The Boondock Saints Prayer - Meaning of Shepherds Prayer

boondock saints prayer

Boondock Saints Prayer

And shepherds we shall be. For thee, my Lord, for thee.

Power hath descended forth from thy hand that our feet may swiftly carry out thy command.

So we shall flow a river forth to thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.

E nomini patri, et Fili e spiritu sancti.

Boondock Saints Prayer Meaning

The main characters of the film, Connor and Murphy McManus, receive a message from God instructing them to “destroy all that which is evil…so that which is good may flourish.”

Then, they embark upon a misson to follow God’s direction.

During a popular scene in the movie, the McManus brothers recite the “Family Prayer” together.

Roughly, the prayer means that they are shepherds of the people for God and their power was sent from his hand. They promise to follow his directions and send him the sinners. The prayer ends with a line in Latin which means: “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Another phrase which appears frequently in the film is: “Veritas Aequitas.” This Latin phrase means “truth and justice.”

It can be found in Isaiah 59:14 of the Latin Vulgate bible:

"et conversum est retrorsum iudicium et iustitia longe stetit quia corruit in platea veritas et aequitasnon potuit ingredi"

Isaiah 59:14 (KJV) translation:

"And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter."

Cultural Influence

The Boondock Saints has become a bit of a cult phenomenon. Many people have bought the movie since it’s release, and posters of this prayer hang on many dorm room walls. Dudes tend to think it’s pretty bad ass.

Also, many people have gotten the Boondock prayer as a tattoo.

boondock-saints-prayer

Origin of the Boondock Saints Prayer

The prayer was written by the director of the movie, Troy Duffy. Although the prayer is not found in the bible, it may be based on scripture.

For example, Ezekiel 25:17 says:

"And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them."

This bible verse describes the punishment inflicted by God on sinners for their behavior. The Boondock Saints prayer reflects this sentiment as well.

The only line from the Boondock Saints prayer which appears in the bible is the last line which says: “E nomini patri, et Fili e spiritu sancti.”

This phrase is Latin and is frequently used by Catholic priests during prayer. It can be found in Matthew 28:19-20 of the Latin Vulgate Bible. It reads as follows:

euntes ergo docete omnes gentes baptizantes eos in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti docentes eos servare omnia quaecumque mandavi vobis et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus usque ad consummationem saeculi

This line means “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” It can also be found in Matthew 28:19-20 of the King James bible (KJV):

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Boondock Saints Prayer in English

“And shepherds we shall be,
For Thee, my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

Boondock Saints Prayer in Latin

Only the last line of the prayer was spoken in latin:

“And shepherds we shall be,
For Thee, my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
“In nomine Patris et Filii et Sancti Spiritus.

Then there were other latin words used like Veritas Aequitas  which means Truth and Justice

Boondock Saints Prayer in Irish Gaelic Celtic

Agus beimid inár n-aoirí
ar do shonsa, a Thiarna, ar do shonsa,
tá cumhacht tagtha anuas ó do lámh
ionas go gcomhlíonadh ár gcosa do thoil go tapaidh.
Sruthóimid ar aghaidh mar abhainn chugat
Agus plódaithe le hanamacha a bheidh sí go deo.

In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic, agus an Spioraid Naomh

Is the Boondock Saints Prayer in the Bible?

No. This prayer does not exist in the bible.  Actually the only portion of this prayer that has anything to do with the bible is the last line.

There was a section of the movie where scripture was quoted by Il Dulce.  Specifially, (Deuteronomy 32:41-KJV) “If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.”

Some have said that the prayer was losely based on (Ezekiel 25:17 – KJV) “And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.”

Regardess, Christianity or Catholicism is not based on killing others as vengeance from God and this was the premise of the movie.

We hope this clears things up for those of you that wanted to know the origin of the Boondock Saints Family Prayer.

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