Feast of St Brigid

Some resources you may like to use.

Saint Brigid    February 1 

St Brigid’s Day coincides with the Celtic festival of Imbolc, the first day of Spring.  Though meteorologists always dispute this assertion, there is no denying the lengthening days and the early signs of new life are the harbingers of Spring.  (Dr Ger Conden kindly sent me these short notes)

            Brigid was reputedly born in 450AD, at Faughart, County Louth, the daughter of a petty chieftain called, Dubhthach.  Her mother, Brocca, was said to have been baptised by St Patrick.  She was a generous child, giving away her father’s supply of butter to the poor, much to his annoyance.  But the Lord duly compensated the family by miraculously increasing the milk-yield of their cows.  
            She went on to evangelise (bring the Gospel) to the central plain of Ireland, especially Kildare, which became home to her most important foundation, a “double monastery” made up of both nuns and monks.  She is said to have passed from this life on February 1, 525.  Her fame spread throughout Europe in the 8th and 9th centuries.  There are nineteen ancient English churches named after our secondary patron, including St Bride’s in London. 

Her mantle (cloak) is preserved at Bruges in Belgium.    

A local faith /folk custom:        
Brat Bhríde / Brigid’s mantle:  Leave a piece of cloth on a nearby hedge on the eve (January 31) of St Brigid’s day.  Take it inside the next morning and use the cloth as an aid to prayer whenever there is an illness in your house, 

Faoi choimirce Bhríde go mbeidh tú  
– may you be under Brigid’s protection

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