One of Shadowlands' favourite hymns...
The Lorica of St. Patrick (From the 'Liber Hymnorum' - The Book of Hymns: a collection of forty hymns in Latin and Irish, almost all of Irish origin).
ST. PATRICK'S BREASTPLATESt. Patrick's Breastplate is a popular prayer attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. (The term breastplate refers to a piece of armor worn in battle.)
More recent scholarship suggests its author was anonymous. In any case, this prayer certainly reflects the spirit with which St. Patrick brought our faith to Ireland! St. Patrick's Breastplate, also known as The Lorica (the cry of the deer), was popular enough to inspire a hymn based on this text as well.
When St. Paul referred to putting on the “Armor of God” in his letter to the Ephesians (6:11) to fight sin and evil inclinations, he could have been thinking of prayers just like this one! We may not wear combat gear in our daily lives, but St. Patrick's Breastplate can function as divine armor for protection against spiritual adversity.