed Virgin and the incarnation of God through Her. It was at Boyne.

THE ANNUNCIATION NOVENA. For this reason, I think it is fitting of the Church to have the feast of St. Patrick on the first day of the Annunciation Novena. Well, let’s face it, it must have pleased God, because March 17 is the day St. Patrick passed on, and that’s how his feast came to be this day. To honor this memory and interest of St. Patrick, take a look at saying the Annunciation Novena this year!

Patrick left a comrade there to continue to instruct the natives about God. He travelled north, ultimately being met by a chief named Dichu, who drew a sword to Patrick. His arm froze however and he was unable to strike Patrick. Patrick continued to treat him with kindness and ultimately the chief was overcome by his kindness and pledged obedience to Patrick. His arm was freed from that point. As a token of gratitude, Dichu gave Patrick a barn (in Erin) and this place was used by Patrick to have Mass and the sacraments.

The Final Confrontation with Pagan Sorcery

Patrick continued to preach and free people from the slavery of paganism. Pagans, you see, believe that they most constantly appease there gods (demons) or suffer penalties and death. It is the worst of slavery.

Dichu informed Patrick that a celebration of some feast in Tara, and at the capital of Ireland, with the Special Monarchs of paganism there. Patrick decided that was his chance to strike. I’m skipping all kinds of miracles and other events to get to the meat:  The ultimate confrontation occurred on Easter Sunday that year, March 26.

With the pagan feast underway in Tara, Patrick arrives on Holy Saturday, which was also the feast of the Annunciation that year (another reason the keep his feast on the start of the annunciation novena).

Patrick lights the fires of Easter vigil on the hillside. Apparently, there had been an edict by the druid king against such. So badly, that aides to the king gave him a demonic portent:  “If this fire is not extinguished tonight, this same fire shall forever burn in our land.”  The king agreed, and the druids and he went to extinguish it. They were unable to. Patrick and the blessed fire had been protected from all their assaults.

The next day, Patrick said Easter Mass, and while in procession (think he wearing his miter and carrying his crozier) and the trains of servers, including one carrying the book of the Gospels, they processed into Tara (where the pagans were assembled for their pagan feast). The Catholic Encyclopedia gives the recount thus:

The druids and magicians put forth all their strength and employed all their incantations to maintain their sway over the Irish race, but the prayer and faith of Patrick achieved a glorious triumph. The druids by their incantations overspread the hill and surrounding plain with a cloud of worse than Egyptian darkness. Patrick defied them to remove that cloud, and when all their efforts were made in vain, at his prayer the sun sent forth its rays and the brightest sunshine lit up the scene. Again by demoniac power the Arch-Druid Lochru, like Simon Magus of old, was lifted up high in the air, but when Patrick knelt in prayer the druid from his flight was dashed to pieces upon a rock.

From New Advent (see link below). And you thought it was all about snakes!  It was, but of the druid pagan high priest kind!

Today, faced with the errors of Russia (Theosophy and occult practices), St. Patrick is a great saint that should be honored and learned. I like the version of his prayer below.

The Prayer of St. Patrick’s Breastplate – composed to fight Druid Occultists

The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”, was composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text, and I have bolded the connections to the Annunciation and the pleas to God for deliverance from the evil snakes of druidic paganism and error:

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:

I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God’s Power to guide me,
God’s Might to uphold me,
God’s Wisdom to teach me,
God’s Eye to watch over me,
God’s Ear to hear me,
God’s Word to give me speech,
God’s Hand to guide me,
God’s Way to lie before me,
God’s Shield to shelter me,
God’s Host to secure me,

Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

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,

Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.


This version from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, is a direct transliteration of the old Irish in which is was written.

Say the prayer of St. Patrick, start the Annunciation Novena, and have a beer today to celebrate such a fantastic triumph over evil through St. Patrick!


St. Patrick, destroyer of druidic paganism in Ireland, pray for us!

This article, March 17 is Perfect for St. Patrick, don’t move this Feast! is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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