Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Gaelic, Hebrews 10:32-39, Psalms 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40, Mark 4:26-34, Saint Brigid of Ireland , Brigids Cross, Kildare Ireland, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 Intro: The Creeds

Friday, February 1, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Gaelic, Hebrews 10:32-39, Psalms 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40, Mark 4:26-34, Saint Brigid of Ireland , Brigids Cross, Kildare Ireland, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 Intro: The Creeds 

Good Day Bloggers!  Happy Mardi Gras!
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


January 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May your prayer be as strong as a living stone, until with your lives you become witnesses. Witness the beauty of your faith. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
January 02, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
 "Dear children, with much love and patience I strive to make your hearts like unto mine. I strive, by my example, to teach you humility, wisdom and love because I need you; I cannot do without you my children. According to God's will I am choosing you, by His strength I am strengthening you. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. I will give them to my Son and in return, He will give you the gift of Divine peace. You will carry it to all those whom you meet, you will witness God's love with your life and you will give the gift of my Son through yourselves. Through reconciliation, fasting and prayer, I will lead you. Immeasurable is my love. Do not be afraid. My children, pray for the shepherds. May your lips be shut to every judgment, because do not forget that my Son has chosen them and only He has the right to judge. Thank you."


Today's Word:  Gaelic   Gael·ic  [gey-lik]

Origin: 1590–1600; Gael + -ic (representing Scots Gaelic Gaidhlig,  derivative of Gaidheal Gael)

1. a Celtic language that includes the speech of ancient Ireland and the dialects that have developed from it, especially those usually known as Irish, Manx, and Scots Gaelic. gaelic constitutes the Goidelic subbranch of Celtic. Abbreviation:  Gael
2. of or in Gaelic.
3. of or pertaining to the Gaels or their language.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40

3 Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your home in the land and live secure.
4 Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart's desires.
5 Commit your destiny to Yahweh, be confident in him, and he will act,
6 making your uprightness clear as daylight, and the justice of your cause as the noon.
23 Yahweh guides a strong man's steps and keeps them firm; and takes pleasure in him.
24 When he trips he is not thrown sprawling, since Yahweh supports him by the hand.
39 The upright have Yahweh for their Saviour, their refuge in times of trouble;
40 Yahweh helps them and rescues them, he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in him.


Today's Epistle -  Hebrews 10:32-39

32 Remember the great challenge of the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days;
33 sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to humiliations and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way.
34 For you not only shared in the sufferings of those who were in prison, but you accepted with joy being stripped of your belongings, knowing that you owned something that was better and lasting.
35 Do not lose your fearlessness now, then, since the reward is so great.
36 You will need perseverance if you are to do God's will and gain what he has promised.
37 Only a little while now, a very little while, for come he certainly will before too long.
38 My upright person will live through faith but if he draws back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.
39 We are not the sort of people who draw back, and are lost by it; we are the sort who keep faith until our souls are saved.


Today's Gospel Reading - Mark 4, 26-34

Jesus said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, at once he starts to reap because the harvest has come.' He also said, 'What can we say that the kingdom is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.' Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were by themselves.


• It is always beautiful to see Jesus, who sought in life and in events, new elements and images which could help people to perceive and experience the presence of the Kingdom In today’s Gospel, once again, he narrates two brief stories which take place every day in the life of all of us: “The story of the seed that grows by itself” and “the story of the small mustard seed which grows into the biggest shrub”.

• The story of the seed which grows alone. The farmer who plants knows the process: seed, the green sprout, leaf, spike, grain. The farmer knows how to wait, he does not cut down the grain before it is time. But he does not know how the soil, the rain, the sun and the seed have this force or strength to make the plant grow from nothing until it bears fruit. This is how the Kingdom of God is. It is a process, there are stages and moments of growth. It takes place in time. It produces fruit at the just moment, but nobody knows how to explain its mysterious force. Nobody, not even the landlord. Only God!

• The story of the small mustard seed which grows and becomes big. The mustard seed is small, but it grows and at the end, the birds make their nests in its branches. This is how the Kingdom is. It begins very small, it grows and it extends its branches. The parable leaves an open question which will receive a response later on in the Gospel: Who are the birds? The text suggests that it is a question of the Pagans who will not be able to enter into the community and participate in the Kingdom.

• Because Jesus teaches by means of the Parables. Jesus tells many parables. All are taken from the life of the people! In this way he helped persons to discover the things of God in daily life, a life which becomes transparent. Because what is extraordinary of God is hidden in the ordinary and common things of daily life. People understood the things of life. In the parables they received the key to open it and to find in it the signs of God.
Personal questions• Jesus does not explain the Parables. He tells the stories and awakens in others the imagination and the reflection of the discovery. What have you discovered in these two Parables?
• The objective of the words is to render life transparent. Has your life become more transparent throughout the years, or has the contrary taken place?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Brigid of Ireland

Feast DayFebruary 1
Patron Saint:  babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; children with abusive fathers; children born into abusive unions; Clan Douglas; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; Leinster, mariners; midwives; milk maids; nuns; poets; poor; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen

Saint Brigit of Kildare, or Brigid of Ireland (variants include Brigid, Bridget, Bridgit, Bríd and Bride), nicknamed Mary of the Gael (Irish: Naomh Bríd) (c. 451–525) is one of Ireland's patron saints along with Saints Patrick and Columba.

Irish hagiography makes her an early Irish Christian nun,[2] abbess, and founder of several monasteries of nuns, including that monastery of ‘Kildare’ Ireland (53°09′28″N 6°54′41″W / 53.15772°N 6.91128°W.[3]), which was considered legendary and was highly revered.

Her feast day is the 1st February, celebrated as St Brigid’s Day or Imbolc in Gaelic Ireland, one of the four quarter days of the pagan year, which marked the beginning of spring, lambing, and lactation in cattle.


Life story


In the controversy about the historical existence of Brigit that erupted in the last third of the 20th century, it was noted that eleven people with whom Brigit is associated in her Lives are independently attested in annalistic sources, sources that place her death at 523 AD (in the Annals of Tigernach and Chronicon Scotorum) and her birth at 451 AD (calculated from the alleged age of 72 at death).[4]

The differing biographies written by different authors, giving conflicting accounts of her life, are regarded of considerable literary merit in themselves. Three of those biographies agreed that she had a slave mother in the court of her father, Dubhthach, a king of Leinster.

Some scholars suggest that St Brigid was syncretized with the pagan goddess Brigid. According to medievalist Pamela Berger, Christian "monks took the ancient figure of the mother goddess and grafted her name and functions onto her Christian counterpart."[5]

Birth and early life

Brigit may have been born in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. Because of the legendary quality of the earliest accounts of her life, there is much debate among many secular scholars and even faithful Christians as to the authenticity of her biographies. According to her biographers her parents were Dubhthach, a Pagan chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a Christian Pict and slave who had been baptised by Saint Patrick. Some accounts of her life suggest that Brigit's father was in fact from Lusitania, kidnapped by Irish pirates and brought to Ireland to work as a slave, in much the same way as Saint Patrick. Many stories also detail Brigit's and her mother's statuses as pieces of property belonging to Dubhthach, and the resulting impact on important parts of Brigit's life story.

The Vita outlined Brigit’s early life. It says that Brigit’s mother was a slave, and Brigit herself was born into slavery to a druid. From the start, it is clear that Brigit is holy. When the druid tries to feed her, she vomits because he is impure. And thus a cow is assigned to sustain her. As she grows older, Brigit performs many miracles, including healing and feeding the poor. Saint Brigit is celebrated for her generosity to 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 Brigit's prayers.[6]

Commitment to religious life

The ceremony was performed, according to different accounts, by one or other of the bishops Mel (d. 487) or Mac-Caille (d. c.489), the location probably being in Mág Tulach (the present barony of Fartullagh, Co. Westmeath). Mel also granted her abbatial powers. She followed Saint Mel into the Kingdom of Teathbha, which is made up of sections of modern Meath, Westmeath and Longford. This occurred about 468. According to some sources, Bridget was ordained bishop by Bishop Mel at Mag Tulach, and her successors have always been given Episcopal honor.[7]

Brigit's small oratory at Cill-Dara (Kildare) became a center of religion and learning, and developed into a cathedral city. She founded two monastic institutions, one for men, and the other for women, and appointed Saint Conleth as spiritual pastor of them. It has been frequently stated that she gave canonical jurisdiction to Saint Conleth, Bishop of Kildare, but, as Archbishop Healy points out, she simply "selected the person to whom the Church gave this jurisdiction", and her biographer tells us distinctly that she chose Saint Conleth "to govern the church along with herself". Thus, for centuries, Kildare was ruled by a double line of abbot-bishops and of abbesses, the Abbess of Kildare being regarded as superior general of the monasteries in Ireland.

Brigit also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which Conleth presided. The Kildare scriptorium produced the Book of Kildare, which elicited high praise from Giraldus Cambrensis, but which has disappeared since the Reformation. According to Giraldus, nothing that he had ever seen was at all comparable to the book, every page of which was gorgeously illuminated, and he concludes by saying that the interlaced work and the harmony of the colours left the impression that "all this is the work of angelic, and not human skill".

There is evidence in the Trias Thaumaturga for Brigit's stay in Connacht, especially in County Roscommon and also in the many churches founded by her in the Diocese of Elphin. Her friendship with Saint Patrick is attested by the following paragraph from the Book of Armagh: "inter sanctum Patricium Brigitanque Hibernesium columpnas amicitia caritatis inerat tanta, ut unum cor consiliumque haberent unum. Christus per illum illamque virtutes multas peregit". (Between St. Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many great works.)

Alleged miracles

Miracles during Brigit's lifetime were commonly recorded by those who had witnessed them or had some relation to a person who had. In Saint Brigit’s case, most of her miracles were related to healing and domestic tasks usually attributed to women. If Brigit wished or predicted something to occur then it came to pass. A few examples of her miracles are described below.

Several of Brigit’s miracles occurred on Easter Sunday. On this day, a leper had come to Brigit to ask for a cow. She asked for a time to rest and would help him later; however, he did not wish to wait and instead stated he would go somewhere else for a cow. Brigit then offered to heal him, but the man stubbornly replied that his condition allowed him to acquire more than he would healthy. After convincing the leper that this was not so, she told one of her maidens to have the man washed in a blessed mug of water. After this was done, the man was completely cured and vowed to serve Brigit.

On another occasion, Brigit was traveling to see a physician for her headache. They were welcomed to stay at the house of a Leinsterman. His wife was not able to have children that survived except for two daughters that had been dumb since their birth. Brigit was traveling to Áth with the daughters when her horse suddenly startled, causing her to wound her head on a stone. Her blood mixed with the water here. Brigit then instructed one of the girls to pour the bloodied water onto her neck in God’s name causing the girl to be healed. The healed sister was told to call her sister over to be healed as well, but the later responded that she had been made well when she bowed down in the tracks. Brigit told the cured sisters to return home and that they also would birth as many male children that their mother had lost. The stone that Brigit had injured herself cured any disease of the head when they laid the head on it.

One of the more commonly told stories of St. Brigid was when she went to the King of Leinster to ask for land to build a convent. She told the king that the place where she stood was the perfect place for a convent. It was beside a forest where they could collect firewood and berries. There was also 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 to God and asked him 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 because Brigid’s cloak was so small he knew that it would only cover a very small piece of land. The king agreed and Brigid spread her cloak on the ground. She asked her four friends to hold a corner of the cloak and walk in opposite directions. The four friends walked north, south, east and west. The cloak grew immediately and began to cover many acres of land. The king was astonished and he realized that she had been blessed by God. The king fell to the ground and knelt before Brigid and promised her and her friends money, food and supplies. Soon afterwards, the king became a Christian and also started to help the poor and commissioned the construction of the convent. Legend has it, the convent was known for making jam from the local blueberries which was sought for all over Ireland. There is a new tradition beginning among followers of St. Brigit to eat jam on the 1st of February in honour of this miracle. [8]

It was also said that once an elderly woman appeared at her door begging for food and Brigit turned her down as the only piece of food she had in the house was a dish of butter. The old woman replied to Brigid saying even that would do. When Brigid turned away from the door she saw on the table three dishes of butter. It seemed that the lord had rewarded her for her kindness

Brigit also performed miracles that included curse elements as well. When on the bank of Inny, Brigit was given a gift of apples and sweet sloes. She later entered a house where many lepers begged her for these apples, which she offered willingly. The nun who had given the gift to Brigit was irritated by this saying that she had not given the gift to the lepers. Brigit was angered at the nun for withholding from the lepers and therefore cursed her trees so they would no longer bear fruit, rendering them barren. Yet another virgin also gave Brigit the same gift as the nun, and again Brigit gave them to begging lepers. This time the virgin asked that she and her garden be blessed. Brigit then said that a large tree in the virgin’s garden would have twofold fruit from its offshoots, and this was done.[9]

Veneration in Ireland

Shrines and relics

It seems that Faughart was the scene of her birth. Faughart Church was founded by Saint Moninne in honour of Brigit. The old well of Brigit's adjoining the ruined church still attracts pilgrims. At Armagh there was a "Templum Brigidis"; namely the little abbey church known as "Regles Brigid", which contained some relics of the saint, destroyed in 1179, by William FitzAldelm.

Brigit was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her "Adorned with gems and precious stones and crowns of gold and silver." Over the years her shrine became an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1 February.

About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, Brigit's relics were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of Patrick and Columba. The relics of the three saints were discovered in 1185, and on June 9 of the following year were reinterred in Down Cathedral.

The church of St Joao Baptista at Lumiar near Lisbon airport in Portugal holds a relic claimed to be the skull of St Brigid. A fragment of this skull was brought to St Bridget’s Church, Kilcurry in 1905 by Sister Mary Agnes of the Dundalk Convent of Mercy and in 1928 another fragment was sent by the Bishop of Lisbon to St Brigid’s church in Killester, in response to a request from Fathers Timothy Traynor and James McCarroll.

Motifs in art

St. Brigit as depicted in Saint Non's chapel, St Davids, Wales.
In liturgical iconography and statuary Saint Brigid is often depicted holding a reed cross, a crozier of the sort used by abbots, and a lamp (called a "lamp of learning and wisdom", as lamps and fire were regarded sacred to the Celts and druids). Early hagiographers portray Saint Brigid's life and ministry as touched with fire. According to P.W. Joyce, tradition holds that nuns at her monastery kept a sacred eternal flame burning there.[10]

Light motifs, some of them borrowed from the apocrypha such as the story where she hangs her cloak on a sunbeam, are associated with the wonder tales of her hagiography and folklore. In her Lives, Saint Brigid is portrayed as having the power to multiply such things as butter, bacon and milk, to bestow sheep and cattle and to control the weather.

Plant motifs associated with St Brigid include the white Lilium candidum popularly known since medieval times as the Madonna Lily for its association with the Virgin Mary, and the Winflower Anemone coronaria, called the "Brigid anemone" since the early 19th century. Cill Dara (Kildare), the church of the oak Quercus petraea, is associated with a tree sacred to the druids. Her colour, white, was worn by the Kildare United Irishmen during the 1798 rebellion and is worn by Kildare sports teams.


Kilbride is one of Ireland’s most widely spread placenames, there are 43 Kilbrides located in 19 of Ireland’s 32 counties: Antrim (2), Carlow, Cavan, Down, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny (3), Laois, Longford, Louth, Mayo (5), Meath (4), Offaly (4), Roscommon (2), Waterford, Westmeath (2), Wexford (4), and Wicklow (8) as well as two Kilbreedy’s in Tipperary, Kilbreedia and Toberbreeda in Clare, Toberbreedia in Kilkenny, Brideswell Commons in Dublin, Bridestown and Templebreedy in Cork and Rathbride and Brideschurch in Kildare.[11] Similarly, there are a number of placenames derived from Cnoic Bhríde ("Brigit's Hill"), such as Knockbridge in Louth and Knockbride in Cavan.


Not all Kilbride or St Bride’s churches are directly associated with Brigit the daughter of Dubhthach. Seathrún Céitinn’s History of Ireland 1841 edition edited by Dermod O’Connor lists 14 Saints gleaned from the martyrologies and heroic literature each called Brigid, and not including Brigit of Kildare.[12][13]

This dizzying abundance of Brigits had the effect of confusing those scholars in the 16th and 17th centuries who compiled the calendars from older manuscript sources, many of them now lost. For example John Colgan states Brighit of Moin-miolain was the daughter of Neman in one reference and the daughter of Aidus in another.[14][15]

The Martyrology of Donegal, for example, lists Brighit daughter of Diomman (feast day May 21), Brighit of Moin-miolain (feast day on March 9), and what may be five more: Brigid the daughter of Leinin (associated with Killiney, feast day March 6), Brighit of Cillmuine (November 12), Brighe of Cairbre (feast day January 7). and two other Brighits (feast days March 9, the second Brigit of that date, and Sept 30).[16]

Veneration beyond Ireland

A stained glass window depicting St. Brigid in the Church of Saint Thomas in the Houverath quarter of Bad Münstereifel, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Church dedications, artwork, folklore and medieval manuscripts indicate the extent of the cult of Brigid in England, Scotland and Wales, Brittany, northern and eastern France, the Low Countries, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and northern Italy.
  • Alsace: Devotion to Brigid dates to the 8th century, there are relics of the Saint in the Church of Pierre-de-Vaux in Strasbourg.[17]
  • Belgium: A fragment of a medieval Irish shawl known as "St Brigid's Mantle" is venerated at the Cathedral of Bruges, where the cultus of Brigid was introduced by its Irish bishop, Saint Foillan (died 655). There is a chapel (7th-10th century) dedicated to Sainte-Brigide at Fosses-la-Ville, a church in Liege and an altar in Hesse.
  • Brittany: The Church of St. Denis in Saint-Omer is the best known of over thirty church and chapel dedications to Brigid, she is venerated in folklore as midwife to the Blessed Virgin Mary and protectress of cattle. A palton is held at Morimer each year.[citation needed]
  • Cologne: four parish churches and seven chapels are dedicated to Brigid and a relic is preserved at the Great St. Martin Church. A church dedicated to St Brigid was destroyed in the Napoleonic period. There was also a chapel dedicated to her in Mainz.
  • Italy: Donatus of Fiesole compiled the metrical Life of Brigid and built a Church in Piacenza (9th century) which was donated to the Irish order of the Monastery of Saint Colombanus, in Bobbio. The Church, and the attached hospital, was meant to serve Irish pilgrims moving to Bobbio and Rome. It still exists. The cult of Saint Brigit is particularly important in Northern Italy (Piacenza, Como, Val Brembana etc).
  • Netherlands: Saint Brigid is the patron saint of the Dutch city of Ommen.
  • Portugal: Brigit's skull, preserved in the Church of São João Baptista in Lumiar, was traditionally venerated on 2 February and in former times was carried in procession as a sacred instrument in the blessing of children and animals throughout the parish, in a ceremony called the bênção do gado (blessing of the cattle).
  • Spain: A cult of Brigid at Olite in Navarre was introduced from Troyes and Picardy in northern France around 1200 and a church is dedicated to her in Seville.
  • Switzerland: A sacred flame, the Lumen Sanctae Brigidae, was tended at Liestal in the 13th century[18] and there is a chapel dedicated to her in the city of St. Gallen.

Saint Brigit, in the alternative spelling of her name, Bride, was patron saint of the powerful medieval Scottish House of Douglas. The principal religious house, and Mausoleum of the Earls of Douglas and latterly Earls of Angus being St. Bride's Kirk, Douglas. Another saint Bridget of Sweden (1303–1373) was given a Swedish variant of the old Irish name named in honour of Brigit.
  • United States: In St. Joseph, Minnesota, there is double monastery dedicated to St Brigit, known as the Saint Brigid of Kildare Methodist-Benedictine Monastery.[19]

Placenames outside Ireland

Many of placenames in her honour are to be found all over Great Britain.
Brigit-related names in Scotland and England include several Bridewells or Brideswells, (commemorating in their names the presence of a sacred well dedicated to Brigit or her pre-Christian antecedent), East Kilbride, West Kilbride, Kilbride, Brideswell, Templebride and Tubberbride, derived for the word for well, "Tobar" in Irish or Gaelic). These Brigidine sites include the original Bridewell Palace in London which became synonymous with jail houses through the English speaking world.


Brigit's skull has been preserved in the Igreja São João Baptista (Church of St. John the Baptist) in Lumiar in Portugal (38°46′29″N 9°09′55″E / 38.77460°N 9.16526°E.[3]) (near the Lisbon airport) since 1587 and is venerated on 2 February (not 1 February, as in Ireland).[20] St Brigid’s head was reputedly carried to King Denis of Portugal in 1283 by Irish knights traveling to the Aragonese Crusade. The inscription on the tomb in Lumiar reads:
“Here in these three tombs lie the three Irish knights who brought the head of St. Brigid, Virgin, a native of Ireland, whose relic is preserved in this chapel. In memory of which, the officials of the Altar of the same Saint caused this to be done in January AD 1283.”

Western liturgy

Various Continental breviaries of the pre-Reformation period commemorate Brigit, and her name is included in a litany in the Stowe Missal. In the 2004 edition of the Roman Martyrology, Brigit is listed under 1 February with the Latin name Brígidae. She is cited as follows: 'At Kildare in Ireland, Brigid, who founded one of the first monasteries in Ireland and, together with Saint Patrick, began the work of evangelisation'.[21] Thus Brigid is officially recognised by the Vatican as a first-millennium saint, recognised by popular acclaim, rather than ever being formally canonized.

Eastern liturgy

Brigit is highly venerated by many Eastern Orthodox Christians as one of the great Western saints before the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches. Her feast day, as in the West, is February 1,[22] although churches following the Julian calendar (as in many Orthodox countries) celebrate her feast on 14 February, the corresponding date on the Julian calendar. The troparion to her is in Tone 1:
O holy Brigid, thou didst become sublime through thy humility, and didst fly on the wings of thy longing for God. When thou didst arrive in the Eternal City and appear before thy Divine Spouse, wearing the crown of virginity, thou didst keep thy promise to remember those who have recourse to thee. Thou dost shower grace upon the world, and dost multiply miracles. Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
The corresponding kontakion is in Tone 4:
The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom, shy of men, went with joy along the way of evangelical childhood, and with the grace of God attained in this way the summit of virtue and charity. Wherefore she now bestows blessings upon those who come to her with faith. O holy Virgin, intercede with Christ our God that He may have mercy on our souls.
According to the tradition of the Orthodox church, Saint Brigit lost one of her eyes which saved her from being married against her will as related in the first and second troparia of the fourth ode of the canon of the saint from the Orthodox Matins service:
Considering the beauty of the body as of no account, when one of thine eyes was destroyed thou didst rejoice, O venerable one, for thou didst desire to behold the splendour of heaven and to glorify God with the choirs of the righteous.
Spurning an earthly betrothed, and praying beyond hope that the refusal of thy parents be changed, thou didst find aid from on high, so that the beauty of thy body was ruined.[23]
In another version of the legendary story of Saint Brigid losing her eye, she suffered an eye disease making her lose one eye. In the book 'Saint Brigid' by Iain MacDonald,[24] Saint Brigid had an eye disease, she put her finger under her eye and plucked it out of her head so that it lay on her cheek, and when Dubthach and her brethren beheld that, they promised that she should never be told to go to a husband except for the husband whom she should like; then Saint Brigid prayed to God, put her palm to her eye, and it was healed at once.

Contemporary issues

In modern Ireland, "Mary of the Gael" remains a popular saint, and Brigit remains a common female Christian name.


  1. ^ Saint Brigid of Ireland at Patron Saints Index
  2. ^ Jestice, Phyllis G. (2004) (in English). Holy People of the World: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 140–. ISBN 9781576073551. Retrieved 1 February 2013. "Brigid of Ireland, or of Kildare, has been venerated since the early Middle Ages, along with Patrick and Columba, as one of the three national Christian patron saints of ireland, Born, according to the Irish annals, between 439 and 456, she is reputed to have died between 522 and 526. At least two Latin Lives had been composed by the end of the seventh century describing her as a nobleman's daughter who chose to consecrate her virginity to God, took the veil as a Christian nun, and became the leader of a community of religious women, or perhaps of both women and men-certainly by the seventh century there was an important double monastery at Kildare that regarded her as its founder."
  3. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  4. ^ Discussion on dates for the annals and the accuracy of dates relating to St Brigid is ongoing, see A.P. Smyth, "The earliest Irish annals: their first contemporary entries and the earliest centres of recording", Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy lxxii C (1972), pp1–48, and Daniel McCarthy: "The chronology of St Brigit of Kildare", in Peritia, xiv (2000), pp255–81.
  5. ^ Berger, Pamela (1985). The Goddess Obscured: Transformation of the Grain Protectress from Goddess to Saint. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 978080706722. edit
  6. ^ Wallace, Martin. A Little Book of Celtic Saints. Belfast. Appletree Press, 1995 ISBN 0-86281-456-1, p.13
  7. ^ Edward Sellnor makes this point in the book, Wisdom of the Celtic Saints, (Ave Maria Press, 1993)
  8. ^ Story of St. Brigit, November 14, 2012
  9. ^ "Bethu Brigte." UCC Home Page. CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a Project of University College. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <>.
  10. ^ Joyce, P.W.,The Wonders of Ireland, 1911
  11. ^ [ Logainm topographical dictionary]
  12. ^ O’Conor lists Brigid the Daughter of Dioma (sic), Brigid the daughter of Mianaig, Brigid the daughter of Momhain, Brigid the daughter of Eana, Brigid the daughter of Colla, Brigid the daughter of Eathtair Ard, Brigid of Inis Bríde, Brigid the daughter of Diamair, Brigid the daughter of Seannbotha, Brigid the daughter of Fiadnait, Brigid the daughter of Hugh, Brigid the daughter of Luinge, Brigid the daughter of Fischmaine, Brigid the daughter of Flainge and to this might be added Bríga, daughter of Congall, often cited as Brigid, whose feast day is January 21 and who is associated with Oughter Ard near Straffan (53°16′40″N 6°33′55″W / 53.27789°N 6.56528°W), Brideschurch near Sallins (53°14′36″N 6°41′28″W / 53.24344°N 6.69102°W.), and possibly with Kilbride in County Waterford (52°11′24″N 7°09′51″W / 52.18993°N 7.16424°W.), O’Conor Book II p389
  13. ^ Canon John O'Hanlon: Lives of the Irish Saints : with special festivals, and the commemorations of holy persons (Volume 2) p398
  14. ^ John Colgan: Triadis thaumaturgae acta (1647)
  15. ^ Canon John O'Hanlon: Lives of the Irish Saints : with special festivals, and the commemorations of holy persons (Volume 2) p397
  16. ^ The martyrology of Donegal; a calendar of the saints of Ireland (Mícheál Ó Cléirigh, 1575-1643; 1861 edition editors John O'Donovan 1809-1861; James Henthorn Todd 1805-1869; William Reeves 1815-1892;1864) p71
  17. ^ L Pfleger: Le culte d’une saint Irlandaise en Alsace: Ste Brigide, Bulletin Ecclesiastique de Strasbourg, XlII, (1923)
  18. ^ Louis Gougaud: Gaelic pioneers of Christianity : the work and influence of Irish monks and saints in continental Europe (VIth-XIIth cent.) (January 1, 1923).
  19. ^ Mary Forman (2009). One Heart, One Soul: Many Communities. Liturgical Press. Retrieved 01 October 2011. "After a few experiments with various people, some from Saint Benedict's Monastery here and support from Saint John's Abbey, in 1999 Mary founded Saint Brigit of Kildare Methodist Monastery."
  20. ^ [ Youtube footage of St Brigid’s skull in Lumiar]
  21. ^ Martyrologium Romanum, 2004, Vatican Press (Typis Vaticanis), page 603.
  22. ^ Great Synaxaristes: (Greek) Ἡ Ὁσία Μπριντζίτα. 1 Φεβρουαρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  23. ^ The Menaion of the Orthodox Church, vol. 6, February, translated by Reader Isaac E Lambertsen and published by The Saint John of Kronstadt Press, Liberty TN
  24. ^ "Saint Bride" edited and presented by Iain MacDonald. Edinburgh, Scotland, Floris Books. 1992
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Brigid of Ireland". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.


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Today's Snippet I:   Brigid Cross

Brigid's cross
Brigid's cross, Brighid's cross or Brigit's cross (Irish: Cros Bríde, Crosóg Bríde or Bogha Bríde) is an Irish symbol. Though a Christian symbol, it possibly derives from the pagan sunwheel. It is usually made from rushes or, less often, straw. It comprises a woven square in the centre and four radials tied at the ends. 
Brigid's crosses are associated with Brigid of Kildare, who is venerated as one of the patron saints of Ireland. The crosses are traditionally made on 1 February, which in the Irish language is called Lá Fhéile Bhríde (St Brigid's feast day), the day of her liturgical celebration.

Many rituals are associated with the making of the crosses.[1] It was traditionally believed that a Brigid's Cross protects the house from fire and evil.[2] It is hung in many Irish and Irish-American kitchens for this purpose.

Brigid's cross (sometimes stylized) was used to represent Telefís Éireann and RTÉ 1 (later RTÉ One); in 1961 to 1987 and 1993 to 2000.

Story of the Christian St Brigid and her cross

In Christian religion, St. Brigid and her cross are linked together by a story about her weaving this form of cross at the death bed of either her father or a pagan lord, who upon hearing what the cross meant, asked to be baptized. One version goes as follows:

A pagan chieftain from the neighbourhood of Kildare was dying. Christians in his household sent for Brigid to talk to him about Christ. When she arrived, the chieftain was raving. As it was impossible to instruct this delirious man, hopes for his conversion seemed doubtful. Brigid sat down at his bedside and began consoling him. As was customary, the dirt floor was strewn with rushes both for warmth and cleanliness. Brigid stooped down and started to weave them into a cross, fastening the points together. The sick man asked what she was doing. She began to explain the cross, and as she talked, his delirium quieted and he questioned her with growing interest. Through her weaving, he converted and was baptized at the point of death. Since then, the cross of rushes has existed in Ireland.

The presence of the cross in Ireland is, however, likely far older. The Goddess Brigid was one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Her feast day was the feast of Imbolc, and the cross made of rushes today is very likely the descendant of a pagan symbol whose original meaning may have been locally understood even into the early 20th century in rural Ireland. One remnant of that tradition in the meaning of the Brigid's Cross today, is that it is said to protect a house from fire. This does not fit with any part of the Christian story of St. Brigid, and so is likely a part of the older polytheistic tradition behind the feast day.


    1. ^
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Today's Snippet II:  Kildare, Ireland

Kildare (Irish: Cill Dara, meaning "church of the oak") is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. Its population of 8,412 (2011 Census) makes it the eighth largest town in County Kildare and the 55th largest in the state, with a growth rate of 8.0pc since the 2006 census. Although Kildare gives its name to the county, Naas is the county town. The town lies on the R445, some 50 km west of Dublin – near enough for it to have become, despite being a regional centre in its own right, a commuter town for the capital.


Rich in heritage and history, Kildare Town dates from the 5th Century, when it was the site of the original ‘Church of the Oak' and monastery founded by St. Brigid. This became one of the three most important Christian foundations in Celtic Ireland.

It was said that Brigid's mother was a Christian and that Brigid was reared in her father's family, that is with the children of his lawful wife. From her mother, Brigid learned dairying and the care of the cattle, and these were her occupations after she made a vow to live a life of holy chastity. Both St. Mel of Ardagh and Bishop Mac Caille have been credited with the consecration of Brigid and some companions, after which the woman established a community beneath an oak tree, on a hill on the edge of the Curragh. Hence the name Cill Dara, the church of the oak.

Not too far away, on Dun Ailinne, lived the King of Leinster who had donated the site to the holy woman. A story told was that the King offered Brigid as much land as her cloak would cover. When she spread her garment it miraculously stretched out to embrace the entire Curragh. True to his promise, the King gave her the fertile plain, and there the new community grazed their sheep and cows.

Birth of British motor racing

On Thursday, 2 July 1903 the Gordon Bennett Cup ran through Kildare. It was the first international motor race to be held in Great Britain, an honorific to Selwyn Edge who had won the 1902 event in Paris driving a Napier. The Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland wanted the race to be hosted in the British Isles, and their secretary, Claude Johnson, suggested Ireland as the venue because racing was illegal on British public roads. The editor of the Dublin Motor News, Richard Mecredy, suggested an area in County Kildare, and letters were sent to 102 Irish MPs, 90 Irish peers, 300 newspapers, 34 chairmen of county and local councils, 34 County secretaries, 26 mayors, 41 railway companies, 460 hoteliers, 13 PPs, plus the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Patrick Foley, who pronounced himself in favour. Local laws had to be adjusted, ergo the 'Light Locomotives (Ireland) Bill' was passed on 27 March 1903. Kildare and other local councils drew attention to their areas, whilst Queen’s County declared That every facility will be given and the roads placed at the disposal of motorists during the proposed race. Eventually Kildare was chosen, partly on the grounds that the straightness of the roads would be a safety benefit. As a compliment to Ireland the British team chose to race in Shamrock green which thus became known as British racing green, although the winning Napier of 1902 had been painted Olive green.

The route consisted of two loops that comprised a figure of eight, the first was a 52-mile (84 km) loop that included Kilcullen, The Curragh, Kildare, Monasterevin, Stradbally, Athy, followed by a 40-mile (64 km) loop through Castledermot, Carlow, and Athy again. The race started at the Ballyshannon cross-roads (53.0853°N 6.82°W) near Calverstown on the contemporary N78 heading north, then followed the N9 north; the N7 west; the N80 south; the N78 north again; the N9 south; the N80 north; the N78 north again. Competitors were started at seven minute intervals and had to follow bicycles through the 'control zones' in each town. The 328 miles (528 km) race was won by the famous Belgian Camille Jenatzy, driving a Mercedes in German colours.

Kildare Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of St. Brigid, Kildare in Kildare, County Kildare is one of two cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Meath and Kildare of the Church of Ireland in Ireland. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin. 35 years after Saint Patrick settled in Armagh, St. Brigid arrived in Kildare with her nuns in the year 480A.D. Her original abbey church would have been a simple wooden building. So great was her fame, that soon after her death in 523 A.D. a costly shrine was erected in her honour in a new and larger building. For many centuries Kildare maintained a unique Irish experiment; the Abbess ruled over a double community of women and men, and the Bishop was subordinate in jurisdiction to the abbess. Between the years 835 and 998 the cathedral was devastated no less than 16 times, so that when the Norman, Ralph of Bristol, became bishop in 1223 it was virtually in ruins. Between then and 1230 it was largely rebuilt. it was semi-ruinous by 1500A.D. It was derilict by 1649. In 1686 it was partially rebuilt. [1]

Current status

Previously the cathedral of the Diocese of Kildare, it is now one of two cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Meath and Kildare. The present building is a restored Norman cathedral dating from 1223. The site occupied by the cathedral is likely the site of a pagan shrine to the goddess Brigid and the later of the church of Saint Brigid. Beside it stands one of County Kildare's five round towers which is 32 metres (105 ft) high, and which can be climbed at certain times. 

The austere cathedral built in the years following 1223, probably by Ralph of Bristol who was made Bishop of the see in 1222 and died in 1232. It is cruciform in plan without aisles in the early gothic style with a massive square central tower. All the windows are lancet windows, singles or doubles, but triple lancets in the four gables. Unique and attractive features of the design are the arches which span between buttress to buttress in advance of the side walls. The parapets are of the stepped Irish type (now much restored) but probably datable to c. 1395, the year in which a Papal relaxation was given to those who visited Kildare and gave alms for the conservation of the church. The interior treatment is very plain, the window splays are not moulded, but the rear-arches, which are, spring from shafts with moulded capitals. These shafts are short and terminate in small curved tails.[2]


The altar-tomb effigy of Bishop Walter Wellesley (died 1539) which is a superb example of 16th. century sculpture. The Sheelagh-na-gig (erotic carving) is very unusual to find in cathedrals. Solid oak stalls for the choir and chapter with acorn and oak leaf carvings. Bishops throne. High altar area with reproductions of the Medieval originals. Carved Caen Stone pulpit with carvings of the four evangelists and Irish marble columns.
Lady Chapel. Conagher built alter built in 1898 which is currently being restored with the support of Prof. Gerard Gillen. St. Luke stained glass window by Gerda Schurmann (from Czech Republic) dated 1974. Stone baptismal font which is not original to the Cathedral but is dated from Medieval period. West window dedicated to St. Patrick, St. Brigid and St. Columba.

Demise and resurrection

The Cathedral fell into disrepair following the English Reformation and was ruined during the Irish Confederate Wars. The restoration of the building was undertaken during the 19th century by George Edmund Street His work included new north trancept, new chancel, and new west wall as well as rebuilding three sides of the square tower. The new oak roof which is supported on stone corbels built into the wall buttresses. In recent years as part of the centenary, the Cathedral has undergone further restoration including new internal porches, repairs to internal and external stonework and rebuilding of the Organ. George Edmund Street, Architect.  George Edmund Street started restoration work on the Cathedral in 1875 and work continued after his death in 1881 until it was complete in 1896.

A Prayer For The Cathedral And For Its Visitors

Eternal Father,
For this holy and beautiful house of prayer,
We ask your mercy and seek your continual help:
That it may be a home of refuge amidst the storms of this world,
A witness to your eternal truth and goodness,
A light to those who are in darkness,
Hope to the fallen and strength to the weak and faint hearted:
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


    • ^ Irish Churches and Monastic Buildings - Volume II - by Harold G. Leask M.Arch., Litt.D., M.R.I.A., F.S.A., F.R.S.A.I., F.R.I.A.I..
    • ^ Memoir of George Edmund Street, R.A., b.1824-d.1881, Arthur Edmund Street.
    • ^


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part One: Profession of Faith, Sect 2: The Creeds



    185 Whoever says "I believe" says "I pledge myself to what we believe." Communion in faith needs a common language of faith, normative for all and uniting all in the same confession of faith.

    186 From the beginning, the apostolic Church expressed and handed on her faith in brief formulae normative for all.Rom 10:9; I Cor 15:3-5, etc But already very early on, the Church also wanted to gather the essential elements of her faith into organic and articulated summaries, intended especially for candidates for Baptism:
    This synthesis of faith was not made to accord with human opinions, but rather what was of the greatest importance was gathered from all the Scriptures, to present the one teaching of the faith in its entirety. and just as the mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too this summary of faith encompassed in a few words the whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and the New Testaments.St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. illum. 5, 12: PG 33, 521-524

    187 Such syntheses are called "professions of faith" since they summarize the faith that Christians profess. They are called "creeds" on account of what is usually their first word in Latin: credo ("I believe"). They are also called "symbols of faith".

    188 The Greek word symbolon meant half of a broken object, for example, a seal presented as a token of recognition. the broken parts were placed together to verify the bearer's identity. the symbol of faith, then, is a sign of recognition and communion between believers. Symbolon also means a gathering, collection or summary. A symbol of faith is a summary of the principal truths of the faith and therefore serves as the first and fundamental point of reference for catechesis.

    189 The first "profession of faith" is made during Baptism. the symbol of faith is first and foremost the baptismal creed. Since Baptism is given "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit",Mt 28:19 The truths of faith professed during Baptism are articulated in terms of their reference to the three persons of the Holy Trinity.

    190 and so the Creed is divided into three parts: "the first part speaks of the first divine Person and the wonderful work of creation; the next speaks of the second divine Person and the mystery of his redemption of men; the final part speaks of the third divine Person, the origin and source of our sanctification." Roman Catechism I, 1, 3 These are "the three chapters of our [baptismal] seal".St. Irenaeus, Dem. ap. 100: SCh 62, 170

    191 "These three parts are distinct although connected with one another. According to a comparison often used by the Fathers, we call them articles. Indeed, just as in our bodily members there are certain articulations which distinguish and separate them, so too in this profession of faith, the name "articles" has justly and rightly been given to the truths we must believe particularly and distinctly."Roman Catechism I, I, 4 In accordance with an ancient tradition, already attested to by St. Ambrose, it is also customary to reckon the articles of the Creed as twelve, thus symbolizing the fullness of the apostolic faith by the number of the apostles.Cf. St. Ambrose, Expl. symb. 8: PL 17, 1196

    192 Through the centuries many professions or symbols of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of the different eras: the creeds of the different apostolic and ancient Churches,Cf. DS 1-64 e.g., the Quicumque, also called the Athanasian Creed;Cf. DS 75-76 The professions of faith of certain Councils, such as Toledo, Lateran, Lyons, Trent;Cf. DS 525-541; 800-802; 851-861; 1862-1870 or the symbols of certain popes, e.g., the Fides DamasiCf. DS 71-72 or the Credo of the People of God of Paul VI.Paul VI, CPG (1968)

    193 None of the creeds from the different stages in the Church's life can be considered superseded or irrelevant. They help us today to attain and deepen the faith of all times by means of the different summaries made of it.

    Among all the creeds, two occupy a special place in the Church's life:
    194 The Apostles' Creed is so called because it is rightly considered to be a faithful summary of the apostles' faith. It is the ancient baptismal symbol of the Church of Rome. Its great authority arises from this fact: it is "the Creed of the Roman Church, the See of Peter the first of the apostles, to which he brought the common faith".St. Ambrose, Expl. symb. 7: PL 17, 1196

    195 The Niceno-Constantinopolitan or Nicene Creed draws its great authority from the fact that it stems from the first two ecumenical Councils (in 325 and 381). It remains common to all the great Churches of both East and West to this day.

    196 Our presentation of the faith will follow the Apostles' Creed, which constitutes, as it were, "the oldest Roman catechism". the presentation will be completed however by constant references to the Nicene Creed, which is often more explicit and more detailed.

    197 As on the day of our Baptism, when our whole life was entrusted to the "standard of teaching",Rom 6:17 let us embrace the Creed of our life-giving faith. To say the Credo with faith is to enter into communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and also with the whole Church which transmits the faith to us and in whose midst we believe:

    This Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart's meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.St. Ambrose, Expl. symb. I: PL 17, 1193

    The Apostles Creed
     I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
    I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
    Under Pontius Pilate He was crucified, died, and was buried.
    He descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again.
    He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting.

    The Nicene Creed
    We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
    maker of heaven and earth,
    of all that is, seen and unseen.
    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
    begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
    Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven:
    by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried.
    On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
    he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and his kingdom will have no end.

    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
    He has spoken through the Prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
    We look for the resurrection of the dead,
    and the life of the world to come.