Saint Brigid of Kildare, Monastic, c. 523

Thanks to our friends at The Geranium Farm for this information about Saint Brigid.

Saint Brigid of Kildare, Monastic, c. 523
Lesser Feasts and Fasts, page 104

The Collect for Brigid of Kildare
O God, whose servant Brigid, kindled with the flame of your love, became a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

saint beigid of kildare

Along with Patrick, Brigid is one of the most beloved Irish saints. She was born into slavery in the middle of the fifth century, the daughter of a local chieftain and his slave. Her father Dubhthach was poet laureate of King Loeghaire, and she was raised in a Druid household, but her mother was a Christian.

Even as a young girl, Brigid was notorious for giving away all of the family’s food and goods in order to feed and assist the poor. Enraged, her father tried to sell her to the king of Leinster, but even while the two men were negotiating her price, she took the king’s jeweled sword and gave it to a beggar so that he could sell it to feed his family. Instead of being angry, the king was impressed with her compassion and resourcefulness, and told Dubhthach to give his daughter her freedom.

Gathering a group of women around her, Brigid founded a monastery in 470 at Kildare, a place whose name meant “Church of the Oak.” This was the first monastic community for women in Ireland. To secure the sacraments, Brigid persuaded the anchorite Conlaed to receive ordination as a bishop and to bring his community of monks to Kildare, thus establishing a double monastery of men and women. She founded a renowned scriptorium and center for manuscript illumination at the monastic community as well.

Brigid actively participated in leadership and in policy-making decisions not only within her own monastic federation but also within church conventions. She died around 523 at Kildare. Her remains are said to have been re-interred with those of Patrick at Downpatrick in the ninth century.

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