St. Patrick – Patron Saint of Engineering!

Engineering quietly underderpins our everyday lives; engineers themselves are highly skilled, critical thinkers and problem solvers, putting things right when they go wrong, making things work more efficiently.  Colloquially known as the “backroom crew”, we hardly know they are there but when things need fixing, improving, or creating, they quietly emerge from the shadows, get on with the task and then slip away!

It seems that Saint Patrick, their patron saint, exemplified so many of the characteristics of our perception of modern-day engineers; quiet, humble, thoughtful, and observant, always seeking the best way in which to do things.

As part of his ministry, Patrick worked tirelessly to spread Christianity throughout the British Isles.  He encouraged the building of new churches, steering builders away from the traditional practice of using dry masonry; instead, they used the advanced Roman engineering principle of building rounded arches by using lime mortar.

The legacy of St. Patrick in our churches is there for all to see, although there are few examples of Roman rounded arches still to be seen.

Nevertheless, next time we visit a church with arches and look at them, why not give thanks for St. Patrick, his skills and inspiration, and for all engineers, without whom, our lives would be very difficult to navigate.

There are many prayers for engineers, but this one seems to say it all …

Prayer for Engineers

Almighty Father,
You are the source of all wisdom, talents, and skills.
Thank you for these beautiful gifts, opportunities to serve you, and the work that you have entrusted to me.
Please open my heart and enlighten my mind, so that I may be fully in-tune with Your divine purpose in calling me to the engineering profession.
Lord God, You are the greatest engineer.
Please infuse me even with just the tiniest spark of Your Divine Wisdom so that as I do my work, it is really your work that is done.
Loving God, make my heart Your Heart, make my mind Your Mind, and make my hands Your Hands.
Make me your instruments, so that I may be always conscious and mindful of the fact that on my work depend the lives and properties of my fellow human. 
Bless me also with the gift of love and sensitivity to respect the people who build and use the products of my work.
This I ask in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

If you would like to know more about some of the wonderful, historic churches in the UK, please visit the website for The National Churches Trust.

The feature image for this post is a detail of a mosaic of St Patrick is in St Anne’s Cathedral in Leeds (P.D.)

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