St Brigid of Kildare is the most popular female saint in Ireland. She was born around the middle of the fifth century and probably consecrated herself as a virgin at an early age. She is said to have founded a monastery at Kildare.
Brigid has the title “Mary of the Gael” as a result of a vision in which a priest attending a synod at Kildare was told that the Virgin Mary would appear among them: Brigid arrived the following day and was hailed as the “the Holy Mary whom I saw in my dream.”
Stories told of Brigid emphasize her kindness to people and animals, her wisdom in dealing with people’s struggles – especially martial problems – and her generosity rather than austerity in interpreting rulings. St Brigid made a cross out of rushes to protect a pagan chieftain who was sick and people continue to make St Brigid’s crosses to this day. (Paul Burns, Butler’s Lives of the Saints, 55-6.)
We pray that God will transform our hardened hearts and give us Brigid’s spirit of generosity, kindness, wisdom and love, as we care for those in need in our day.