March 17th, Feast of St. Patrick
St. Patrick, though born in Scotland, is the Patron Saint of Ireland. At the young of sixteen, he was captured by Irish pirates and taken to the land of the pagan druids. During his six years of slavery, St. Patrick learned the Celtic language as well as many of the details of the druidic religion and culture. This would serve him well when he returned to convert the land to the true Faith.
After escaping from slavery, St. Patrick went to England and there studied for the priesthood. Being ordained a bishop, St. Patrick requested of Pope Celestine I that he be sent back to Ireland, this time not as a slave but as an Apostle! Returning to pagan Ireland, St. Patrick preached the Gospel throughout the land.
St. Patrick’s “Lorica” [i.e. Deer Cry] or “Breastplate” refers to the prayer for divine protection which St. Patrick offered in preparation for his participation in the victory of Christ over paganism in Ireland