A LITTLE STORY OF ST BRIGID
A brief account of St Brigid's life
Saint Brigid was born in A.D. 451 or 452 in Co Louth. She was a farmer’s daughter and she worked in the diary, She gave away a lot of the produce which upset her father. Although they never went without.
She accompanied her father on a visit to the King of Leinster Dunlang and while waiting for him to return to the chariot a leper came to talk to her and as he had nothing, Brigid gave him her father’s sword which annoyed her father but the King was so impressed by her that he gave her father his own sword to replace the one Brigid gave away.
She was a pretty girl and had many admirers, she didn’t want to marry. She wanted to do God’s work and prayed that no one would want to marry her so she could do God’s work. She talked to her father who eventually allowed her to become the first nun in Ireland. Brigid went on to form a religious order for women which comprised of 7/8 other nuns. St Mel the Bishop of the time consecrated the women. She went on to build a convent in Co. Kildare. Brigid wanted the land to include a oak tree which she loved but the chieftains wouldn't give it to her so she suggested that the land should cover her mantle (cloak) to which they agreed because they thought it would only cover be a small area, miraculously her mantle (cloak) grew and grew until it covered an area known as the Curragh and her beloved oak tree.
How did the “St Brigid’s Cross” come about. Folklore tells of how she was sitting at the bedside of a dying pagan. As she sat she picked up some rushes from the floor and began to weave them into a cross. The pagan asked what she was doing and Brigid began to tell him about the Holy Cross on which Jesus died for us. He was very moved by how much Jesus loved us. That very day, he became a Christian and died holding the cross of rushes.
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). Once the Cross is woven, it is blessed with holy water and the following prayer recited:
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.