Mary Immaculate Secondary School

SAINT Brigid’s Day - Lá Fhéile Bríde

SAINT Brigid’s Day - Lá Fhéile Bríde

SAINT Brigid’s Day - Lá Fhéile Bríde - celebrates Ireland’s only female patron saint on February 1 and most people will be familiar with the popular tradition of making crosses in St Brigid’s honour.

What many people may not know is that the feast day of this 5th century saint was one of the most important days of the year for our rural ancestors.

With its origins in the Celtic festival of Imbolc, St Brigid’s Day was the festival of renewal and marked the beginning of spring in Ireland. It signalled an end to the darkness of winter and ushered in a new season of hope and growth.

It was a time to look forward to brighter days, warmer weather, new growth on the land and the birth of farm animals. It was very important to seek protection and blessings for the family, home, crops and animals at this time.People believed St Brigid crossed through the land on the eve of her feast day and gave blessings and protection to homes and farms where crosses were hung in her honour. Perhaps you will get some time today to make a St Brigid's cross. There are some very good tutorials on line if you are unsure or the steps. By making this cross you are giving thanks for the past, acknowledging our traditions and instilling hope for the year ahead.

There are many holy wells throughout Ireland dedicated to St Brigid the most significant one for us is in Liscannor, and people visited these well on the eve or on the feast day itself. Often they left a ribbon or a votive offering at the well so that their intention would be remembered. Water collected from a holy well at this time was believed to be particularly blessed. We pray to St Brigid today for a good year ahead and give thanks for all the positive things in our lives.

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