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Her Story

St. Brigid

St Brigid is one of the Patron Saints of Ireland, along with St Patrick and St Columcille. She is also known as Mary of the Gael or Muire na nGael (Our Lady of the Irish)

St Brigid was born and died on the same date -1st February. She was born in Dundalk, Ireland in 451 and died in 525. St Brigid was the founder of the first monastery in County Kildare, Ireland. Her father was a pagan chieftain of Leinster and her mother was a Christian slave, and Brigid was born into slavery. Her pagan father named her after the Celtic goddess of fire.

She lived at about the same time as St. Patrick, and he inspired her to deepen her faith and spread the word of God.  St. Brigid went on to organize religious communities for women all over Ireland

As she grew older, Brigid was said to have performed miracles, including healing and feeding the poor. According to one tale, as a child, she once gave away her mother’s entire store of butter. The butter was then replenished in answer to Brigid’s prayers. Around the age of ten, she was returned as a household servant to her father, where her habit of charity led her to donate his belongings to anyone who asked.

One of the more commonly told stories is of Brigid asking the King of Leinster for land. She told the king that the place where she stood was the perfect spot for a convent. It was beside a forest where the members could collect firewood and berries, there was a lake nearby that would provide water and the land was fertile. The king laughed at her and refused to give her any land. Brigid prayed and asked God to soften the king’s heart. Then she smiled at the king and said, “Will you give me as much land as my cloak will cover?” The king thought that she was joking and agreed. She told four of her sisters to take up the cloak, but instead of laying it flat on the turf, each sister, with face turned to a different point of the compass, began to run swiftly, the cloth growing in all directions. The cloak began to cover many acres of land. The king fell to the ground and knelt before Brigid and promised her money, food and supplies. 

Brigid founded many convents all over Ireland; the most famous one was in Co. Kildare. It is said that this convent was built beside an oak tree where the town of Kildare now stands.

Proud Irish Heritage. St Brigid.

Click here to read about more stories about St. Brigid from the children of 1930’s Ireland.
In their own words….

St. Brigid’s Cross

The distinctive St. Brigid’s Cross design, made from woven rushes, is thought to keep evil, fire and hunger from the homes in which it is displayed,

St Brigid was by the sick bed of a dying pagan chieftain, possibly her father, soothing him with stories about her faith and her unwavering trust in God. She began telling the story of Christ on the Cross, picking up rushes from the ground to make a cross. Before his death, the chieftain asked to be baptised.

1st Day of Spring

St, Brigid’s feast day on February 1st marks the first day of spring and it is the season when we celebrate hope and new life on Earth.

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