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Bridget of Kildare, Abbess and Patroness of Ireland


Brigid of Kildare Abbess and Patroness of Ireland

Brigid was most highly valued and venerated next to St. Patrick. She consecrated her life to God at an early age. She was noted as beautiful and she was sought after to marry, but she bound herself to God, that she might become ugly and deformed. Her prayer was answered, and her eye became swollen, but her face was later healed. Bishop Patrick later erected a conventdedicated to her and made her the mother superior. She was renowned for her charity and kindness to the poor. Brigid was the founder of many monasteries, and she was the first in Ireland to erect one who brought many devotees into her spiritualpractices. Candlemas, also known as the Festival of Lights, is often associated with St. Brigid’s feast day and occurs on Feb. 1st. It is known is known as the feast of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a holy Christian day that honors Jesus’s presentation to the temple, an event narrated in the Gospel according to Luke 2: 22-40. In Celtic tradition, this day also marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Prayer

Brigid, you were a woman of peace. You brought harmony where there was conflict. You brought light to the darkness.

You brought hope to the downcast. May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious, and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world. Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made. Brigid, you were a voice for the wounded and the weary; strengthen what is weak within us. Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens. May we grow in greater wholeness in mind, body, and spirit. AMEN.

Brigid of the Mantle, encompass us, Lady of the Lambs, protect us, Keeper of the hearth, kindle us beneath your mantle, gather us and restore us to memory.

Mothers of our mother, foremother strong. Guide our hands in yours, remind us how to kindle the hearth to keep it bright, to preserve the flame. Your hands upon ours

to kindle the light, both day and night. The Mantle of Brigid about us, the protection of Brigid keeping us from harm, from ignorance from heartlessness this day and night,

from day till dark.

Reflection

Outward resemblance to Mary was Brigid’s peculiar privilege.knowledge of Brigid’s life and caring for the poor are her chief gifts to those she encountered. In these times and culture, beauty was paramount. How would you compensate for not having beauty?

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