St. Patrick’s Day Family Style

Come to find out, thanks to my mom’s steady and relentless genealogy research, there were many Irish grandmas on my husband’s side of the family.

Who knew, with such a Slovakian name as Ciskanik, there would be Dooleys, Fitzgeralds, and English relatives who married Irish women!

So this Italian girl resolved to find out all about  St. Patrick to infuse Irish history into our family homeschool. In my quest, however, I was dismayed at how far from the real story our culture had strayed, especially in our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  

St. Patrick was amazing, he was all about prayer! 

I became overwhelmed at the sheer number of prayers attributed to this holy man, not only ones he wrote, but also many that were inspired by him.  

homeschool mom praying

Prayer is central to our relationship with God. 

It is a comfort to me to know that even when St. Patrick strayed and forgot his early faith formation, when the real moment of truth came in his life, he turned to prayer.  

I really think that this was okay by God.

We usually forget Him, but when we really need Him, we begin our conversation of prayer.  St. Patrick must have learned how to be quiet and listen to God too!  

He most definitely had a two way conversation with God! He heard Him, obeyed Him, and prayed for the many souls he longed to send to Christ! Just read his “Confessio.” My own family made a Family Read Aloud Version of the “Confessio”  and put a copy in our St. Patrick’s Day Family Devotions and Activities Kit.

homeschool family st. patrick

Want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a true Catholic feast day?

Your homeschool is the PERFECT place to get to know the REAL St. Patrick. 

Forget the leprechauns, forget the pots of gold, instead learn the truly miraculous and inspiring story of this most beloved saint.

There is nothing out there to even come close to telling the REAL significance of St. Patrick and his contribution to the Irish people but to all Catholics.

I have written before about how hard it was to find good books for St. Valentine, the same goes for St. Patrick. 

There is much written about this beloved saint and many saint anthologies contain a brief synopsis of his life. Most know that he is the patron saint of Ireland and is most notably responsible for its conversion to Christianity….making Ireland become the land of “Saints and Scholars.”

There are numerous legends surrounding his life but the best way to come to know the true saint is through his own writing and in particular his testimonial,  his “Confessio”, which you can read aloud with your entire family!

Spend time in your homeschool learning about the beginnings of how St. Patrick’s Day celebrations came to be. You can also learn how to make and pray the chaplet prayer to St. Patrick. Perhaps make a few and give them out to family, friends, and neighbors.

You can even make reverent and beautiful faith-filled cards just like we do for St. Valentine’s Day.  They can be an invitation to prayer or a gift of your prayers. What a beautiful and yet so simple way to reclaim the richness of our Catholic traditions and feast days! If however, you are short on time or ideas, my family put together a beautiful St. Patrick’s Family Devotion and Activity kit you can use year after year! 

Each year in our family homeschool we dug deeper into our Irish heritage, such as learning all about Hedge schools, the colors and the symbolism attributed to the Irish and we especially enjoyed making homemade Irish Soda Bread!

And every year we would pull up this oldie but goody…your family can…

Watch as “Veggietales” explains the life and teachings of St. Patrick and how he used the power of prayer to bring the people of Ireland out of paganism and into relationship with the one true God!


homeschool mom and children

Learn New St. Patrick Prayers as a family

As I mentioned at the start St. Patrick was truly a man pf prayer! Doing a quick search resulted in literally dozens of prayers written by him or inspired by him asking for his intercession.

I offer these lovely gems to your family.



Keep us in peace, O Christ our God,
under the protection of Thy holy and venerable Cross:
save us from enemies visible and invisible
and account us worthy to glorify Thee with thanksgiving,
together with the Father,
and the Holy Ghost,
now and ever and world without end.

Have Faith Love Will Find You
Dear God, Committed love is a sacred treasure I long to find the one who is mine.
I trust you will grant my desires for love – to love of myself, and to find love with my true soul mate.
I trust you will bring this to me gently and sweetly, in a way that is completely right for me and my true love.
I give thanks for your presence, your guidance and your love. And so it is.

Prayer to St. Patrick, Patron of Ireland
Dear St. Patrick,
in your humility you called yourself a sinner,
but you became a most successful missionary
and prompted countless pagans
to follow the Saviour.
Many of their descendents in turn
spread the Good News in numerous foreign lands.
Through your powerful intercession with God,
obtain the missionaries we need
to continue the work you began.

Prayer about St. Patrick
God our Father,
you sent Saint Patrick to preach your glory to the people of Ireland.
By the help of his prayers,
may all Christians proclaim your love to all men.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Thanks for St. Patrick
O God, Who didst vouchsafe to send Thy Confessor and Bishop, Blessed Patrick, to preach Thy glory to the nations, grant, through his merits and intercession, that what Thou dost command us to do, we may, by Thy mercy, be enabled to perform. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Prayer for the Faithful by Saint Patrick
May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
– Against the snares of the evil one.
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.

An Irish prayer
As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
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,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone 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. Amen


St. Patrick’s Breastplate (ca. 389-461 AD.)
I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need: the wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward; the Word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard.
Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me,
Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me, Christ in the hearts of all that love me,
Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name, the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three, of Whom all nature hath creation; Eternal Father, Spirit, Word: praise to the Lord of my salvation, salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.
I bind myself to God’s power to guide me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to teach me, God’s Eye to watch over me, God’s Ear to hear me, God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to shelter me, God’s host to secure me…Against the snares of demons, against the seductions of vices, against the lusts of nature, against everyone who meditates injury to me, whether far or near, few or many.

How many of these prayers have you heard or prayed?

How are you going to spend St. Patrick’s Day from now on? Please comment below, so I can add more Irish heritage and traditions into my family!!

I keep you all in my heart and ask St. Patrick, please pray for us! 




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  1. Julia

    Well, this is our first St Patrick’s Day as Catholics! So we have 2 options and are trying to make the first one happen if at all possible:

    1. Venerate a first-class relic of St Patrick, himself, on his Feast Day at a Shrine almost 4 hours away after Mass.
    2. Attend our ICK parish which is St Patrick’s!

    So either way, we will be praying along with St Patrick! We have been invited to a St Patrick’s Day party with friends- with the whole family. It was that invitation that actually got me to think about how St Patrick’s Day has been relegated to parties, food, green beer and tacky green party attire. It just felt wrong. This is a major feast day for us, my husband comes from a long-line of Irish Catholics. He’s a 3rd generation *Patrick*, himself. My 4th Great-Grandmother was an Irish Immigrant. I just cannot imagine ever going back to an old way of thinking about the day- wear green, pinch someone who isn’t. Gorge yourself and watch as people drink in excess. My little girls and I have read a couple of books about Saint Patrick and how his color used to be Blue, not green. I didn’t know about the legend of him chasing the snakes out of Ireland. But after recent Irish events and a snake washing ashore in a timely fashion, I can’t help but really think there is truth to this *legend*. I guess I just want my children, and us as the parents, to know and understand that it’s more than just food and fun. We are called to a higher purpose, including prayer. It seems wrong, for me personally, to celebrate in what is basically a pagan celebration. All Catholicity seems to have been stripped. I just want us to put some of that Catholicity back into our lives and focus before heading out to gorge on cupcake and burgers. Coming in from outside of the Church, I see too many examples of Catholics giving up what makes them Catholic for something worldly- myself included. It’s my goal to try to live out the Liturgical Calendar a little bit better each and every year. This is how our family is attempting to make that happen this year!

    • Paola Ciskanik

      Thank you, thank you so much Julia (my daughter’s name, yay!) for sharing your amazing and lovely story! Welcome to the Catholic Church!! I know how you feel as I am a revert myself and so hungry for all the richness that comes from the Fullness of Truth! May God bless your pilgrim journey!St. Patrick pray for us!!


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