Today, February 1st we celebrate the feast of St Brigid. Long regarded with St Patrick as a patron saint of Ireland, this year Brigid gains added prominence with the designation of her day as a public holiday. This will be celebrated on the Monday nearest February 1st.
Her story goes back through the ages. For us today she epitomises all that is good about Christianity. She lived just after St Patrick. As he used the shamrock to explain who God was, she used her cross to explain who Jesus was. She was ‘Mary of the Gael (the Irish)’. Her concern was with all who were downtrodden – the sick, poor, homeless. Peace was her dream. Hospitality was her unique virtue. Nature was her home. She was abbess of a monastery in Kildare where men and women prayed together.
In today’s Ireland she appeals to people of strong faith and those who have none. Indeed, history shows that she had the same appeal in Europe back in her own time. In a world where there are so many ‘influencers’ may we all look to Brigid for a healthy and holy life.
Africa Magazine, Jan/Feb 2023
St Brigid at Slí an Chroí, St Patrick's, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow.
The new St Brigid's window in St Brigid's Chapel, St Patrick's, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow.