St. Brigit was a Celtic nun who lived in Ireland from 453 to 524 A.D. In addition to being a nun, she was an abbess and founded several monasteries. She was known for having a heart wide open to the needs of the poor which was one of the reasons we chose her as our patron saint. And, as with any good saint, there are lots of stories surrounding her life. One of our favorites happens to be how she turned her bathwater into beer to provide hospitality to some traveling clergymen (we think that’s pretty cool). The way in which St. Brigit followed Christ inspires and guides us in our life together.
This is a photograph of our processional cross carved by a local woodworker. There are many versions of the legend of St. Brigit’s Cross. One version goes as follows:
A pagan chieftain from the neighbourhood of Kildare was dying. Christians in his household sent for Brigit to talk to him about Christ. When she arrived, the chieftain was raving. As it was impossible to instruct this delirious man, hopes for his conversion seemed doubtful. Brigit sat down at his bedside and began consoling him. As was customary, the dirt floor was strewn with rushes both for warmth and cleanliness. Brigit stooped down and started to weave them into a cross, fastening the points together. The sick man asked what she was doing. She began to explain the cross, and as she talked, his delirium quieted and he questioned her with growing interest. Through her weaving, he converted and was baptized at the point of death. Since then, the cross of rushes has existed in Ireland.