St Patrick's Day
17th March is celebrated widely both in Ireland, the UK and in the USA to mark St Patrick, First Bishop of Armagh and Patron Saint of Ireland.
Patrick was reputed to have been taken to Ireland as a slave, probably from Wales, and became Ireland's first and greatest Apostle, travelling the whole island to teach the gospel and preach against paganism. Tradition holds that Ireland has no snakes because of a miracle carried out by Patrick.
He died in approximately 461, aged over seventy, and is remembered by the shamrock, worn on this day around the world to honour him.
Patrick founded many churches and monasteries, and his seat at Armagh became the centre of Christianity in Ireland. His main concern was to exalt the name of the Triune God.
This prayer comes from the Northumbria Community's Patrick Compline:
The God of life with guarding hold you;
the loving Christ with guarding fold you;
the Holy Spirit, guarding, mould you;
each night of life to aid, enfold you;
each day and night of life uphold you.
May God shield me;
may God fill me;
may God keep me;
may God watch me'
may God bring me this night
to the nearness of His love.