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Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

March 16, 2021 | Kelly McLoughlin

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

As far as I know I do not have any official Irish heritage. I have not ever done one of the ancestry kits. However, my Dad always made us think we were an Irish family. He loved all things Irish. One of his favorite things to say rather than hello when he greeted people was “Top of the Morning to you”.

Dad always was a larger-than-life kind of person and anything he told a person you just kind of took as truth, even if it was made up. He had me convinced that I was most definitely Irish since my name is Kelly. He would always walk around singing “when Irish eyes are smiling”. He was thrilled when I married someone who actually was of Irish heritage. I even gained a “real” Irish last name of McLoughlin when I married my husband Mark.

His “Irishness” was a year around thing but, of course on St. Patrick’s Day we really celebrated at our house. With today being St. Patrick’s Day my Dad is on my mind and I am missing him more than I normally do.

My Dad grew up without a faith foundation from my Grandparents. When he met my Mom, who was Catholic, he converted to Catholicism. I always thought he did that as a gesture of his love for her.

He shared with me once that when he was studying to be Catholic before they were married, he was so impressed by one aspect of our Catholic faith. He said he loved that when he went to Mass on the aircraft carrier and Mom was going to Mass on the same Sunday back in her small town of South Dakota that they were listening to the same readings. He thought that was so awesome.

My Dad’s faith also developed an Irish flair and he loved Irish blessings and prayers. I am sharing two of his favorites with you in honor of my Dad, Charlie Hazard (Honorary Irishman), and as a reflection for all of us this St. Patrick’s Day.

Dad had a large, framed print of this Irish blessing hanging in our living room.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Dad also loved the prayer of St. Patrick’s Breastplate.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with 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 the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of 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 shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose 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 witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

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 when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.