Saint Patrick is the Catholic Patron Saint of Ireland and people of Irish extraction. Born in Britain and taken to Ireland as a slave in the early 5th century, he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
He is generally depicted in bishop's robes with a curved staff (a crozier) in one hand. Often he will have a book in the other hand and will be shown gesturing toward some snakes in order to drive them away.
Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17th.
In the African Diasporic religion religion of Voodoo, which has been syncretized with Catholic practices, including the veneration of Catholic Church saints, Saint Patrick is associated with the lwa Damballa, whose image is a snake.
Devotees in search of strength and protection often say a special and very old prayer known as Saint Patrick's Breastplate, which may be found in the 9th century Book of Armagh.
A shortened popular version of this prayer is as follows:
"Christ be 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 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."
Related pages of interest:
- Catholic Patron Saints for various occupations and conditions
- Gods and Saints as Lucky Figures
- The Relationship between Luck, Protection, Religion, and Magic
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