16 March, 2007
The Fáed Fíada
The Lorica is also known as the "Deer's Cry" or the Fáed Fíada in Irish Gaelic (a much prettier name, no?). This name comes from an old tradition about the prayer's origin. St. Patrick, they say, along with a few companions, was on his way to preach at the court of the an Irish king, Laoghhaire. God knew that a converted Ireland would be the salvation of the Western World during the Dark Ages, so He wasn't about to allow it's chief converter to become a martyr, however much St. Patrick may have wished to be one. So God let Patrick know in a dream that Druids were hiding by the roadside, waiting to beat the travellers to a convenient pulp (Druids and many other ancient pagans seemed to be able to stomach Christians more easily in liquid form). Patrick, being both holy and clever, chanted the Lorica with his followers. As they passed by the Druids, the bewildered would-be murderers saw only a doe and twenty fawns passing down the road. Fortunately, the aforesaid ambushers must have already had a good lunch, considering that they obviously weren't in a mood for venison.