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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Celtic and Old English Saints 1 February =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Brigid of Kildare
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 2, 2012
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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/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 2 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 3 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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