There was a time when Christianity was facing extinction through war, territorial disputes, and loss of faith. During that time, small pockets of the faithful hid away in monasteries in obscure parts of the world. Such as on the spike island of Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland, pictured above, or the Sümela Monastery, standing at the foot of a steep cliff facing the Altindere valley in modern-day Turkey.
In these places, the faithful wrote about Christ and even hand-copied the Bible over and over again to be sent into the world like a virus in an attempt to keep the word of God alive.
Unfortunately, books as you know practically self destruct over time, but for some reason, a few of the earliest have survived. One of these is the Liber Hymnorum or The Book of Hymns a collection of over 40 prayers and hymns in the ancient Irish and Latin languages. These works have been attributed to the great authors of the 5th-8th centuries, including Saint Patrick, Columba, Secundius, Ninine and Últan, the latest being Mael ísu.
The prayer you are about to read was transcribed by Mael ísu an Irish writer who died int 1086. What’s interesting is that he gives credit to the Holy Spirit as it’s author.
The Hymn of Mael-ísu
The Holy Spirit around us,
in us and with us,
the Holy Spirit to us,
may it come, o Christ, suddenly!
The Holy Spirit to inhabit
our body and our soul,
to protect us speedily
against peril, against disease!
Against demons, against sins,
against hell with many evils,
O Jesus, may it sanctify us,
may Thy Spirit free us!