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Saint Brigid of Kildare
Saint Brigid of Kildare

Saint Brigid of Kildare

Feast Day
Feb 01, 2013
<p><strong>Patronage</strong> &ndash; Babies, Blacksmiths, Boatmen, Cattle, Chicken Farmers, Children whose parents are not married, Children of Abuse, Dairy Workers, Fugitives, Infants, Ireland, Printing Presses, Sailors, Scholars, Travelers, Watermen</p> <p>St. Brigid of Kildare was born in 453 in Dundalk, and is one of Ireland&rsquo;s patron saints along with St. Patrick, and St. Columba.&nbsp; Legend tells that her mother was a Christian slave that was baptized by St. Patrick.&nbsp; The Vita outlined Brigid&rsquo;s early life and tells that she was born into slavery to a druid.&nbsp; One thing is for sure, from early on in life, Brigid was holy.&nbsp; When a druid tried to feed her, she would vomit because he was impure, and that is why a cow was assigned to her to sustain her.&nbsp; As she grew older, Brigid performed many miracles, including healing the sick and feeding the poor.&nbsp; As a young child, she gave away all of her mother&rsquo;s butter that was stored up to the poor, and the butter was replenished in answer to St. Brigid&rsquo;s prayer. This is a good example of the many miracles. &nbsp;</p> <p>Brigid was committed to the religious life, and her small oratory at Kildare became a center of religion and learning, and developed into a Cathedral city.&nbsp; She founded two Monastic Institutions, one for men, and the other for women.&nbsp; She appointed St. Conleth as spiritual pastor of them. &nbsp; Brigid also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination; St. Conleth presided over this school. &nbsp;</p> <p>She was a friend to St. Patrick, and their friendship was said to be the pillars of the Irish people.&nbsp; There was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind.&nbsp; It was through St. Patrick and St. Brigid that Christ performed many great works.&nbsp; Those who had witnessed them recorded miracles during her lifetime or had some relation to the person who had.&nbsp; Most of her miracles were attributed to women, and if she wished or predicted something to occur, it came to pass.&nbsp; A few examples &ndash; on Easter Sunday a leper had come to Brigid to ask for a cow.&nbsp; She asked for a time to rest and would help him later, but he couldn&rsquo;t wait and said he would go elsewhere for a cow.&nbsp; Brigid then offered to heal him, but the man stubbornly replied that his condition allowed him to acquire more than he would if he was healthy.&nbsp; She replied that was not true, and had one of her maidens wash the man with a blessed mug of water.&nbsp; He was instantly cured and vowed to serve Brigid. &nbsp;</p> <p>On another occasion Brigid was traveling to see a physician for her headache.&nbsp; His wife was not able to have children that survived, except the two daughters that were deaf and couldn&rsquo;t speak since their birth.&nbsp; She was traveling with these daughters when the horse suddenly stopped causing St. Brigid to wound her head on a stone.&nbsp; He blood mixed with the water, and she instructed the girl to pour the bloodied water onto her neck in God&rsquo;s name, causing the girl to be healed.&nbsp; The other sister bowed down, and was instantly healed as well.&nbsp; She told the cured sisters to return home and they would birth as many male children as their mother had lost.&nbsp; From that moment on, anyone who touched that stone that injured St. Brigid was healed.&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the more commonly told stories of St. Brigid was when she went to the King of Leinster to ask for land to build a convent.&nbsp; She told him the place where she stood was the perfect place for a convent.&nbsp; It was beside a forest, easy to collect wood for fire and berries.&nbsp; There was also a lake nearby for water.&nbsp; He laughed at her and refused to give her any land.&nbsp; Brigid prayed to God and asked him to soften the King&rsquo;s heart.&nbsp; Then she smiled at the King and said, &ldquo;Will you give me as much land as my cloak will cover&rdquo;? The King thought she was joking and agreed, telling her to spread her cloak on the ground.&nbsp; She asked her four friends to hold a corner of the cloak and walk in opposite directions, and they did.&nbsp; The cloak grew immediately and began to cover many acres of land.&nbsp; The King realized that she was blessed by God, fell to the ground and knelt before her and promised her not only land, but money, food, and supplies.&nbsp; He was converted and started to help the poor, and commissioned the construction of her new Convent.&nbsp; Her land produced blueberries for jam in profound abundance, and people from all over Ireland sought it out.&nbsp;</p> <p>She died at Kildare on February 1. She is buried at Downpatrick with St. Columba and St. Patrick, with whom she is the patron of Ireland. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Brigid was from Ireland, and was a holy child that grew up to dedicate her life to the Church.&nbsp; She founded both a monastery for women and one for men.&nbsp; She was considered one of the pillars of faith in Ireland, along with saints Patrick and Columba.&nbsp; She performed many miracles throughout her life, and is honored for the great faith in Ireland over the centuries.&nbsp; Her compassion and love for the poor and sick was beyond compare, and she spent her life serving others.&nbsp; She died on February 1<sup>st</sup>, and is buried with St. Patrick and St. Columba, in Downpatrick.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>