On February 1st, 2021 we celebrate the feast of Saint Brigid of Kildare (Church of the Oak) who along with Patrick and Colmcille/Columba is one of the three principal patrons of our Island.
Brigid had a burning desire to help the poor and the sick, but her father tried to dissuade her. Despite this, she prevailed and is famous for her generosity, hospitality and openness. Many miracles and healings are attributed to her. She was anointed by Saint Patrick for ministry and leadership. She is noted for her courage as leader and founder of Kildare monastery.
The story of the origin of Saint Brigid’s Cross stands out. Brigid was nursing an old pagan chieftain as he lay dying. She spoke to him of the sufferings Christ endured for our sake as she wove a cross from rushes. He was persuaded by her words, her tone and the light of faith, which shone in her and he converted to Christ. The tradition of making Saint Brigid’s Crosses is still part of the celebration of her feast day.
One thing is certain, she brought healing to those who were most in need. In everything she followed the example of her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She evangelised by her good deeds and despite many trials she remained true to the Gospel of Christ
Like Mary the mother of Jesus and many holy women, she had great inner strength and a listening heart.
Brigid, woman of grace
Generous of spirit
Overflowing in hospitality for your King
Strong girl / woman
Pure in heart
Fine example of goodness and honour
Full of the Holy Spirit.
In the power of the love of Christ
We go forth to bring the good news to the poor.
We give thanks for your powerful example of this ministry.
Brigid saw Jesus in the face of everyone she met. Let us try in our daily lives to do the same.
Food for Thought
We ask ourselves, if Brigid were alive today what issues would she be addressing in her local area and beyond?
What can I do to serve the needs of my local Community?
Who is my local saint, what gifts did he / she have and what can I learn from their lives that I could apply to today’s world?
Ann McCay is a founding member of The Columba Community. She is a singer and composer of sacred songs and was leader of Saint Eugene’s Cathedral Folk Choir for twenty-six years.