31 January 2012

St Brigid's Day, 1st February

Saint Brigid (454 - 542 A.D.), Abbess and secondary patron of Ireland, was born near Dundalk. When she was young, her father wanted to arrange a marriage for her, but she insisted on consecrating her virginity to God. She settled with seven other virgins under a large oak tree, giving the name Cill Dara (the Church of the oak) to that place. She received the veil and her spiritual formation from Saint Mel of Ardagh. She founded a monastery for women and one for men with the assistance of the Bishop Saint Conleth.
The Saint Brigid's cross originated from a visit by Saint Brigid to a chieftain who was dying. Christians in his household called Brigid to talk to him about Christ. In trying to explain about Jesus to him, she picked rushes from the floor and wove them into a cross. She explained the faith so well that the chieftain converted to the faith just before he died.
The other famous story about Saint Brigid is that of her cloak. She asked the King of Leinster for land to build a convent. The king refused, but she asked him, 'Will you just give me as much land as my cloak will cover?' He agreed and she spread her cloak on the ground. She got four friends to spread the cloak out on the ground and it kept spreading in all four directions until it covered many acres. The king too became a Christian.
Mass in Sacred Heart Church for the Feast at 10am this Wednesday, 1st February 2012.

The original Telefis Eireann logo was the Saint Brigid's cross

In fact, the Saint Brigid's Cross was part of a succession of RTE logos up until 1996