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A lorica was an ancient piece of armor that acted like a breastplate to shield its wearer from physical danger. But to the Celts of early Ireland, a lorica was also an oral chant that the pagan Druid magicians believed invoked magical powers of protection for those saying it.

St. Patrick, the great missionary to Ireland whose life we celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day, wrote a “Lorica” asking for God’s protection from the forces of darkness, which were great in the pagan Ireland. Once while traveling to meet the king, Patrick and his envoy had been informed that an ambush awaited them. According to tradition, they chanted Patrick’s "Breastplate", and were able to pass the ambush seen only as wild deer followed by a fawn. From that event, Patrick’s Lorica also became know as “The Deer’s Cry.”

It’s a beautiful prayer: "Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity; by invocation of the same: The Three in One, and One in Three, of whom all nature has creation: Eternal Father, Spirit, Word, praise to the Lord of my salvation....

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