Saint Brigid of Ireland

Feast Day: February 1

Saint Brigid of Ireland


She was born at Fochard, in Ulster, soon after Ireland had been blessed with the light of faith. She received the religious veil in her youth. from the hands of St. Mel, nephew and disciple of St. Patrick. She built herself a cell under a large oak, thence called Kill-dara, or cell of the oak; living, as her name implies, the bright shining light of that country by her virtues. Being joined soon after by several of her own sex, they formed themselves into a religious community, which branched out into several other nunneries throughout Ireland; all which acknowledged her for their mother and foundress, as in effect she was of all in that kingdom. But a full account of her virtues has not been transmitted down to us, together with the veneration of her name. Her five modern lives mention little else but wonderful miracles. She flourished in the beginning of the sixth century, and is named in the Martyrology of Bede, and in all others since that age. Several churches in England and Scotland are dedicated to God under her name, as, among others, that of St. Bride in Fleet-street; several also in Germany, and some in France. Her name occurs in most copies of the Martyrology which bears the name of St. Jerome, especially in those of Esternach and Corbie, which are most ancient. She is commemorated in the divine office in most churches of Germany, and in that of Paris, till the year 1607, and in many others in France. One of the Hebrides, or western islands which belong to Scotland, near that of Ila, was called, from a famous monastery built there in her honor, Brigidiani. A church of St. Brigit, in the province of Athol, was reputed famous for miracles, and a portion of her relics was kept with great veneration in a monastery of regular canons at Aburnethi, once capital of the kingdom of the Picts, and a bishopric, as Major mentions. Her body was found with those of SS. Patrick and Columba, in a triple vault in Down-Patrick, in 1185, as Giraldus Cambrensis informs us; they were all three translated to the cathedral of the same city; but their monument was destroyed in the reign of king Henry VIII. The head of St. Bride is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon

Prayer to St. Brigid

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.

Litany of Saint Brigid of Kildare

 (This old litany is of unknown origin.)

Lord, have mercy on us.   Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.   Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.   Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,   Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,   Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,   Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,   Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Queen of virgins,  Pray for us.
Saint Brigid,  Pray for us.
Mary of the Gael,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, Patroness of Ireland,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, shining light of virtue and sanctity,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, consecrated spouse of Jesus Christ,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, foundress of Kildare,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, cornerstone of the monastic institute in the Isle of Saints,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, great model of Irish virgins,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, mother of religious,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, pattern of religious perfection,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, intercessor for the Irish Church,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, mediatrix for the Irish race,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, protectress of the holy faith planted by Saint Padrig,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, enjoying with him the clear vision of God,  Pray for us.
St. Brigid, whose one desire was to satisfy the poor, drive out hardship, and spare every miserable man, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:  Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:  Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:  Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. Pray for us, O glorious Saint Brigid:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, Who dost rejoice with the memory of the blessed Saint Brigid, Thy virgin and abbess, mercifully grant that we may be assisted by her merits, by whose chastity we are illumined. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son Our Lord. R. Amen.

Prayer Source: Kyrie Eleison Two Hundred Litanies by Benjamin Francis Musser O.F.M., The Magnificat Press, 1944