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 Waterford & Lismore Diocese / YouTube

WATERFORD, Ireland, March 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) ― An Irish bishop walked through the almost empty streets of his city, carrying a monstrance.

Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore, 60, was filmed carrying the Blessed Sacrament through the shuttered streets. This is a relatively quiet and sad St. Patrick’s Day in the Republic of Ireland because 292 cases of the coronavirus have been reported there. The Irish Times remarked that this “must be the strangest St Patrick’s Day [Waterford City] has ever experienced.”

Cullinan is among the Irish bishops who have suspended public Masses.

“Masses throughout the diocese will take place without the congregation physically present, therefore no public masses,” he said last week.

“Your local priest will celebrate daily Mass offering it up for your intentions and indeed for the whole country.”

“Bishop Phonsie” also filmed a special St. Patrick’s Day message for his diocese, in which he sings a hymn to Ireland’s patron saint.

“We won’t have public Mass today, at least in most dioceses,” he told viewers, “and there won’t be any parades. But you and I, we can celebrate. Despite all that’s going on, we can celebrate our national patron saint, St. Patrick.”

Cullinan described the difficult life and mission of St. Patrick and said he is an inspiration for the Irish in their struggle against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“What an inspiration for all of us … as we battle with this crisis before us,” he remarked.

Cullinan finished his message with a recitation of part of a long prayer composed by St. Patrick. Known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” and “Dear’s Cry,”  the prayer is particularly apropos in a time of trial:

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.