February 1

St. Brigid of Ireland

Saint Brigid of Ireland

Early Life

Saint Brigid of Ireland, also known as Brigid of Kildare, was amiraculous child. From a very tender age, history records her devoutlove for God and the incredible powers that she exhibited.

When Saint Brigit was born, she was named Brigit, a name originatingfrom the Celtic tradition.

Saint Brigid of Ireland was said to have been born around 451 A.D. inthe 5th Century. She was born in Faughart in County Louth, Ireland. Hermother was said to be a slave named Brocca and her father was a noblemannamed Dubhthach.

When Dubhthach’s wife found out that Brocca was carrying her husband’schild, she sold the slave unnamed Druid.

Brigid was born outside wedlock and into slavery. As a child, she wasweaned by a cow as she rejected the food given to her by the Druid.

Brocca being a Christian trained her daughter in the way of the Lord.Saint Brigid was very devoted to religion even at a young age and showedpassionate affection to the needy.

She was a very generous child. Some parts in history record that SaintBrigid giving out food, including her mother’s butter, to the poor. Thelittle girl gave out the entire barrels of butter but miraculously, thebarrels were filled back up.

Saint Brigid was generous to a fault, a trait that did so much good toher but also got her in a lot of trouble.

As a child, Saint Brigid was said to have performed miracles throughprayer. Some parts of tradition record her ability to heal the sick.

By the age of ten, Her Druid master had gotten fed up with hergenerosity with his properties and had her returned to her master whoalso happened to be her father, Dubhthach.

Dedication and Devotion

Saint Brigid was returned to the Dubhthach while her mother stayed withthe Druid. However, her generosity didn’t end. She continued to giveout food and clothes to the poor.

Eventually, Dubhthach got tired of her charity work and angrily took herto the King of Leinster at that time to marry or in some accountssell her off.

Some accounts state that while the bargain was being made, Saint Brigidgave the King’s sword to a hungry beggar to barter for food.

The King was so impressed by her kindness that he ordered Dubhthach tolet her out of slavery.

Saint Brigid was released. Some say she returned to her motherthereafter the Druid tried to marry her off. She vehemently declined andsaid she had chosen a life of Chastity.

It is said that she was put out for marriage so many times that shefeared for her chastity. She then prayed to God to make her ugly in theeyes of men so you wouldn’t be asked for marriage.

Surprisingly, her prayer was answered. She became ugly until heracceptance in an abbey.

Regardless of the accounts, Saint Brigid was said to have received herveil of chastity from the Church. She made a vow of piety, chastity, andpoverty for the rest of her life. She spent her time preaching andpraying.


Some years later, Saint Brigid was given abbatial authority.

In 480 A.D, Brigid established a monastery at Kildare. She named thismonastery the ‘Church of Oak’ and had it built above a pagan shrine thatbelonged to a Celtic goddess called Brigid. It was also said to havebeen located underneath a large oak tree, probably where the nameoriginated from.

She employed the help of seven other women and created a community forchaste women. She was said to have built two more monasteries, one formen and women each.

Saint Brigit implored a hermit called Conláed to be a spiritual guide.The monasteries grew in size and popularity.

Saint Brigid of Ireland also established a school of art where sheincluded courses on metal works and illumination.

Saint Brigid spent the rest of her life planting churches and winningsouls through her teachings. She has been associated with many miraclesincluding healing a nun called Dara of blindness.

Death and Canonization

Saint Brigid of Ireland received her blessing of the last rites fromSaint Ninnidh of the Pure Hand. She passed away on the 1st of Februaryin her monastery in Kildare.

Saint Brigid died in the year 525, A.D. She was buried on the right-handside of the church altar. This spot became a popular place forpilgrimage.

She was succeeded by her favorite Darlugdach.

Circa 878, Saint Brigid’s remains were transferred to the tomb wherePatrick and Columba were located. They were finally taken to the DownCathedral in 1185 where they supposedly lay till today.

Some accounts however note that her head was moved to a Jesuit Church inLisbon.

Saint Brigid became very popular in literature. She was very respectedby Ireland, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, and RomanCatholic Church.

Saint Brigid was canonized Pre-Congregation. She is celebrated on the1st day of February.

5 Interesting Facts About Saint Brigid of Ireland

  1. Did you know that Saint Brigid is known to some as the Mary of
  2. Did you know that Saint Brigid is said to have changed a barrel of
    water to beer? As if this wasn’t enough, she shared this barrel
    amongst 18 churches.
  3. Did you know that Saint Brigid is a patron saint of babies,
    blacksmiths, diary maids, printers, nuns, and Ireland?
  4. Did you know that some records consider Saint Brigid of Ireland to
    be the only female Bishop to exist.
  5. Did you know that Saint Brigid is said to be affiliated with the
    Celtic goddess named Brigid?

Prayer to Saint Brigid of Ireland

Brigid,You were a woman of peace.You brought harmony wherethere was conflict.You brought light to the darkness.You brought hope to the downcast.May the mantle of your peace coverthose who are troubled and anxious,and may peace be firmly rootedin our hearts and in our world.Inspire us to act justly andto reverence all God has made.Brigid, you were a voice forthe wounded and the weary.Strengthen what is weak within us.Calm us into a quietnessthat heals and listens.May we grow each day into greaterwholeness in mind, body and spirit.Amen.