Tuesday, February 1, 2011

St. Brigid of Kildare

Today is the feast day of St. Brigid of Kildare, who, with St. Patrick, is the patron saint of Ireland. I honoured the day in my usual fashion - fashion being a rather significant word here. I decked myself out in a very Irish ensemble, modeled after these lads here. Obviously, I did not present to the world quite so military an appearance, since what I was wearing is properly a kilted skirt, rather than a kilt, and had to be satisfied with a dark green sweater, rather than the fine jackets they are sporting, but the effect, I fancy, is quite nearly as eye-catching.

St. Brigid is one of those saints around whom is woven a tapestry of legends, and one gets a picture of an astonishingly holy woman whose boundless charity and genuine niceness made her very pleasant company indeed. This website is a good place to go for a sample of some of the more common stories told about St. Brigid. I think one of the things I find most endearing about her, though, is her hospitality. Gaelic people tend to have a very high code of hospitality, but she rather outdoes herself in honouring it. Among the many miracles she is said to have performed, there are several in which she turned various liquids into beer to serve to her guests. Indeed, there is a prayer-poem attributed to her, that runs thusly: "I'd like a great lake of beer for the King of kings. I would like to be watching heaven's family drinking it through all eternity." And if that is not enough to endear the hardest of hearts to the Mary of the Gael, I do not know what will!

1 comment:

Cat said...

She is my favourite saint, tha kens. Thanks for posting.