Tuesday, February 1, 2011

St. Brigid of Kildare

I'm a fantasy fanatic. I love to read and write fantasy. There's just something about reading worlds that are not of our world, reading about worlds that inspire me to be a better person. Fantasies and fairy tales are my absolute favourite genres.

A lot of times, I think saints are some of the best fairy tales you can read. The best part about them, is that they're real.

My favourite saint's feast day is today. She is my favourite saint, because she was incredibly generous and charitable to the poor, but she was so human!

Her father was a pagan Irish Chieftain, and her mother a Christian slave. Brigid grew up a Christian, and she was most notable for her incredible generosity. She would help her mother with her duties, and though none of the property she worked belonged to her but to her father, Brigid had no qualms about distributing the wealth of the land to the poor. Once, she gave away the whole store of butter her mother had churned, but God matched her generosity by replenishing the butter a hundredfold.

One of my favourite stories about her is the one when she was traveling with her pagan father in his coach, and her father left her for just a moment alone as he tended a small matter of business. While she waited for him to return, Brigid was approached by a peasant, and since she had nothing of her own that she could give to the peasant, she picked up her father's jeweled sword and gave it to the peasant. When her father found out he was understandably upset. When he asked her if she realised what she'd done, she responded, "I gave it to God."

She saw God in everyone. That was her gift. That was the greatest part of her, the complete unselfishness that allowed her to give a smile to everyone, no matter how grim or unhappy they were, or how miserable they were to her. She was charity.

She is a true fairy tale. She is one of those saints that is an inspiration to read about. She is a saint that inspires me to be a better person.

She is known as the Mary of the Gael.

The Prayer Of St. Brigid

I wish I had a great lake of ale for the King of kings, 
and the family of heaven 
to drink it through time eternal. 
I wish I had the meats of belief and genuine piety, 
the flails of penance, 
and the men of heaven in my house. 
I would like keeves of peace to be at their disposal, 
vessels of charity for distribution, 
caves of mercy for their company, 
and cheerfulness to be in their drinking. 
I would want Jesus also to be in their midst, 
together with the three Marys of illustrious renown, 
and the pople of heaven from all parts. 
I would like to be a tenant to the Lord, 
so if I should suffer distress, 
He would confer on me a blessing.



  1. Yeah, she kind of reminds me of St Theresa. Such an open heart to see what most cannot see. I just found your blog as I scanned my Facebook posts. Nice to meet you.

  2. I learned about St. Brigid when I was in Ramona Convent--I was six and in first grade with a few tough nuns to guide me. It was from her name that the word, "bride" came. How saintly!

  3. "I gave it to God." - LOVE this. We need more modern day Saints like this. Thanks for sharing :)

  4. The primary school I attended was called St Brigid's, and the first prayer I ever paid attention to was this one (I was brought up Muslim). Her story is inspirational, and definitely one of my favourites!

  5. I see grumpy in most people. Crazy at other times. Neuroticism in some. Vanity in quite a few. I'm a hairdresser by trade. St. Brigid would've been a great hairdresser. Seeing God in others is seeing total beauty.

  6. I can see why she's your favorite saint. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Beautiful story - thanks for sharing. You've reminded me to take a moment to be kind to everyone whenever I can. We're all human.

  8. She has a cool story! The "lake of ale" line in her poem cracked me up.

  9. What a beautiful way for her to have lived. A lovely story of a life well-led.

  10. Wow, I was impressed with all the comments I got on this!

    Salarsen, nice to meet you too. :)

    Cleemckenzie, isn't that such a cool thing, how "bride" came from her name?

    Samantha, Lady Antimony, Shelly, glad you liked the story.

    Kelly, she is one of my favourites. She was just such a spunky Irish saint. There's a legend somewhere, how when she tended her cows she would make crosses out of the grass, or rushes. There's a site here that shows how she made those crosses. They're very lovely crosses.

    Jessie, I'm glad the story touched you. There are times during the day where I can't STAND people. She's a good inspiration on how to see God even in the most difficult person.

    Catherine, I love that poem, 'cause it just PROVES she was human as the rest of us! I mean, only a mere mortal would think about offering God ale. :)

    Janel, thanks for the comment! It was so nice of you to drop by.

  11. Great post,Kit! You always make such beautiful points!:-)

  12. I hadn't heard this. What a beautiful tale. Thanks. Must read some more.


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