Irish Prayers and Blessings for St. Patrick’s Day

With all the shamrocks, corned beef, and green decorations surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, it’s easy to lose sight of the spiritual truths behind the holiday. After all, he’s known as “Saint Patrick,” right?

That’s why I’ve put together some of the very best St. Patrick’s Day prayers and blessings to help you celebrate the meaning of this day!

St. Patrick prayers

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Who was St. Patrick?

Although some of the details behind St. Patrick’s life are a little unclear, we do have a pretty good outline of his life and ministry.

Patrick was likely born around 390 A.D. on the western coast of Britain. He was born to a wealthy family and was raised in the Christian Church.

His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a presbyter (elder) in the church.

​At the age of 16, somewhere around the year 406 A.D, Irish raiders invaded Patrick’s British village. Patrick was taken captive and sold into slavery in Ireland, where he worked as a shepherd.

Although he was raised in the church, it was only during his captivity that Patrick actually came to personally embrace the Christian faith. In his Confession, Patrick wrote:

And there [in Ireland] the Lord opened the understanding of my unbelieving heart that I might at last remember my sins and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my miserable state, and had mercy on my youth and ignorance, and watched over me before I knew him, and before I was able to distinguish between good and evil, and guarded me and comforted me as would a father to his son.

While in captivity, Patrick frequently fasted and prayed.

In fact, he wrote that he prayed up to 100 times each day, as well as praying frequently during the night. That’s a lot of prayers!

St. Patrick the shepherd

After six years of slavery, Patrick escaped and returned to his native Britain. He then had a dream or vision of a man asking him to return to Ireland as a Christian missionary.

Somewhere in the time period of 410s to 420s A.D., Patrick received theological training in Britain, which included intensive study of the Bible.

He then returned to Ireland around 430 A.D.—this time not as an unwilling captive, but as a willing servant of Jesus Christ.

Patrick is believed to have served as the first Bishop of Ireland, where, in his words, he ministered to people who did not know Got but had instead “always worshiped idols and filthy things.”

He wrote that there were many thousands of converts during his ministry in Ireland.

Patrick is believed to have died around 460 A.D.

Two of my favorite books about St. Patrick are Patrick of Ireland: His Life and Impact and Patrick of Ireland, which is written for young readers.

I also put together some St. Patrick’s Day trivia questions and answers.

Prayers of St. Patrick

Since Patrick was a Christian minister, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the things he said and wrote centered around Christian themes.

As far as we know, there are only two surviving documents actually penned by Patrick.

The first is his Confession, which is his autobiography. The other is a short letter of protest to a British chieftain who violently took slaves from a community where Patrick had preached.

We don’t have many prayers that are confirmed to have actually been written by Patrick. But in his Confession we find this beautiful passage, which is worth quoting at length:

So I’ll never stop giving thanks to my God, who kept me faithful in the time of my temptation. I can today with confidence offer my soul to Christ my Lord as a living victim [sacrifice] . He is the one who defended me in all my difficulties. I can say: Who am I, Lord, or what is my calling, that you have worked with me with such divine presence? This is how I come to praise and magnify your name among the nations all the time, wherever I am, not only in good times but in the difficult times too. Whatever comes about for me, good or bad, I ought to accept them equally and give thanks to God. He has shown me that I can put my faith in him without wavering and without end. However ignorant I am, he has heard me, so that in these late days I can dare to undertake such a holy and wonderful work. In this way I can imitate somewhat those whom the Lord foretold would announce his gospel in witness to all nations before the end of the world. This is what we see has been fulfilled. Look at us: we are witnesses that the gospel has been preached right out to where there is nobody else there!

Another prayer found in the Confession includes this touching request,

May God not let it come about that I would suffer the loss of His people who have become His in the furthermost parts of the earth.

St. Patrick preaching

Later, in his Confession, Patrick writes,

I pray that God give me perseverance, and that he grant me to bear faithful witness to him right up to my passing from this life, for the sake of my God.

Other than the prayers found in his Confession, we don’t have any others that are confirmed as having been actually written by St. Patrick.

Traditional Prayer of St. Patrick

The most famous prayer attributed to St. Patrick likely wasn’t written by him at all!

Or at least it has been modified over the years with additions and rewording.

The actual author(s) of this prayer is unknown. But the words still clearly reflect a desire for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the strength of Christ.

Some of the wording may sound foreign to our modern ears. But it reflects many of the themes of biblical Christianity regarding spiritual battle and orthodox doctrine.

Here’s the most popular prayer commonly held to come from Patrick, traditionally known as St. Patrick’s Prayer. 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.
I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
From snares of the devil,
From temptations of vices,
From every one who desires me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women [witches] and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that reward may come to me in abundance.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

Irish Prayers and Blessings for St. Patrick’s Day

In addition to prayers traditionally attributed to Patrick, there are other Irish blessings that are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.


Here are a few of my favorite Irish prayers and blessings.

May your days be many and your troubles be few.

May all God’s blessings descend upon you.

May peace be within you, may your heart be strong.

May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.

May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us.

May the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us.

May thy Salvation, O Lord, be always ours this day and for evermore.


irish blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm on your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back,
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the sky above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.


May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

More St. Patrick’s Day Inspiration

Closing Thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day Prayers

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these prayers and Irish blessings associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

While there are a lot of legends surrounding St. Patrick, history tells us he was a Christian leader who faithfully served the people of Ireland for many years.

​Although we don’t have many written prayers confirmed to have come from Patrick, his Confession is a rich source of information about his life and faith.

Here is another powerful prayer attributed to Patrick that has been a blessing to many:

I bind myself today:

To the power of Guide to guide me.

To the might of God to uphold me.

To the wisdom of God to teach me.

The eye of God to watch over me.

The ear of God to hear me.

The word of God to speak to me.

The way of God to lie before me.

The host of God to defend me.


May these prayers and blessings increase your faith and help you draw closer to the God whom Patrick loved and served.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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