Today, St Brigid’s Day marks the first day of Spring, a time of renewed hope! This day in the ancient Irish calendar was also the beginning of the festive season of IMBOLC; a time of fertility, a celebration of the wonderful springing back of the earth itself from its winter hibernation.
St Brigid, Naomh Bríd na nGael, is the second Patron saint of Ireland, after St Patrick. St Brigid is an icon for all Irish people…besides the male strengths and energy of St Patrick, we have a woman and a saint to admire who was strong, resourceful, capable, a visionary, and full of life and spirit as much as Patrick but different in her own unique feminine ways.
Brigid was a healer, someone of great compassion, close to nature, and an advocate for justice and right. Brigid is the Patroness of those who care for the earth, care for justice and right, for peace and reconciliation, and was renowned for her hospitality, almsgiving, and care of the sick. She founded a very famous double monastery in Kildare, a monastery for both women and men, which was very unusual in those times, but that was typical of Brigid…she was a change-maker and a trail-blazer!
St Brigid has been rescued from being romanticised as a ‘fairy-tale’ saint into a dynamic woman saint for Ireland who like St. Patrick, helped transform Irish Christian society into a more robust and fairer, kinder and caring, society that we are still privileged to be part of.
We call on St Brigid today, to inspire us again with her energy and fiery example in this new Springtime for new hope, new vision, and new energy. Let us renew our own commitment to work with those less well off, and to protect this beautiful Earth. Remembering Brigid and what she stood for, allows us to pause, reflect and realise that this Earth, is our common and only home, a beautiful fragile grain of life spinning in the depths of the universe.
St Brigid was a great woman of peace and harmony, with a deep closeness to nature; she brought light to the darkness and hope to those downcast and downtrodden. St Brigid was a voice for the weary and the wounded. Let us remember and celebrate her today!
Lá fhéile Bríde shona daoibh!