Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Brigid, a thoroughly modern 1,500-year-old saint Born of a king and a slave and raised by a druid, Brigid integrates opposites and stands as the sister of all
By Maeve Brigid Callan

 “Well done, Ireland!

 Recognising Brigid’s Day as an official holiday – the first commemorating an Irish person, and a woman at that. (Nothing against Patrick, the Brit.) 

True to her transcendent nature, the holiday celebrates her as both a saint and a Goddess, since the saint’s feast day (February 1st, the day she died and entered heaven) is also Imbolc, the pagan spring festival.

Her patronage befits an Ireland that honours bodily autonomy, as her miracles include rescuing a woman from an unwanted pregnancy. She offers inspiration especially for Ireland’s Catholics, who have urged reform on multiple fronts, with 96 per cent favouring female ordination. Brigid isn’t just a saint, or a goddess, but a bishop to boot.

Some have tried to erase the saint to emphasise the goddess, but evidence for St Brigid predates evidence for the Goddess Brigid by centuries. Indeed, her biography by Cogitosus is Ireland’s oldest. Patrick’s earliest biographer, MuirchĂș, calls Cogitosus his father, whereas Cogitosus doesn’t even mention Patrick, let alone MuirchĂș. Rather, he claims all of Ireland for his saint and her monastery, Kildare, declaring their jurisdiction extended “from sea to sea”.

Swaggering assertions made by Armagh, Patrick’s chief church, about its own authority still had to make room for Brigid, ceding part of the island to her.”

See excellent RTE program/- Finding Brigid

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