Today, the 17th, marks the date the church in many places commemorate a very famous Christian Roman.. Patrick, first bishop of Ireland.
I've always admired Patrick's Breastplate. Its verses remind me of a litany of prayers. I encourage you to listen to or sing along with the beautiful version written at the end of the 19th century based on an old Gaelic poem called Lorica. It is one I've enjoyed for years.
Dr Toon of the Prayer Book Society says the version at the following link is a literal translation of the poem. The last verses follow which I will often use after morning prayer. You can see the entire thing here.. quite good!
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.
Although Patrick has no place on our centurion roster as a soldier, he was captured by a raiding party from Ireland and enslaved, so he is in kind a prisoner of war in that on-going conflict between the Celts and Romans in the late 5th Century. This page gives a good history of Patrick including two letters dated from the 5th century ascribed to Patrick
Patrick's blessing is hard to beat for this special day in the church
in fide et in bello fortis
ps. our military historians may enjoy this nice little two-page site on the wars between Romans and the Celts . Some good reenactment pictures of the Celtic warriors.