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Brigid of Kildare

St. Brigid of Ireland icon by Theophilia

Brigid of Kildare is the patron saint of Ireland, poets, dairymaids, blacksmiths, healers, cattle, fugitives, Irish nuns, midwives, and new-born babies. We keep her feast day on February 1, the traditional Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring.

 Brigid was born daughter to a chieftain and a slave woman, and brought up by a druid. Her life was marked by miracles from an early age which impressed the king of Leinster, who granted her her freedom. She became a religious and founded a monastery over the fires of a pagan shrine at Kildare that developed into a cathedral city of culture and learning. Brigid was known for her compassion and generosity, her charity and humor. She died c.525.

You can read about Brigid's life here.

The Giveaway by Phyllis Mcginley is a fun poem about Saint Brigid's main characteristic.

Find hymns, prayers and poems on these pages.

Lots of tales are told about Brigid.  Here is an important introduction to tales and history.
  1. You can watch and listen to the tale of Saint Brigid's Cloak or view it with PowerPoint.
           Follow up with this inspiring video.
           Finally color this whimsical picture.
  2. This is a story of Brigid and the wolf.
  3. Saint Brigid once gave away her father's sword.
  4. You can find our about the Saint Brigid's Cross
    ou might want to try your hand at making a Brigid's cross.
           Then you can color a Brigid's cross.
           Here is a cross you can make from paper.
  5. Saint Brigid gave away milk in the tale of Saint Brigid and the Cows.
  6. Brigid loved to make beer for the poor every Easter. It was her gift to them in celebration of the greatest of all Christian feasts. Brigid felt we could see the face of Jesus most clearly in the faces of the poor. Find the St Brigid pray about beer here.

Here are some old customs for February 1--Brigid's feast day.

You may want to try making Saint Brigid's Oaten Bread.
     Two other St Brigid Day food recipes are here.

Ideas for hosting a Saint Brigid playdate gives lots of ideas for activities
        especially great is the idea of making and delivering a charity basket.

Finally, here is a picture to color.
You may want to finish off with a crossword puzzle.
Here is a kids page for you.

Brigid's spirituality was not corrected by Puritan influence, but raw and earthy. Check out her poem from
and check out the picture by Brother Mickey O'Neill McGrath, OSFS that was inspired by the poem.
You can listen to a delightful musical version, too.

The Life of St Brigid the Virgin, written by a Kildare monk, Cogitosus Ua hAedha, around AD650, writes

On another extraordinary occasion, this venerable Brigid was asked by some lepers for beer, but had none. She noticed water that had been prepared for baths. She blessed it, in the goodness of her abiding faith, and transformed it into the best beer, which she drew copiously for the thirsty. It was indeed He Who turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee Who turned water into beer here, through this most blessed woman’s faith.


I should like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I should like the angels of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal.
I should like excellent meats of belief and pure piety.
I should like the men of Heaven at my house.
I should like barrels of peace at their disposal.
I should like for them cellars of mercy.
I should like cheerfulness to be their drinking.
I should like Jesus to be there among them.
I should like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
I should like the people of Heaven, the poor, to be gathered around from all parts.

You often see a St Brigid pictured as holding a Bishop's crosier or staff. This was traditional for an abbess, but there is more to the story.
Here is the tale from the Book of Lismore.
"Brigid and certain virgins along with her went to take the veil from Bishop Mel in Telcha Mide. Blithe was he to see them. For humility Brigid stayed so that she might be the last to whom a veil should be given. A fiery pillar rose from her head to the roof ridge of the church. Then said Bishop Mel: "Come, O holy Brigid, that a veil may be sained on thy head before the other virgins." It came to pass then, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, that the form of ordaining a bishop was read out over Brigid. Macaille said that a bishop's order should not be confirmed on a woman. Said Bishop Mel "No power have I in this matter. That dignity hath been given by God unto Brigid, beyond every (other) woman." Wherefore the men of Ireland from that time to this give episcopal honour to Brigid's successor."