As we prepare to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, generous hospitality, a traditional characteristic of Celtic people, (certainly of all my family in Ireland and here in the U.S.) was also a hallmark of Brigit's life.
All were welcome at her table of plenty. She saw to it that there was more than enough food, drink and love to all who came to her hearth and home. The story goes that during one Easter season, Brigit noted that there was not enough ale for seventeen of her churches. She changed water into beer to make sure that her churches were well-supplied for the season!
Meehan and Oliver, Praying with Celtic Holy Women, pp. 32-33A Table Blessing Attributed to St. Brigit
I should welcome the poor to my feast for they are God's children.
I should welcome the sick to my feast for they are God's joy.
Let the poor sit with Jesus at the highest place,
Let the sick dance with the angels.
O Holy One of compassion and healing,
You gave Brigit to us as a sign of your love.
You caress us with the warmth of the sun,
You encircle us in Love's embrace.
You are behind us and before us.
You are above us and beneath us.
I consecrate all that I am to You.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, Slainte!(Sláinte is the basic form in Irish Gaelic. Variations of this toast include sláinte mhaith "good health" in Irish Gaelic (mhaith being the lenited form of maith "good"). In Irish Gaelic, the response to sláinte issláinte agad-sa, which translates "to your health as well".)