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St. Brigid and her Cross

St_-Brigid-of-KildareHappy St. Brigid’s Day! In Ireland, it marks the first day of spring and the new farm year. It also honors the Patroness of Ireland – the beloved St. Brigid.

The saint lived from 451 – 525 AD. Her long life was one of influence and importance, although she lived in an age when women were considered completely subservient.

Brigid was a very pious Christian who founded several monasteries and traveled constantly teaching about Jesus. Even today, many miracles are attributed to her intercession. She was regarded as the best cook and ale maker in all of Ireland and it is said she never turned the hungry away.

At one time Brigid was ministering to a dying pagan chieftain. In her zeal to explain the life of Christ to the man, she pulled nearby rushes and wove a cross as she spoke to him. Legend says the chieftain repented and was baptized before his death due to Brigid’s prayer on his behalf.

As with all things Irish, celebrations mean traditions. In Brigid’s honor, the story of her cross is often commemorated in rough crosses made like hers from grasses and rushes, sculptures carved from wood and stone, and precious jewelry crafted in her honor. [insert link to Celtic Ranch St. Brigid’s Cross photos]

St. Brigid’s crosses still hang today in many Irish homes and around many Irish necks in the hopes that the Patroness continues her prayers on behalf of the people she loved.