St. Bridgit and her Sacred Cross - February 2016

By Maria O'Farrell Carr

St. Bridget

Making a St. Brigid’s cross is one of the traditional rituals in Ireland to celebrate the beginning of early spring, Feb 1. The crosses are made of rushes that are pulled rather than cut. They are hung by the door and in the rafters to protect the house from fire and evil.  St. Brigid (450-525) is the only one of the three patron saints of Ireland who is native to the country. She died in 525 on the same day she was born, February 1.

In Ireland, celebrations of St. Brigid’s Eve involved the entire community. Irish missionaries spread the story of this confidant, generous saint throughout Europe. The cross is associated with the start of spring, the time when the ground can first be prepared and lambs are born.

St. Brigid and her cross are linked together by the story that she wove this form of cross at the death bed of either her father or a pagan lord, who upon hearing what the cross meant, asked to be baptized. One version goes as follows: A pagan chieftain from the neighborhood of Kildare was dying. Christians in his household sent for Brigid to talk to him about Christ. When she arrived the chieftain was raving. As it was impossible to instruct this delirious man, hopes for his conversion seemed doubtful. Brigid sat down at his bedside and began consoling him. As was customary, the dirt floor was strewn with rushes both for warmth and cleanliness. Brigid stooped down and started to weave them into a cross, fastening the points together. The sick man asked what she was doing. She began to explain the cross, and as she talked his delirium quieted and he questioned her with growing interest. Through her weaving, he converted and was baptized at the point of death. Since then the cross of rushes has been venerated in Ireland.

By the time St. Patrick arrived in the fifth century, Ireland’s conversion to Christianity had been going on for centuries. Never part of the Roman empire, Ireland took elements directly from Egyptian, Greek, and Frankish missionaries. The first written record of her is found in the 7th century. The basic outline of her story is as follows. St. Brigid’s father, Dubthach, was a member of the tax paying class but not a noble. Her mother, Brocessa, was a slave. As a young woman, Brigid became a consecrated virgin of Christ, the act that allowed her to totally dedicate her life to Christian service. She founded a monastery and a convent in Kildare (Cill-Dara, cell of the oak) around 470 in Ireland. Many wonderful tales are associated with her generosity. And she is considered "Mary of the Gaels,"

Goddess Bridgit (Goddess- Brid; Brighid. Bride, or Bridget is associated with health, inspiration, fertility, and motherhood. She is from the Celtic pantheon and is also known to Christians as St. Bridget. As a Christian Saint, she appealed to them as the female leader of a convent and was said to appoint Bishops.  At her shrine at Kildare, there was kept a perpetual flame by 19 of her Priestesses. After the Christianization of Ireland, this same flame was tended by the nuns of the Abbey at Kildare, when Bridget became Saint Bridget. These nuns kept themselves entirely detached from men, and even had food and supplies brought to them from women in the nearby village.  

Bridget was believed to be the Mother Goddess of Ireland. In her position as a mother goddess, she looks after children, assists with childbirth, heals, is a part of animal magick, creativity and music. Bridget covers many of the motherly roles. She is honored at Imbolc.  She is a triple Goddess and the goddess of healing and medicine. Brigid is recognized with inventing whistling. She also created keening, which is the sorrowful song sung by women when their sons or husbands were killed. She is the patron Goddess of poets, blacksmiths, and healers. Brigid is a goddess of Purification, by being a goddess of fire. To honor Brigid, light a candle and do a chakra meditation. If you have the same candle from Imbolc, use that candle and ask for her blessing. Adorn yourself fiery colors today, such as orange, yellow or gold. Wear sunstone and do a spell invoking the energy of the Sun. Burn some myrrh incense.

On our Sacred Tours to Ireland we visit St. Bridget’s well in Co. Clare. There are splendid views of the surrounding countryside to be had from the higher ground just outside the town and sweeping panoramas take in the valley all the way to the deep blue waters of Galway Bay way off in the distance.

 




Maria O'Farrell CarrMaria's Bio: Maria is a gifted healer, intuitive and medical intuitive from Ireland. She carries a vast wealth of experience from a life of passionate exploration of the profound healing and ancient Irish intuitive gifts she inherited from her mother and going back to her grandmothers, two great uncles who were well known healers of the sick and even as far back as her great, great, great, grandfather (b. 1837) who was known as the Irish Healer of Animals. Her depth of knowledge and wisdom comes from her deep study and relentless research. Maria offers Celtic Intuitive & Angel Card Reading thru Skype or phone to any were in the world. Maria grew up in Ireland and has travelled to over 16 countries and visited 245 cities. She has lived and travelled to Australia, Canada, North and South America, Europe and many places around the world. Maria has lived in the Okanagan, BC, Canada for years. She now lives part-time also back home in Ireland in the Spring and Autumn. Maria is the founder and publisher of 'OK In Health eMagazine' and Web site since 2014. www.OKinHealth.com is a beam of light in the wellness community. Maria was awarded the 2008 SOWINS, Women Up Front and Centre - Health & Wellness Award for her work on OK In Health eMagazine and the community. Over the years she has also worked as an Event Organizer and brought instructors to the Okanagan from all over the world. Maria was also involved at the grass root level in bringing in Dr Deepak Chopra. Gregg Braden and Dr. Wayne Dyer to the Okanagan valley. Maria has a wealth of experience in travel, as a healer and in events organizing. Maria hosts a weekly Health Column in 5 Okanagan newspapers. In 2013, Maria brought 30 people to Ireland for the 14 day Celtic Angel Ireland Tour and since then brings two tours over to Ireland each year. Maria has published two books on Sacred Ireland and is working on her third book. Maria continues to enjoy studying, travelling, offering sessions, working on OK In Health eMagazine, loving life in the beautiful Okanagan Valley and the Sacred Ireland Tours. - Maria O'Farrell Carr Website - Email


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