Saturday, March 18, 2006
Saint Brigid of Ireland
A few years after St. Patrick arrived, a little girl named Brigid was born at Faughart, County Louth, in Ireland. Her father was an Irish lord named Dubthac and her mother was a Christian salve named Brocca.
As Brigid grew up, her love for Jesus grew deep. She once heard St. Patrick preach and never forgot his teaching for the rest of her life. She looked for Jesus in the poor and often brought food and clothing to them.
One day she gave away a whole pail of milk and then she began to worry about what her mother would say. She prayed to the Lord to make up for what she had given away. When she got home, her pail was full again.
Brigid was very pretty and her father thought that it was time for her to marry. But, she had decided in her heart to give herself entirely to God. She did not want to marry anyone. When she realized that young men wanted to marry her because of her beauty, she made an unusual request to God. She asked God to take away her beauty and God granted her request.
Seeing that his daughter was no longer pretty, Brigid's father gladly agreed when Brigid asked to become a nun. She even started a convent with just seven nuns so that other young women could become nuns, too.
As Brigid took her vows in the convent, a miracle happened. Brigid became beautiful again! She reminded people of the Blessed Mother because she was so lovely and gentle. Some called her the "Mary of the Irish." St. Brigid died in 525. Her feast day is February 1st.