31 Jan 2019

St Brigid of Kildare, Mhuire na nGael, Patroness of Ireland

February 1st in Ireland is the first day of Spring and is dedicated to St Brigid of Kildare.Saint Brigid is renowned for her hospitality, almsgiving and care of the sick. Known as Mhuire na nGael (Mary of the Irish), she is a popular saint in Ireland and her feast day is celebrated as the first day of Spring (even if meteorologically speaking it is not for another few weeks for the official start of Spring).

Tradition holds she lived 452AD-524AD as is know in tradition and affection of the Irish as Mary of the Gael. She is said to be the patroness of babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; children whose mothers are mistreated by the children's fathers; Clan Douglas; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; Leinster, mariners; midwives; milk maids; nuns; poets; poor; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen.

From the Intercom magazine archives, Mgr Raymond Murray gives us the history of the saint affectionately known as ‘Muire na nGael’. You can find the article HERE.

Over the years we have done quite a few posts, reflections etc on the blog about St Brigid which are available HERE.

Artist and folklorist Michael Fortune explores the folklore and customs surrounding St. Brigid's Day, which takes place on February 1st, complete with the voices and stories of people from all over Ireland and is shown on RTE at St Brigid and the Coming of the Spring.

From Michael's Facebook:

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