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  • ambrós
    Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 30, 2003
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      Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
      * St. Brigid of Kildare
      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


      St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
      (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
      ---------------------------------------------------------------
      Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
      Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
      translation is June 10.


      "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
      anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
      --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

      Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
      be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
      Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
      others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
      power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
      unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
      intended to be.

      Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
      everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
      generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
      away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
      rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
      the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
      Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
      She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

      Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
      her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
      her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
      popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
      she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

      Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
      happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
      She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
      the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
      veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
      womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
      maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
      the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
      however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
      bride.)

      Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
      accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
      mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
      pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
      her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
      eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
      they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
      at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
      Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
      uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
      God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
      and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

      The Book of Lismore bears this story:

      Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
      Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
      Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
      given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
      church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
      sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
      through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
      form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
      a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
      "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
      unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
      from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

      Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
      was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
      in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
      hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
      Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
      such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
      sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
      Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
      semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
      (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

      Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
      drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
      like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
      service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

      There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
      around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
      the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
      is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
      oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
      was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
      well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
      fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
      continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
      fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
      enter.

      It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
      men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
      taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
      over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
      women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
      there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
      from 519.

      Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
      metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
      what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
      scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
      feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
      Kildare in his day:

      "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
      porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
      habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

      The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
      lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
      curtains.

      Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

      The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
      an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
      importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
      of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
      St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

      Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
      sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
      in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
      water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
      a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
      more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
      food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
      the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
      times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

      Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
      intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
      material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
      remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
      manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
      Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
      manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

      Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
      good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
      ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
      Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
      sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
      teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
      saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
      and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
      symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
      never be extinguished.

      Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
      and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
      call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
      Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
      had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
      assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
      the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
      Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
      the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
      to this day.

      When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
      was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
      his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
      defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
      Ireland's Patroness.

      She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
      and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
      object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
      February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
      Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
      where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

      A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
      Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
      her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
      Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
      them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
      Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

      In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
      important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
      Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
      Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
      she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
      Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
      Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
      Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

      The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
      crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
      was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
      asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

      Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
      and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
      say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
      A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
      isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
      and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
      Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

      (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
      Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

      She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
      a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
      or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
      abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
      or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
      her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

      Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
      healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
      babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
      Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


      For other Lives of St. Brigid:
      http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html
      http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm

      Icons of St. Brigid:
      http://www.comeandseeicons.com/cap11.htm
      http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm
      http://www.odox.net/Icons-Brigid.htm##1


      Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

      Kontakion of St Brigid Tone 4
      The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
      way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
      this way the summit of virtue./ 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.
    • emrys@globe.net.nz
      Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 31, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
        * St. Brigid of Kildare
        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


        St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
        (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
        ---------------------------------------------------------------
        Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
        Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
        translation is June 10.


        "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
        anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
        --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

        Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
        be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
        Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
        others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
        power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
        unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
        intended to be.

        Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
        everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
        generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
        away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
        rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
        the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
        Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
        She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

        Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
        her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
        her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
        popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
        she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

        Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
        happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
        She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
        the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
        veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
        womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
        maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
        the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
        however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
        bride.)

        Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
        accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
        mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
        pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
        her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
        eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
        they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
        at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
        Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
        uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
        God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
        and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

        The Book of Lismore bears this story:

        Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
        Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
        Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
        given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
        church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
        sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
        through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
        form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
        a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
        "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
        unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
        from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

        Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
        was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
        in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
        hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
        Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
        such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
        sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
        Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
        semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
        (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

        Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
        drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
        like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
        service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

        There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
        around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
        the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
        is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
        oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
        was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
        well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
        fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
        continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
        fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
        enter.

        It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
        men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
        taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
        over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
        women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
        there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
        from 519.

        Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
        metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
        what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
        scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
        feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
        Kildare in his day:

        "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
        porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
        habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

        The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
        lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
        curtains.

        Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

        The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
        an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
        importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
        of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
        St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

        Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
        sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
        in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
        water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
        a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
        more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
        food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
        the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
        times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

        Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
        intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
        material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
        remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
        manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
        Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
        manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

        Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
        good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
        ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
        Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
        sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
        teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
        saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
        and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
        symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
        never be extinguished.

        Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
        and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
        call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
        Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
        had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
        assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
        the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
        Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
        the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
        to this day.

        When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
        was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
        his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
        defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
        Ireland's Patroness.

        She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
        and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
        object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
        February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
        Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
        where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

        A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
        Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
        her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
        Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
        them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
        Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

        In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
        important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
        Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
        Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
        she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
        Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
        Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
        Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

        The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
        crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
        was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
        asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

        Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
        and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
        say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
        A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
        isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
        and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
        Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

        (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
        Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

        She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
        a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
        or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
        abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
        or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
        her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

        Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
        healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
        babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
        Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


        #For other Lives of St. Brigid:

        "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
        http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

        "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
        http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


        Icons of St. Brigid:
        http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
        http://www.comeandseeicons.com/cap11.htm
        http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm
        http://www.odox.net/Icons-Brigid.htm##1


        Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

        Kontakion of St Brigid Tone 4
        The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
        way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
        this way the summit of virtue./ 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.
      • emrys@globe.net.nz
        Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 31, 2005
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          Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
          * St. Brigid of Kildare
          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


          St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
          (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
          ---------------------------------------------------------------
          Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
          Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
          translation is June 10.


          "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
          anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
          --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

          Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
          be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
          Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
          others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
          power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
          unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
          intended to be.

          Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
          everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
          generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
          away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
          rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
          the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
          Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
          She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

          Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
          her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
          her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
          popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
          she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

          Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
          happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
          She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
          the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
          veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
          womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
          maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
          the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
          however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
          bride.)

          Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
          accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
          mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
          pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
          her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
          eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
          they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
          at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
          Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
          uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
          God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
          and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

          The Book of Lismore bears this story:

          Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
          Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
          Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
          given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
          church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
          sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
          through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
          form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
          a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
          "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
          unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
          from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

          Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
          was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
          in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
          hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
          Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
          such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
          sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
          Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
          semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
          (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

          Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
          drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
          like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
          service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

          There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
          around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
          the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
          is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
          oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
          was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
          well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
          fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
          continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
          fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
          enter.

          It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
          men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
          taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
          over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
          women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
          there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
          from 519.

          Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
          metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
          what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
          scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
          feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
          Kildare in his day:

          "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
          porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
          habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

          The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
          lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
          curtains.

          Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

          The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
          an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
          importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
          of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
          St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

          Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
          sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
          in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
          water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
          a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
          more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
          food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
          the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
          times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

          Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
          intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
          material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
          remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
          manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
          Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
          manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

          Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
          good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
          ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
          Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
          sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
          teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
          saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
          and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
          symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
          never be extinguished.

          Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
          and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
          call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
          Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
          had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
          assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
          the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
          Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
          the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
          to this day.

          When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
          was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
          his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
          defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
          Ireland's Patroness.

          She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
          and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
          object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
          February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
          Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
          where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

          A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
          Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
          her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
          Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
          them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
          Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

          In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
          important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
          Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
          Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
          she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
          Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
          Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
          Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

          The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
          crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
          was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
          asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

          Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
          and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
          say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
          A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
          isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
          and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
          Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

          (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
          Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

          She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
          a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
          or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
          abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
          or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
          her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

          Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
          healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
          babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
          Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


          #For other Lives of St. Brigid:

          "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
          http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

          "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
          http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


          Icons of St. Brigid:
          http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
          http://www.comeandseeicons.com/cap11.htm
          http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm
          http://www.odox.net/Icons-Brigid.htm##1


          Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

          Kontakion of St Brigid Tone 4
          The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
          way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
          this way the summit of virtue./ 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.
        • emrys@globe.net.nz
          Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 31, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
            * St. Brigid of Kildare
            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


            St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
            (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
            ---------------------------------------------------------------
            Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
            Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
            translation is June 10.


            "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
            anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
            --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

            Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
            be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
            Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
            others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
            power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
            unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
            intended to be.

            Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
            everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
            generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
            away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
            rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
            the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
            Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
            She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

            Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
            her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
            her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
            popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
            she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

            Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
            happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
            She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
            the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
            veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
            womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
            maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
            the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
            however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
            bride.)

            Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
            accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
            mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
            pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
            her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
            eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
            they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
            at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
            Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
            uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
            God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
            and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

            The Book of Lismore bears this story:

            Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
            Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
            Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
            given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
            church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
            sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
            through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
            form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
            a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
            "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
            unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
            from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

            Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
            was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
            in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
            hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
            Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
            such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
            sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
            Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
            semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
            (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

            Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
            drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
            like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
            service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

            There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
            around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
            the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
            is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
            oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
            was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
            well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
            fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
            continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
            fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
            enter.

            It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
            men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
            taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
            over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
            women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
            there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
            from 519.

            Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
            metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
            what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
            scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
            feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
            Kildare in his day:

            "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
            porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
            habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

            The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
            lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
            curtains.

            Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

            The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
            an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
            importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
            of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
            St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

            Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
            sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
            in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
            water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
            a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
            more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
            food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
            the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
            times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

            Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
            intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
            material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
            remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
            manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
            Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
            manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

            Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
            good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
            ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
            Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
            sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
            teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
            saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
            and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
            symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
            never be extinguished.

            Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
            and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
            call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
            Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
            had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
            assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
            the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
            Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
            the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
            to this day.

            When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
            was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
            his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
            defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
            Ireland's Patroness.

            She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
            and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
            object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
            February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
            Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
            where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

            A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
            Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
            her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
            Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
            them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
            Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

            In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
            important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
            Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
            Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
            she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
            Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
            Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
            Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

            The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
            crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
            was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
            asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

            Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
            and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
            say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
            A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
            isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
            and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
            Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

            (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
            Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

            She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
            a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
            or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
            abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
            or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
            her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

            Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
            healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
            babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
            Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


            # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

            "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
            http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

            "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
            http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


            Icons of St. Brigid:
            http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
            http://www.comeandseeicons.com/cap11.htm
            http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

            Many icons of the Saint on one page
            http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



            Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

            Kontakion of St Brigid Tone 4
            The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
            way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
            this way the summit of virtue./ 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.
          • emrys@globe.net.nz
            Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 31, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
              * St. Brigid of Kildare
              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


              St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
              (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
              ---------------------------------------------------------------
              Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
              Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
              translation is June 10.


              "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
              anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
              --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

              Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
              be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
              Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
              others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
              power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
              unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
              intended to be.

              Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
              everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
              generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
              away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
              rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
              the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
              Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
              She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

              Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
              her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
              her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
              popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
              she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

              Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
              happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
              She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
              the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
              veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
              womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
              maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
              the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
              however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
              bride.)

              Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
              accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
              mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
              pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
              her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
              eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
              they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
              at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
              Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
              uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
              God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
              and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

              The Book of Lismore bears this story:

              Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
              Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
              Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
              given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
              church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
              sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
              through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
              form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
              a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
              "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
              unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
              from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

              Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
              was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
              in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
              hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
              Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
              such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
              sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
              Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
              semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
              (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

              Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
              drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
              like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
              service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

              There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
              around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
              the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
              is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
              oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
              was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
              well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
              fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
              continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
              fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
              enter.

              It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
              men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
              taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
              over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
              women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
              there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
              from 519.

              Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
              metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
              what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
              scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
              feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
              Kildare in his day:

              "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
              porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
              habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

              The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
              lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
              curtains.

              Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

              The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
              an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
              importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
              of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
              St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

              Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
              sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
              in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
              water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
              a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
              more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
              food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
              the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
              times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

              Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
              intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
              material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
              remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
              manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
              Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
              manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

              Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
              good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
              ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
              Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
              sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
              teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
              saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
              and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
              symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
              never be extinguished.

              Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
              and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
              call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
              Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
              had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
              assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
              the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
              Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
              the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
              to this day.

              When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
              was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
              his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
              defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
              Ireland's Patroness.

              She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
              and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
              object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
              February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
              Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
              where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

              A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
              Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
              her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
              Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
              them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
              Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

              In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
              important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
              Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
              Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
              she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
              Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
              Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
              Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

              The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
              crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
              was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
              asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

              Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
              and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
              say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
              A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
              isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
              and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
              Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

              (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
              Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

              She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
              a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
              or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
              abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
              or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
              her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

              Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
              healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
              babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
              Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


              # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

              "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
              http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

              "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
              http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


              Icons of St. Brigid:
              http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
              http://www.comeandseeicons.com/cap11.htm
              http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

              Many icons of the Saint on one page
              http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



              Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

              Kontakion of St Brigid Tone 4
              The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
              way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
              this way the summit of virtue./ 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.
            • emrys@globe.net.nz
              Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 31, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                * St. Brigid of Kildare
                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
                (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
                ---------------------------------------------------------------
                Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
                Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
                translation is June 10.


                "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
                anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
                --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

                Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
                be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
                Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
                others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
                power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
                unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
                intended to be.

                Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
                everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
                generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
                away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
                rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
                the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
                Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
                She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

                Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
                her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
                her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
                popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
                she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

                Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
                happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
                She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
                the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
                veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
                womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
                maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
                the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
                however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
                bride.)

                Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
                accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
                mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
                pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
                her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
                eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
                they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
                at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
                Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
                uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
                God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
                and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

                The Book of Lismore bears this story:

                Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
                Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
                Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
                given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
                church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
                sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
                through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
                form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
                a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
                "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
                unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
                from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

                Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
                was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
                in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
                hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
                Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
                such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
                sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
                Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
                semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
                (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

                Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
                drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
                like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
                service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

                There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
                around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
                the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
                is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
                oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
                was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
                well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
                fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
                continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
                fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
                enter.

                It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
                men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
                taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
                over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
                women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
                there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
                from 519.

                Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
                metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
                what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
                scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
                feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
                Kildare in his day:

                "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
                porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
                habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

                The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
                lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
                curtains.

                Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

                The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
                an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
                importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
                of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
                St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

                Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
                sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
                in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
                water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
                a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
                more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
                food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
                the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
                times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

                Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
                intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
                material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
                remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
                manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
                Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
                manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

                Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
                good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
                ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
                Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
                sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
                teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
                saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
                and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
                symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
                never be extinguished.

                Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
                and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
                call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
                Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
                had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
                assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
                the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
                Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
                the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
                to this day.

                When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
                was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
                his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
                defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
                Ireland's Patroness.

                She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
                and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
                object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
                February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
                Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
                where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

                A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
                Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
                her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
                Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
                them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
                Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

                In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
                important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
                Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
                Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
                she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
                Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
                Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
                Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

                The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
                crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
                was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
                asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

                Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
                and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
                say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
                A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
                isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
                and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
                Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

                (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
                Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

                She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
                a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
                or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
                abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
                or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
                her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

                Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
                healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
                babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
                Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


                # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

                "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
                http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

                "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
                http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


                Icons of St. Brigid:
                http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
                http://www.comeandseeicons.com/cap11.htm
                http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

                Many icons of the Saint on one page
                http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



                Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

                Kontakion of St Brigid Tone 4
                The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
                way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
                this way the summit of virtue./ 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.
              • emrys@globe.net.nz
                Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 30, 2009
                • 0 Attachment
                  Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

                  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                  * St. Brigid of Kildare
                  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                  St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
                  (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
                  ---------------------------------------------------------------
                  Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
                  Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
                  translation is June 10.


                  "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
                  anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
                  --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

                  Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
                  be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
                  Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
                  others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
                  power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
                  unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
                  intended to be.

                  Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
                  everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
                  generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
                  away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
                  rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
                  the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
                  Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
                  She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

                  Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
                  her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
                  her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
                  popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
                  she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

                  Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
                  happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
                  She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
                  the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
                  veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
                  womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
                  maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
                  the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
                  however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
                  bride.)

                  Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
                  accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
                  mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
                  pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
                  her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
                  eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
                  they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
                  at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
                  Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
                  uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
                  God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
                  and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

                  The Book of Lismore bears this story:

                  Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
                  Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
                  Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
                  given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
                  church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
                  sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
                  through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
                  form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
                  a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
                  "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
                  unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
                  from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

                  Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
                  was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
                  in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
                  hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
                  Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
                  such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
                  sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
                  Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
                  semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
                  (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

                  Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
                  drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
                  like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
                  service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

                  There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
                  around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
                  the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
                  is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
                  oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
                  was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
                  well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
                  fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
                  continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
                  fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
                  enter.

                  It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
                  men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
                  taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
                  over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
                  women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
                  there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
                  from 519.

                  Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
                  metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
                  what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
                  scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
                  feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
                  Kildare in his day:

                  "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
                  porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
                  habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

                  The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
                  lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
                  curtains.

                  Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

                  The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
                  an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
                  importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
                  of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
                  St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

                  Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
                  sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
                  in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
                  water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
                  a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
                  more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
                  food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
                  the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
                  times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

                  Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
                  intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
                  material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
                  remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
                  manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
                  Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
                  manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

                  Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
                  good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
                  ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
                  Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
                  sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
                  teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
                  saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
                  and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
                  symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
                  never be extinguished.

                  Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
                  and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
                  call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
                  Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
                  had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
                  assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
                  the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
                  Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
                  the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
                  to this day.

                  When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
                  was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
                  his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
                  defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
                  Ireland's Patroness.

                  She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
                  and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
                  object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
                  February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
                  Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
                  where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

                  A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
                  Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
                  her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
                  Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
                  them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
                  Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

                  In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
                  important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
                  Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
                  Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
                  she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
                  Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
                  Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
                  Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

                  The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
                  crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
                  was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
                  asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

                  Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
                  and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
                  say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
                  A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
                  isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
                  and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
                  Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

                  (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
                  Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

                  She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
                  a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
                  or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
                  abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
                  or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
                  her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

                  Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
                  healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
                  babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
                  Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


                  # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

                  "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
                  http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

                  "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
                  http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


                  Icons of St. Brigid:
                  http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
                  http://www.comeandseeicons.com/cap11.htm
                  http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

                  Many icons of the Saint on one page
                  http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



                  Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

                  Kontakion of St Brigid Tone 4
                  The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
                  way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
                  this way the summit of virtue./ 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.
                • emrys@globe.net.nz
                  Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 31, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

                    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                    * St. Brigid of Kildare
                    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                    St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
                    (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
                    ---------------------------------------------------------------
                    Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
                    Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
                    translation is June 10.


                    "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
                    anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
                    --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

                    Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
                    be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
                    Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
                    others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
                    power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
                    unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
                    intended to be.

                    Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
                    everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
                    generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
                    away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
                    rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
                    the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
                    Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
                    She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

                    Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
                    her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
                    her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
                    popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
                    she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

                    Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
                    happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
                    She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
                    the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
                    veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
                    womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
                    maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
                    the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
                    however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
                    bride.)

                    Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
                    accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
                    mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
                    pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
                    her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
                    eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
                    they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
                    at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
                    Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
                    uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
                    God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
                    and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

                    The Book of Lismore bears this story:

                    Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
                    Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
                    Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
                    given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
                    church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
                    sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
                    through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
                    form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
                    a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
                    "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
                    unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
                    from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

                    Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
                    was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
                    in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
                    hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
                    Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
                    such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
                    sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
                    Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
                    semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
                    (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

                    Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
                    drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
                    like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
                    service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

                    There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
                    around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
                    the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
                    is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
                    oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
                    was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
                    well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
                    fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
                    continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
                    fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
                    enter.

                    It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
                    men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
                    taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
                    over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
                    women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
                    there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
                    from 519.

                    Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
                    metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
                    what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
                    scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
                    feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
                    Kildare in his day:

                    "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
                    porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
                    habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

                    The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
                    lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
                    curtains.

                    Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

                    The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
                    an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
                    importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
                    of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
                    St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

                    Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
                    sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
                    in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
                    water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
                    a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
                    more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
                    food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
                    the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
                    times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

                    Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
                    intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
                    material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
                    remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
                    manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
                    Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
                    manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

                    Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
                    good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
                    ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
                    Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
                    sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
                    teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
                    saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
                    and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
                    symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
                    never be extinguished.

                    Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
                    and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
                    call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
                    Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
                    had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
                    assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
                    the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
                    Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
                    the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
                    to this day.

                    When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
                    was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
                    his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
                    defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
                    Ireland's Patroness.

                    She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
                    and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
                    object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
                    February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
                    Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
                    where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

                    A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
                    Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
                    her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
                    Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
                    them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
                    Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

                    In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
                    important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
                    Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
                    Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
                    she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
                    Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
                    Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
                    Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

                    The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
                    crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
                    was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
                    asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

                    Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
                    and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
                    say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
                    A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
                    isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
                    and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
                    Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

                    (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
                    Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

                    She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
                    a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
                    or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
                    abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
                    or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
                    her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

                    Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
                    healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
                    babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
                    Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


                    # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

                    "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
                    http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

                    "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
                    http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


                    Icons of St. Brigid:
                    http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
                    http://www.comeandseeicons.com/b/cap11.htm
                    http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

                    Many icons of the Saint on one page
                    http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



                    Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

                    Kontakion of St Brigid tone 4
                    The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
                    way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
                    this way the summit of virtue./ 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.

                    http://users.netmatters.co.uk/davidbryant/C/TropKon/Feb.htm

                    Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
                    Having learned of things divine by the words of Patrick, thou hast
                    proclaimed in the West the good tidings of Christ. Wherefore, we
                    venerate thee, O Brigid, and entreat thee to intercede with God that
                    our souls be saved.

                    Kontakion in the Third Tone
                    At the Church of the Oak, thou didst establish thy sacred monasteries
                    for those that took up the Tree of life, even the Precious Cross, upon
                    their shoulders. And by thy grace-filled life and love of learning,
                    thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold and didst thereby nourish the
                    faithful. O righteous Mother Brigid, intercede with Christ, the True
                    Vine, that He save our souls.

                    http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/1957

                    With Music

                    Both of the troparia are also available with music

                    Tone 1
                    http://tinyurl.com/d9ngrk

                    Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

                    Western notation
                    http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/Finale%202003%20-%20%5B5501c%5D.pdf

                    Byzantine notation
                    http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/b5501c.pdf
                  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                    Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jan 31, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

                      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                      * St. Brigid of Kildare
                      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                      St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
                      (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------
                      Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
                      Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
                      translation is June 10.


                      "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
                      anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
                      --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

                      Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
                      be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
                      Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
                      others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
                      power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
                      unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
                      intended to be.

                      Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
                      everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
                      generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
                      away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
                      rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
                      the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
                      Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
                      She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

                      Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
                      her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
                      her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
                      popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
                      she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

                      Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
                      happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
                      She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
                      the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
                      veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
                      womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
                      maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
                      the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
                      however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
                      bride.)

                      Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
                      accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
                      mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
                      pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
                      her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
                      eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
                      they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
                      at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
                      Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
                      uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
                      God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
                      and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

                      The Book of Lismore bears this story:

                      Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
                      Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
                      Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
                      given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
                      church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
                      sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
                      through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
                      form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
                      a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
                      "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
                      unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
                      from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

                      Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
                      was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
                      in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
                      hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
                      Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
                      such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
                      sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
                      Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
                      semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
                      (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

                      Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
                      drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
                      like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
                      service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

                      There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
                      around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
                      the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
                      is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
                      oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
                      was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
                      well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
                      fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
                      continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
                      fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
                      enter.

                      It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
                      men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
                      taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
                      over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
                      women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
                      there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
                      from 519.

                      Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
                      metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
                      what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
                      scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
                      feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
                      Kildare in his day:

                      "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
                      porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
                      habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

                      The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
                      lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
                      curtains.

                      Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

                      The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
                      an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
                      importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
                      of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
                      St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

                      Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
                      sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
                      in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
                      water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
                      a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
                      more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
                      food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
                      the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
                      times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

                      Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
                      intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
                      material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
                      remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
                      manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
                      Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
                      manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

                      Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
                      good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
                      ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
                      Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
                      sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
                      teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
                      saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
                      and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
                      symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
                      never be extinguished.

                      Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
                      and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
                      call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
                      Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
                      had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
                      assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
                      the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
                      Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
                      the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
                      to this day.

                      When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
                      was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
                      his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
                      defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
                      Ireland's Patroness.

                      She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
                      and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
                      object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
                      February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
                      Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
                      where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

                      A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
                      Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
                      her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
                      Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
                      them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
                      Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

                      In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
                      important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
                      Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
                      Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
                      she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
                      Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
                      Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
                      Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

                      The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
                      crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
                      was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
                      asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

                      Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
                      and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
                      say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
                      A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
                      isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
                      and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
                      Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

                      (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
                      Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

                      She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
                      a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
                      or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
                      abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
                      or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
                      her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

                      Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
                      healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
                      babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
                      Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


                      # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

                      "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
                      http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

                      "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
                      http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


                      Icons of St. Brigid:
                      http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
                      http://www.comeandseeicons.com/b/cap11.htm
                      http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

                      Many icons of the Saint on one page
                      http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



                      Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

                      Kontakion of St Brigid tone 4
                      The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
                      way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
                      this way the summit of virtue./ 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.

                      http://users.netmatters.co.uk/davidbryant/C/TropKon/Feb.htm

                      Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
                      Having learned of things divine by the words of Patrick, thou hast
                      proclaimed in the West the good tidings of Christ. Wherefore, we
                      venerate thee, O Brigid, and entreat thee to intercede with God that
                      our souls be saved.

                      Kontakion in the Third Tone
                      At the Church of the Oak, thou didst establish thy sacred monasteries
                      for those that took up the Tree of life, even the Precious Cross, upon
                      their shoulders. And by thy grace-filled life and love of learning,
                      thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold and didst thereby nourish the
                      faithful. O righteous Mother Brigid, intercede with Christ, the True
                      Vine, that He save our souls.

                      http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/1957

                      With Music

                      Both of the troparia are also available with music

                      Tone 1
                      http://tinyurl.com/d9ngrk

                      Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

                      Western notation
                      http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/Finale%202003%20-%20%5B5501c%5D\
                      ..pdf

                      Byzantine notation
                      http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/b5501c.pdf
                    • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                      Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 2, 2012
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

                        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                        * St. Brigid of Kildare
                        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                        St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
                        (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------
                        Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
                        Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
                        translation is June 10.


                        "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
                        anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
                        --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

                        Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
                        be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
                        Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
                        others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
                        power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
                        unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
                        intended to be.

                        Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
                        everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
                        generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
                        away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
                        rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
                        the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
                        Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
                        She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

                        Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
                        her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
                        her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
                        popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
                        she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

                        Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
                        happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
                        She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
                        the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
                        veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
                        womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
                        maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
                        the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
                        however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
                        bride.)

                        Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
                        accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
                        mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
                        pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
                        her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
                        eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
                        they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
                        at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
                        Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
                        uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
                        God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
                        and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

                        The Book of Lismore bears this story:

                        Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
                        Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
                        Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
                        given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
                        church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
                        sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
                        through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
                        form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
                        a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
                        "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
                        unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
                        from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

                        Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
                        was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
                        in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
                        hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
                        Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
                        such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
                        sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
                        Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
                        semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
                        (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

                        Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
                        drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
                        like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
                        service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

                        There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
                        around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
                        the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
                        is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
                        oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
                        was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
                        well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
                        fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
                        continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
                        fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
                        enter.

                        It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
                        men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
                        taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
                        over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
                        women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
                        there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
                        from 519.

                        Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
                        metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
                        what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
                        scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
                        feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
                        Kildare in his day:

                        "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
                        porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
                        habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

                        The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
                        lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
                        curtains.

                        Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

                        The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
                        an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
                        importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
                        of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
                        St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

                        Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
                        sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
                        in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
                        water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
                        a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
                        more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
                        food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
                        the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
                        times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

                        Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
                        intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
                        material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
                        remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
                        manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
                        Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
                        manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

                        Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
                        good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
                        ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
                        Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
                        sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
                        teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
                        saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
                        and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
                        symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
                        never be extinguished.

                        Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
                        and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
                        call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
                        Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
                        had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
                        assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
                        the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
                        Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
                        the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
                        to this day.

                        When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
                        was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
                        his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
                        defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
                        Ireland's Patroness.

                        She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
                        and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
                        object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
                        February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
                        Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
                        where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

                        A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
                        Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
                        her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
                        Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
                        them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
                        Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

                        In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
                        important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
                        Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
                        Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
                        she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
                        Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
                        Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
                        Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

                        The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
                        crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
                        was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
                        asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

                        Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
                        and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
                        say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
                        A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
                        isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
                        and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
                        Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

                        (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
                        Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

                        She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
                        a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
                        or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
                        abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
                        or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
                        her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

                        Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
                        healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
                        babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
                        Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


                        # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

                        "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
                        http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

                        "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
                        http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


                        Icons of St. Brigid:
                        http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
                        http://www.comeandseeicons.com/b/cap11.htm
                        http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

                        Many icons of the Saint on one page
                        http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



                        Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

                        Kontakion of St Brigid tone 4
                        The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
                        way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
                        this way the summit of virtue./ 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.

                        http://users.netmatters.co.uk/davidbryant/C/TropKon/Feb.htm

                        Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
                        Having learned of things divine by the words of Patrick, thou hast
                        proclaimed in the West the good tidings of Christ. Wherefore, we
                        venerate thee, O Brigid, and entreat thee to intercede with God that
                        our souls be saved.

                        Kontakion in the Third Tone
                        At the Church of the Oak, thou didst establish thy sacred monasteries
                        for those that took up the Tree of life, even the Precious Cross, upon
                        their shoulders. And by thy grace-filled life and love of learning,
                        thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold and didst thereby nourish the
                        faithful. O righteous Mother Brigid, intercede with Christ, the True
                        Vine, that He save our souls.

                        http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/1957

                        With Music

                        Both of the troparia are also available with music

                        Tone 1
                        http://tinyurl.com/d9ngrk

                        Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

                        Western notation
                        http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/Finale%202003%20-%20%5B5501c%5D.pdf

                        Byzantine notation
                        http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/b5501c.pdf
                      • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                        Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 1, 2013
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

                          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                          * St. Brigid of Kildare
                          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                          St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
                          (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
                          ---------------------------------------------------------------
                          Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
                          Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
                          translation is June 10.


                          "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
                          anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
                          --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

                          Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
                          be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
                          Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
                          others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
                          power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
                          unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
                          intended to be.

                          Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
                          everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
                          generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
                          away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
                          rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
                          the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
                          Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
                          She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

                          Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
                          her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
                          her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
                          popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
                          she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

                          Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
                          happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
                          She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
                          the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
                          veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
                          womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
                          maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
                          the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
                          however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
                          bride.)

                          Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
                          accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
                          mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
                          pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
                          her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
                          eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
                          they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
                          at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
                          Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
                          uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
                          God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
                          and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

                          The Book of Lismore bears this story:

                          Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
                          Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
                          Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
                          given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
                          church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
                          sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
                          through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
                          form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
                          a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
                          "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
                          unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
                          from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

                          Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
                          was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
                          in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
                          hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
                          Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
                          such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
                          sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
                          Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
                          semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
                          (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

                          Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
                          drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
                          like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
                          service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

                          There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
                          around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
                          the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
                          is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
                          oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
                          was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
                          well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
                          fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
                          continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
                          fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
                          enter.

                          It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
                          men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
                          taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
                          over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
                          women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
                          there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
                          from 519.

                          Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
                          metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
                          what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
                          scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
                          feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
                          Kildare in his day:

                          "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
                          porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
                          habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

                          The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
                          lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
                          curtains.

                          Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

                          The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
                          an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
                          importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
                          of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
                          St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

                          Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
                          sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
                          in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
                          water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
                          a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
                          more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
                          food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
                          the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
                          times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

                          Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
                          intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
                          material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
                          remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
                          manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
                          Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
                          manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

                          Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
                          good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
                          ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
                          Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
                          sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
                          teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
                          saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
                          and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
                          symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
                          never be extinguished.

                          Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
                          and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
                          call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
                          Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
                          had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
                          assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
                          the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
                          Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
                          the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
                          to this day.

                          When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
                          was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
                          his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
                          defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
                          Ireland's Patroness.

                          She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
                          and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
                          object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
                          February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
                          Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
                          where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

                          A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
                          Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
                          her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
                          Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
                          them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
                          Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

                          In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
                          important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
                          Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
                          Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
                          she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
                          Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
                          Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
                          Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

                          The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
                          crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
                          was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
                          asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

                          Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
                          and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
                          say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
                          A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
                          isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
                          and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
                          Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

                          (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
                          Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

                          She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
                          a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
                          or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
                          abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
                          or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
                          her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

                          Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
                          healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
                          babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
                          Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


                          # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

                          "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
                          http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

                          "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
                          http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


                          Icons of St. Brigid:
                          http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
                          http://www.comeandseeicons.com/b/cap11.htm
                          http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

                          Many icons of the Saint on one page
                          http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



                          Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

                          Kontakion of St Brigid tone 4
                          The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
                          way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
                          this way the summit of virtue./ 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.

                          http://users.netmatters.co.uk/davidbryant/C/TropKon/Feb.htm

                          Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
                          Having learned of things divine by the words of Patrick, thou hast
                          proclaimed in the West the good tidings of Christ. Wherefore, we
                          venerate thee, O Brigid, and entreat thee to intercede with God that
                          our souls be saved.

                          Kontakion in the Third Tone
                          At the Church of the Oak, thou didst establish thy sacred monasteries
                          for those that took up the Tree of life, even the Precious Cross, upon
                          their shoulders. And by thy grace-filled life and love of learning,
                          thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold and didst thereby nourish the
                          faithful. O righteous Mother Brigid, intercede with Christ, the True
                          Vine, that He save our souls.

                          http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/1957

                          With Music

                          Both of the troparia are also available with music

                          Tone 1
                          http://tinyurl.com/d9ngrk

                          Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

                          Western notation
                          http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/Finale%202003%20-%20%5B5501c%5D.pdf

                          Byzantine notation
                          http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/b5501c.pdf
                        • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                          Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 1, 2014
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February

                            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                            * St. Brigid of Kildare
                            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                            St. Brigid of Kildare, Abbess & Virgin
                            (Bride, Bridget, Brigit, Ffraid)
                            ---------------------------------------------------------------
                            Born at Faughart (near Dundalk) or Uinmeras (near Kildare), Louth,
                            Ireland, c. 450; died at Kildare, Ireland, c. 525; feast of her
                            translation is June 10.


                            "We implore Thee, by the memory of Thy Cross's hallowed and most bitter
                            anguish, make us fear Thee, make us love Thee, O Christ. Amen."
                            --Prayer of Saint Brigid.

                            Saint Brigid was an original--and that's what each of us are supposed to
                            be, an original creation of the Almighty Imagination.
                            Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the desire to be accepted by
                            others. We conform to the norm, rather than opening up to the creative
                            power of God and blooming to render Him the sweet fragrance of our
                            unique lives. We miss the glory of giving God the gift of who we were
                            intended to be.

                            Brigid lacked that fault. She got things done. She had a welcome for
                            everyone in an effort to help them be originals, too. She was so
                            generous that she gave away the clothes from her back. She never shied
                            away from hard work or intense prayer. She would brush aside the
                            rules--even the rules of the Church--if it was necessary to bring out
                            the best in others. Perhaps for this reason, the saint who never left
                            Ireland, is venerated throughout the world as the prototype of all nuns.
                            She bridged the gap between Christian and pagan cultures.

                            Brigid saw the beauty and goodness of God in all His creation: cows made
                            her love God more, and so did wild ducks, which would come and light on
                            her shoulders and hands when she called to them. She enjoyed great
                            popularity both among her own followers and the villagers around; and
                            she had great authority, ruling a monastery of both monks and nuns.

                            Her chief virtue lay in her gentleness, in her compassion, and in her
                            happy and devoted nature which won the affection of all who knew her.
                            She was a great evangelist and joined hands gladly and gaily with all
                            the saints of that age in spreading the Gospel. So great was her
                            veneration throughout Europe that the Medieval knights, seeking a
                            womanly model of perfection, chose Brigid as the example. This theory
                            maintains that such was the image of Brigid as the feminine ideal that
                            the word "bride" passed into the English language. (This is unlikely,
                            however. The word probably derives from the Old German "bryd," meaning
                            bride.)

                            Historical facts about Saint Brigid's life are few because the numerous
                            accounts about it after her death (beginning in the 7th century) consist
                            mainly of miracles and anecdotes, some of which are deeply rooted in
                            pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, they give us a strong impression of
                            her character. She was probably born in the middle of the 5th century in
                            eastern Ireland. Some say her parents were of humble origin; others that
                            they were Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Leinster, and Brocca, a slave
                            at his court. All stories relate that they were both baptized by Saint
                            Patrick. Some say that Brigid became friends with Patrick, though it is
                            uncertain that she ever met him. Beautiful Brigid consecrated herself to
                            God at a young age. She was veiled as a nun by Saint Macaille at Croghan
                            and consecrated as Abbess by Bishop Saint Mel at Armagh.

                            The Book of Lismore bears this story:

                            Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from
                            Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility
                            Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be
                            given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the
                            church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be
                            sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then,
                            through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the
                            form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that
                            a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel
                            "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God
                            unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland
                            from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor.

                            Most likely this story relates to the fact that Roman diocesan system
                            was unknown in Ireland. Monasteries formed the centre of Christian life
                            in the early Church of Ireland. Therefore, abbots and abbesses could
                            hold held some of the dignity and functions that a bishop would on the
                            Continent. Evidence of this can be seen also at synods and councils,
                            such as that of Whitby, which was convened by Saint Hilda. Women
                            sometimes ruled double monasteries; thus, governing both men and women.
                            Bridget, as a pre-eminent abbess, might have fulfilled some
                            semi-episcopal functions, such as preaching, hearing confessions
                            (without absolution), and leading the neighbouring Christians.

                            Beginning consecrated life as a anchorite of sorts, Brigid's sanctity
                            drew many others. When she was about 18, she settled with seven other
                            like-minded girls near Croghan Hill in order to devote herself to God's
                            service. About 468 she followed Saint Mel to Meath.

                            There is little reliable information about the convent she founded
                            around 470 at Kildare (originally Cill-Daire or 'church of the oak'),
                            the first convent in Ireland, and the rule that was followed there. This
                            is one of the ways Brigid sanctified the pagan with the Christian: The
                            oak was sacred to the druids, and in the inner sanctuary of the Church
                            was a perpetual flame, another religious symbol of the druid faith, as
                            well as the Christian. Gerald of Wales (13th century) noted that the
                            fire was perpetually maintained by 20 nuns of her community. This
                            continued until 1220 when it was extinguished. Gerald noted that the
                            fire was surrounded by a circle of bushes, which no man was allowed to
                            enter.

                            It is generally thought to have been a double monastery, housing both
                            men and women--a common practice in the Celtic lands that was sometimes
                            taken by the Irish to the continent. It's possible that she presided
                            over both communities. She did establish schools there for both men and
                            women. Another source says that she installed a bishop named Conlaeth
                            there, though the Vatican officially lists the See of Kildare as dating
                            from 519.

                            Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the
                            metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is
                            what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish
                            scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting
                            feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of
                            Kildare in his day:

                            "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate
                            porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus
                            habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis".

                            The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards,
                            lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated
                            curtains.

                            Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century.

                            The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan,
                            an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar
                            importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen
                            of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824.
                            St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran.

                            Even as a child Brigid showed special love for the poor. When her mother
                            sent her to collect butter, the child gave it all away. Her generosity
                            in adult life was legendary: It was recorded that if she gave a drink of
                            water to a thirsty stranger, the liquid turned into milk; when she sent
                            a barrel of beer to one Christian community, it proved to satisfy 17
                            more. Many of the stories about her relate to the multiplication of
                            food, including one that she changed her bath-water into beer to satisfy
                            the thirst of an unexpected clergyman. Even her cows gave milk three
                            times the same day to provide milk for some visiting bishops.

                            Brigid saw that the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit
                            intertwined. Dedicated to improving the spiritual as well as the
                            material lives of those around her, Brigid made her monastery a
                            remarkable house of learning, including an art school. The illuminated
                            manuscripts originating there were praised, especially the Book of
                            Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish
                            manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago.

                            Once she fell asleep during a sermon of Saint Patrick, but he
                            good-humouredly forgave her. She had dreamed, she told him, of the land
                            ploughed far and wide, and of white-clothed sowers sowing good seed.
                            Then came others clothed in black, who ploughed up the good seed and
                            sowed tares in its place. Patrick told her that such would happen; false
                            teachers would come to Ireland and uproot all their good work. This
                            saddened Brigid, but she redoubled her efforts, teaching people to pray
                            and to worship God, and telling them that the light on the altar was a
                            symbol of the shining of the Gospel in the heart of Ireland, and must
                            never be extinguished.

                            Brigid is called the 'Mary of the Gael' because her spirit of charity,
                            and the miracles attributed to her were usually enacted in response to a
                            call upon her pity or sense of justice. During an important synod of the
                            Irish church, one of the holy fathers, Bishop Ibor, announced that he
                            had dreamed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear among the
                            assembled Christians. When Brigid arrived the father cried, "There is
                            the holy maiden I saw in my dream." Thus, the reason for her nickname.
                            Her prayers and miracles were said to exercise a powerful influence on
                            the growth of the early Irish Church, and she is much beloved in Ireland
                            to this day.

                            When dying at the age of 74, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who
                            was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had
                            his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being
                            defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to
                            Ireland's Patroness.

                            She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral,
                            and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an
                            object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1
                            February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the
                            Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick,
                            where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

                            A tunic reputed to have been hers, given by Gunhilda, sister of King
                            Harold II, survives at Saint Donatian's in Bruges, Belgium. A relic of
                            her shoe, made of silver and brass set with jewels, is at the National
                            Museum of Dublin. In 1283, three knights took the head of Brigid with
                            them on a journey to the Holy Land. They died in Lumier (near Lisbon),
                            Portugal, where the church now enshrines her head in a special chapel.

                            In England, there are 19 ancient church dedications to her. The most
                            important of which is the oldest church in London--St. Bride's in Fleet
                            Street--and Bridewell or Saint Bride's Well. In Scotland, East and West
                            Kilbride bear her name. Saint Brigid's Church at Douglas recalls that
                            she is the patroness of the great Douglas family. Several places in
                            Wales are named Llansantaffraid, which means "St. Bride's Church." The
                            Irish Bishop Saint Donato of Fiesole (Italy) built a Saint Brigid's
                            Church in Piacenza, where the Peace of Constance was ratified in 1185.

                            The best-known custom connected with Brigid is the plaiting of reed
                            crosses for her feast day. This tradition dates to the story that she
                            was plaiting rush crosses while nursing a dying pagan chieftain. He
                            asked her about this and her explanation led to his being baptized.

                            Traditional Irish blessings invoke her. "Brid agus Muire dhuit, Brigid
                            and Mary be with you" os a common Irish greeting, and in Wales people
                            say, "Sanffried suynade ni undeith, St. Brigid bless us on our journey."
                            A blessing over cattle in the Scottish
                            isles goes: "The protection of God and Colmkille encompass your going
                            and coming, and about you be the milkmaid of the smooth white palms,
                            Brigid of the clustering, golden brown hair"

                            (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopaedia, Farmer, Gill,
                            Groome, Montague, O'Briain, Sellner, White).

                            She is usually portrayed in art with a cow lying at her feet, or holding
                            a cross and casting out the devil (White). Her emblem is a lighted lamp
                            or candle (not to be confused with Saint Genevieve, who is not an
                            abbess). At times she may be shown (1) with a flame over her; (2) geese
                            or cow near her; (3) near a barn; (4) letting wax from a taper fall upon
                            her arm; or (5) restoring a man's hand (Roeder).

                            Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths,
                            healers (White), cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born
                            babies (Roeder). She is still venerated highly in Alsace, Flanders, and
                            Portugal (Montague), as well as Ireland and Chester, England (Farmer).


                            # For other Lives of St. Brigid:

                            "Saint Brigid: The Mary of the Gael":
                            http://www.cin.org/saints/bridget.html

                            "A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare":
                            http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm


                            Icons of St. Brigid:
                            http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/celt-saints/lst
                            http://www.comeandseeicons.com/b/cap11.htm
                            http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Icons/icon_photo_album.htm

                            Many icons of the Saint on one page
                            http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Brigid.htm##1



                            Troparion of St Brigid of Kildare 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.

                            Kontakion of St Brigid tone 4
                            The holy virgin Brigid full of divine wisdom,/ went with joy along the
                            way of evangelical childhood,/ and with the grace of God/ attained in
                            this way the summit of virtue./ 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.

                            http://users.netmatters.co.uk/davidbryant/C/TropKon/Feb.htm

                            Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
                            Having learned of things divine by the words of Patrick, thou hast
                            proclaimed in the West the good tidings of Christ. Wherefore, we
                            venerate thee, O Brigid, and entreat thee to intercede with God that
                            our souls be saved.

                            Kontakion in the Third Tone
                            At the Church of the Oak, thou didst establish thy sacred monasteries
                            for those that took up the Tree of life, even the Precious Cross, upon
                            their shoulders. And by thy grace-filled life and love of learning,
                            thou didst bear fruit a hundredfold and didst thereby nourish the
                            faithful. O righteous Mother Brigid, intercede with Christ, the True
                            Vine, that He save our souls.

                            http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/1957

                            With Music

                            Both of the troparia are also available with music

                            Tone 1
                            http://tinyurl.com/d9ngrk

                            Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

                            Western notation
                            http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/Finale%202003%20-%20%5B5501c%5D.pdf

                            Byzantine notation
                            http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Menaion/b5501c.pdf
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