In the pagan darkness of 5th Century Ireland at Slane Hill in the Irish Church St Patrick sat in prayer. He had lit a candle. Candles and their illumination had been outlawed by the pagan High King Lóegaire who resided at the Court of Tara, opposite the Church.
The fire and the light reminded St Patrick of Christ, Redeemer and light of his life.
It was the eve of Easter, 433 A.D. and St. Patrick was determined to give glory to God that night.
And so began the hymn.
"Therefore, on that day when I was rebuked, as I have just mentioned, I saw in a vision of the night a document before my face, without honour, and meanwhile I heard a divine prophecy, saying to me: 'We have seen with displeasure the face of the chosen one divested of name.' And he did not say 'You have seen with displeasure', but 'We have seen with displeasure' (as if He included Himself) . He said then: 'He who touches you, touches the apple of my eye…