ON Lá Fhéile Bríde we celebrate the life and example of Saint Brigid. 

I have always been inspired by this ancient saint. She was a female faith leader, community builder, pioneer, and had a heart for the broken and the poor. This feisty, risk-taking and compassionate woman was born near Dundalk and founded the monastery of Kildare, known as, ‘Church of the Oak’. She modelled equality, and co-led, with a man named Conleth, to “govern the church along with hersel.”  

As a peacemaker, she often stepped into division to bring healing and reconciliation. St Brigid’s cross reminds us of how she sat with a dying man and while she comforted him, she gathered rushes from the floor and wove them into the shape of a cross. She used this to explain the story of Christ and the cross. 

We are living during difficult days. The pandemic is taking its toll and causing many of us to have weary hearts. But the 1st of February reminds us that spring has begun. Today, there are many women who carry the baton on from St Brigid – in our communities, wider society and the Church.

Many have stepped up and helped during this season of Covid. So often they go unnoticed. They are unsung heroes.  St Brigid’s day provides us with the opportunity to acknowledge the many women who are doing great things to make this land a better place to live in. In closing, I want to offer St. Brigid’s prayer for thought and reflection.

Brigid, You were a woman of peace. You brought harmony where there was conflict. You brought light to the darkness. You brought hope to the downcast. May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious, and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world. Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made. Brigid, you were a voice for the wounded and the weary. Strengthen what is weak within us. Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens. May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit. Amen.