St Brigid, Muire na nGael (Mary of the Gael)


St Brigid, Muire na nGael (Mary of the Gael)
Brigid was born in Kildare around the years 454-458.
She is thought to have died in 524. Her father Dubhthach
was a man of noble birth and Brigid faced opposition from
him and her brothers who would have preferred marriage,
wealth and social status for this beautiful and accomplished
woman. When she became a nun, she chose one of the
Beatitudes as her motto for life: Blessed are the merciful
for they shall have mercy shown them
’.
She showed great mercy to the poor and hungry throughout her life.
Her church in Kildare attained considerable importance and
she had a great reputation for holiness. She combined the
contemplative life of her nuns in community with a great
missionary zeal, travelling to Connacht, Munster and
Ulster. She was an important Christian leader in her day
and holy wells and churches throughout Ireland bear her
name. Churches are also dedicated to her name in Scotland, England, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy.
The use of a cloak, called Bratóg Bhríde, on her feast day is a sign of her protection as are St Brigids  Crosses.








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