Assignment Read Bio and Letters of St. Boniface for tomorrow…in class files under folder for test #1.
Didjaredit? 1.What place in society did Brigid have as a child? 2.What did Brigid’s parents want to do with her when they saw her undying devotion to the poor as a youngster? 3.What prized possession did Brigid give the poor leper which belonged to her father? 4.How did the King respond when her father went into a tyrade after she gave away his prized possession? 5.What happened when Brigid went to the end of the line of young women to receive her veil from Bishop Mel? 6.When Brigid received the veil, the Bishop read a special blessing (or rite) over her which was usually intended for whom? 7.How was Brigid’s monastery in Kildare very different than most monasteries today? 8.Some scholars think that Brigid used to be a pagan __________. Extra credit: How old was Brigid when she died?
Names of Brigid St. Brigid -- her name is correctly pronounced "Brigg-id" or "Bree-id.” Other forms of her name were: Bridget, Bride (or Bridey – a nickname), Ffraid, Brigit, Bridget and Bree. She was also called “Mary of the Gaels” or “Mary of Kildare.” The Irishmen esteemed Brigid as such a perfect woman, that they would call their own wives “Bride” to show them reverence and honor. It is believed that this is where the word “bride” originated in English usage. It is generally believed that Brigid was born in A.D. 451 or 452 to a pagan father (Dubthach) and Christian slave mother (Broicsech).
Female Counterpart of Patrick It is said that Brigid heard Patrick preach and it was because of him that she converted to Chrsitianity and fell in love with God. Some scholars believe this is false and that she was born after Patrick died. However, it is generally believed that Patrick sowed the missionary seeds and Brigid tended the garden of souls in Ireland.
Brigid the Nun As a freewoman, she became a part of her father's clan, and being a part of the clan made her marriageable to the clansmen. They began to seek her out as she was beautiful, but she consecrated herself to Christ and wanted no part of marriage. It is said that she, like St. Rose of Lima was to do later, disfigured her face so that no man would even want to marry her. Her resolve convinced her father to allow her to take the veil, and she became the first nun in Ireland. Now, women consecrated themselves to Christ before then, but lived in private homes; Brigid formed the first religious community for women in Ireland. She and 7 companions met with St. Mel, Bishop, in Mag Teloch. St. Mel gladly consecrated the women, and when he did, it is said that Brigid's self-disfigurement was healed and her beauty restored.
The Monastery of Kildare Brigid and her sisters first set up a convent in Ardagh, but then moved to what is now known as Kildare, "The Church of the Oak," on land given to them by the good King of Leinster who'd convinced Brigid's father to grant her her freedom. The fantastical Irish legend told to children is that she was refused the land near the oak tree that she loved, so told the King she'd be happy to accept whatever land her mantle could cover. The King assented, but her mantle miraculously covered all of Curragh! Her convent grew, and she travelled to set up others all over Ireland and also a school of illumination and metallurgy. In those travels, she became known for her Christ-given ability to heal and wisdom. Bishops, priests, and chieftans sought her counsel, and she was so beloved that she became known as "The Mary of the Gaels."
Kildare Abbey is a former monastery in County Kildare, Ireland, founded by St Brigid in the 5th century, and destroyed in the 12th century.
Death When St. Brigid died an old woman in A.D. 525, her sisters kept a fire burning in an enclosure at her Kildare convent. This fire burned for centuries, tended by the Sisters and not burning out until A.D. 1220. It was re-lit and burned for 400 years, when the effects of the Protestant "Reformation" extinguished it again.
St. Brigid's Crosses During one of her travels, St. Brigid went to visit a dying pagan chieftan. As she sat near his bed, she picked up some rushes on the floor and began weaving a Cross. He asked her about what she was doing and, in explaining, she told him about Christ and the meaning of the Cross. He came to faith and was baptized. It is customary on St. Brigid's Day to make a Cross -- known as a "St. Brigid's Cross" -- out of rushes or reeds (other materials may be used if no rushes or reeds are available). Once the Cross is woven, it is blessed with holy water and with the words May the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost be on this Cross and on the place where it hangs and on everyone who looks on it. It is then hung on the front doors of homes and left in place all year, to be burned and replaced with a newly- woven Cross on the next St. Brigid's Day.