A few have the line referring to Jordan although there seems to be no such original reference (whatever 'original' may be).
The Old (all right an old) tradition has it, that Saint Patrick and his companion missionaries were to travel to the court of King Laoghhaire. Along the way, waiting in ambush, were druid or druid henchmen who intended to attack and kill Saint Patrick and all his followers.
As Patrick and his companions walked, they chanted the Lorica. When they passed the would-be attackers, they appeared as a doe and twenty fawns - hence the title.
Did Saint Patrick actually write the Lorica? There, apparently, is no way for us to know - definitively. As Thomas Cahill so well puts it "Characteristics of the language would assign it to the seventh, or even to the eighth, century. On the other hand, it is Patrician1 to the core...The earliest expression of European vernacular poetry, it is, in attitude, the work of a Christian druid, a man of both faith and magic."
1Cahill means 'of, or related to, Saint Patrick'.
So, decide for yourself. We think Cahill guides us well when he says: "If Patrick did not write it (at least in its current form), it surely takes its inspiration from him."
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 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 obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, 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 way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.
I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose
my body and my soul,
against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning, against drowning,
against wounding, so that there may come 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 in breadth, Christ in length,
Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man 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.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
As moving as the lorica is, it leaves me thinking to lighten up the mood a bit. So, toward that end here is a poetical explanation for the date (March 17th) we choose to celebrate the good saint himself.
St. Patrick's Birthday
On the eighth day of March it was, some people say,
That Saint Patrick at midnight first saw the day.
While others declare 'twas the ninth he was born,
And 'twas all a mistake between midnight and morn;
For mistakes will occur in a hurry and shock,
and some blam'd the babby—and some blam'd the clock--
Till with all their cross questions sure no one could know
If the child was too fast—or the clock was too slow.
Now the first faction fight in old Ireland, they say,
Was all on account of Saint Patrick's birthday.
Some fought for the eighth—for the ninth more would die,
And who wouldn't see right, sure they blacken'd his eye!
At last both the factions so positive grew,
That each kept a birthday, so Pat then had two.
Till Father Mulcahy, who confessed them their sins,
Said, "Ye can't have two birthdays, unless ye be twins."
Says he, "Don't be fightin' for eight or for nine,
Don't be always dividin'—but sometimes combine;
Combine eight with nine, and seventeen is the mark,
So let that be his birthday." "Amen," says the clerk.
"If he wasn't a twins, sure our hist'ry will show
That, at least, he is worth any two saints that we know!"
Then they all drowned the shamrock—which completed their bliss,
And we keep up the practice from that day to this.
(Edited and adapted from Dick's Irish Dialect Recitations, Wm. B. Dick, Editor, New York, Dick & Fitzgerald, Publisher, 1879)
His HOLINESS Pius IX., of Blessed Memory, granted a special indulgence
to all the Faithful of Ireland who devoutly recited it.
With the Approbation of His Eminence McCloskey, 1880
This Litany dates back to the middle of the eighth century.
O Great Mary,
Pray for us. *
O Mary, the greatest of Mary’s, *
O Most exalted among women, *
Queen of the Angels, *
Empress of the Heavens, *
Woman replete and overflowing with the grace of the Holy Ghost, *
Blessed and thrice Blessed, *
Mother of eternal glory, *
Mother of the heavenly and earthly Church, *
Mother of love and mercy, *
Mother of the golden effulgence, *
Honour of the sky, *
Harbinger of peace, *
Gate of Heaven, *
Golden Ark, *
Couch of charity and indulgence, *
Shrine of the Divinity, *
Beauty of the Virgins, *
Lady-Chief of the tribes, *
Fountain of the gardens, *
Cleansing of sins, *
Purifying of souls, *
Mother of the orphans, *
Refuge of the poor, *
Star of the sea, *
Handmaid of God, *
Mother of Christ, *
Abode of the Godhead, *
Graceful as the dove, *
Serene like the moon, *
Resplendent like the sun, *
Thou who dost cancel Eve's disgrace, *
Perfection of women, *
Head of the Virgins, *
Garden enclosed, *
Fountain ever-refreshing, *
Mother of God, *
Perpetual Virgin, *
Holy Virgin, *
Prudent Virgin, *
Comely Virgin, *
Chaste Virgin, *
Temple of the Living God, *
Royal Throne of the Eternal King, *
Sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, *
Virgin of the root of Jesse, *
Cedar of Mount Lebanon, *
Cypress of Mount Sion, *
Crimson rose of the land of Jacob, *
Blooming like the palm, *
Fruitful like the olive, *
Glorious son bearer, *
Light of Nazareth, *
Glory of Jerusalem, *
Beauty of the world, *
Noblest born of the Christian fold, *
O Queen of life, *
O Ladder of Heaven, *
Hear the petition of the poor; spurn not the wounds and the groans of the miserable.
Let our devotion and our sighs be carried through thee to the presence of the Creator, for we are not ourselves worthy of being heard because of our evil deserts.
O powerful Queen of heaven and earth, wipe out our trespasses and our sins.
Cancel our wickedness and depravity.
Raise the fallen, the miserable, and the fettered. Loose the condemned. Repair through thyself the faults of our unworthiness and our iniquity. Bestow upon us through, thyself the brightness and ornaments of good actions and virtues. Appease for us the Judge by thy prayers and thy supplications. Allow us not, for mercy sake, to be carried off from thee among the spoils of our enemies. Allow not our souls to be condemned, but take us to thyself for ever under thy protection.
We, moreover, beseech and pray thee, O Holy Mary, to obtain, through thy great power with thy only Son, that is, with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, that He may guard us from all dangers and temptations. Obtain also for us from the God of all creatures, the forgiveness and remission of all our sins and trespasses; and may we receive from Him further, through thy intercession, the everlasting dwelling in the heavenly kingdom, through all eternity, in the presence of the saints and the saintly virgins of the world: which may we deserve, may we enjoy, in saecula seculorum. Amen.
All praise to Saint Patrick, who brought to our mountains
The gift of God's faith, the sweet light of His love!
All praise to the shepherd who showed us the fountains
That rise in the heart of the Savior above!
For hundreds of years, in smiles and in tears,
Our Saint has been with us, our shield and our stay;
All else may have gone, Saint Patrick alone,
He hath been to us light when earth's lights were all set,
For the glories of Faith they can never decay;
And the best of our glories is bright with us yet,
In the faith and the feast of Saint Patrick's Day.
There is not a Saint in the bright courts of heaven;
More faithful than he to the land of his choice;
Oh, well may the nation to whom he was given,
In the feast of their sire and apostle rejoice!
In glory above, true to his love,
He keeps the false faith from his children away:
The dark false faith, that is worse than death,
Oh! he drives it far off from the green sunny shore,
Like the reptiles which fled from his curse in dismay;
And Erin, when error's proud triumph is o'er,
Will still be found keeping Saint Patrick's Day.
Then what shall we do for thee, heaven-sent Father?
What shall the proof of our loyalty be?
By all that is dear to our hearts, we would rather
Be martyred, sweet Saint! than bring shame upon thee!
But oh! he will take the promise we make,
So to live that our lives by God's help may display
The light that he bore to Erin's shore:
Yes, Father of Ireland! no child wilt thou own,
Whose life is not lighted by grace on its way;
For they are true Irish, oh yes! they alone,
Whose hearts are all true on Saint Patrick's Day.