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ST. PATRICK'S

PRAYER BOOK.

BY

Rev. J. E. NOLAN, O.D.C.

PERMISSU SUPERIORUM.

DUBLIN: J. DUFFY & SONS, WELLINGTON QUAY.

1883.

10 TO THE MEMORY OF

JOHN MAC HALE,

ARCHBISHOP OF TUAM,

PRIEST, PATRIOT, AND POET,

FOREMOST LOVER OF HIS COUNTRY AND

HER LANGUAGE,

THIS MEMORIAL TO THE NAME OF

ST. PATRICK

IS RELIGIOUSLY DEDICATED,

PREFACE.

The mission of this Prayer Book is learning and piety. Its immediate object is to encouragethe study of Irish ; its remote (second in order of time, but first in order of merit), is to serve religion. To study Irish is a healthy mental exercise, and the acquisition of it, in addition to the language one speaks, is an accomplishment of a very high order. “A man that knows two languages is twice a man." The neglect of a national language is an index of national mental degradation. In Ireland the Irish language seems to be the only remaining sign by which our distinct nationality may be known, and that too has been nearly wiped out by internal causes and foreign influences. It is time lost to lament over the dead past, which may be remedied only by acting in the living present.

The spirit that is abroad in favour of the Irish language, from Philadelphia to Berlin, should stir up the national mind of Ireland (not proverbially lethargic) to a sense of national and religious duty-viz., the con. servation of her own language. From Cork to the Causeway, as from Dublin to Clifden, there is an innate love for the language of Ireland in the heart of every Irishman, which requires but little effort to be quickened into a practical external development. The language of Ireland is a golden vase in which are enshrined the precious deposit of our history, the traditions of our country, the abiding proofs of the high culture of the men of our race. To guard such a treasure is a pious duty—“THE CARE OF THE NATIONAL LANGUAGE IS A SACRLD TRUST."

Study, like many other human acts, taken in the abstract, is neither sinful nor meritorious. If this Prayer Book be used for study alone, it will fall very far short of its object ; but if studied “with a

; good intention,” it becomes meritorious, and will be the means of acquiring a higher and holier knowledge of God, not scholastic but devotional. Learning and piety should go hand in hand, help. ing each other as one brother helps another. “A brother who is helped by his brother is like a strong city'-Prov. xviii., 19. The city is the soul. Strengthen it by opposing learning and piety to the twin enemies, ignorance and irreligion,

Apocryphal prayers, like those condemned by the Church, find no place here. Of the latter class is the prayer said to be written by St. John the Evangelist, and found in the tomb of our Lord, to the recital of which the performance of won derful prodigies is foolishly attributed. From the Prayers at Mass are carefully excluded translations not only not permitted, but positively prohibited by Holy Church. And yet, notwithstanding these condemnations and conscience-binding prohibitions, both apocryphal and condemned prayers have found their way into Catholic Prayer Books of wide circulation, to the discredit of religion and spiritual loss of the faithful.

If the Morning or Evening Prayers be considered too short, the Hymn of St. Patrick, whose praise s in itself, a third part of the Rosary, or a Peni. tential Psalm, could be profitably added. The Litany of Jesus, as in the Morning Prayers, is approved by our Holy Father the Pope, and it is the only Litany of Jesus permitted to be publicly recited in the Church. The name of St. Patrick is inserted in the “Confiteor,” conformable to a practice of time immemorial amongst the Irish:

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