The stories told on these pages are from  a collection of folklore compiled by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s. 
The children recorded (over&nbsp740,000 handwritten pages) of this material from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.

These are their stories in their own words.

St. Brigid – Emblems and Objects of Value

SCHOOL: Loughill, Longford | ADDRESS: Laughil, Co. Longford

Saint Brigid of Ireland -Proud Irish heritage and customs
Saint Brigid of Ireland

St Brigid’s crosses are made nearly in all parts of the country. They are made on the evening before St Brigid’s day and blessed on St Brigid’s day. They are made of rushes.

It was St Brigid made the first rush cross and there is a story connected with it. Here it is.
One day while St Brigid was in a Convent in the County Mayo. She was with a number of other Sisters. They were out walking. St Brigid said she wanted to visit a house some distant off. She and another started on their way.

Before they got back the foggy dark night fell. They saw a light some distance off and they went to it to enquire the way. It happened to be the house of a pagan.

They were greeted cheerfully and asked inside. St Brigid said she would like a drink, that she was thirsty.

St Brigid wore a Cross on her breast. The man and woman of the house had a whisper and the woman asked St Brigid if she would like another drink, and she said she did not mind. This time the women went to the room to get the drink.

Just as St Brigid was about to take some of the drink an angel appeared to her and told her that the drink was poisoned.

There were rushes on the floor and St Brigid stooped down and pick up one and formed a cross of it. She put one end of the cross in to the drink and whatever poison was in the drink came out on the rush. She then drank it and asked the woman why did she want to poison her.

The woman almost fainted at this and admitted she wanted to get the cross and fell at the feet of St Brigid and asked pardon.

St Brigid forgave her and said (blessed) “whoever shall make a rush cross and have it blessed in honour of my escaping from been poisoned they shall have good luck and die a happy death”.


The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0768, Page 334” by Dúchas © National Folklore Collection, UCD is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

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