Saint Brigid is one of Ireland’s most well-known saints. Her feast day falls on
February first, marking the beginning of spring, the end of winter, and the transition from
darkness to light. By partaking in age-old traditions symbolizing fertility, warmth, growth,
and hope, a vast number of Irish people take the time to remember Saint Brigid every
February. Additionally, many believe Saint Brigid will bless those who celebrate her. So, who
was Saint Brigid and why is she still important to Irish people today?
Saint Brigid was thought to be born in the county of Louth in the east of Ireland. By
performing many miracles and acts of goodwill, she is known for her kindness and
generosity. She spent her life helping others and delivering God’s message to the Irish people.
However, the most well-known story about Brigid stems from her meeting with the King of
According to the epic tale, Saint Brigid asked the great king for land, proclaiming that
the ground on which she stood was the ideal site for a convent. The king did not take Brigid
seriously and laughingly refused, so Brigid prayed to God to soften his heart. She implored
the king to give her as much land as her cloak would cover. The king agreed although he
thought that the woman was being utterly ridiculous. Brigid began to spread her cloak on the
ground. As it fell, four beautiful women appeared and took the corners of the garment,
turning circles and causing it to grow in all directions. Before long, the fabric covered the
entire province of Leinster. The king began to believe in God’s power after witnessing the
miracle. He became a Christian and offered Brigid more than enough land for her convent. It
is said that this convent was built beside an oak tree where the town of Kildare now stands.
Furthermore, this story is thought to be the origin of the first convent in Ireland.
Brigid is still known as one of the most important Irish religious figures today. Her
name can be translated as “the exalted one,” and she is recognized in a wealth of traditions
and customs. The most popular of these rituals is the weaving of Brigid’s crosses. Any house
boasting a cross or anyone wearing a symbol of the same is thought to receive good fortune
during the forthcoming year. Saint Brigid’s crosses were also commonly gifted to newlyweds
or to those with a new home to bring luck, protection, and abundance.
Saint Brigid lives on in our traditional heritage. Through celebrating this important
figure, we gain a deeper understanding of our roots and instill a sense of belonging in those
around us. By wearing Brigid’s cross, we celebrate how important female figures are in Irish
history. Age-old practices, such as observing Saint Brigid’s Day, revive important aspects of
the past while helping us look forward to spring, sunshine, and the brighter times ahead.