Saint Brigid Of Ireland
And Her Miracles
- Saint Brigid of Ireland performed many
miracles that were recorded by her biographers. The Bethu Brigte talks of 46
miracles. The miracles include healings as well as making food or domestic
animals appear that she would then give to those in need. Brigid is said to
have been very generous to the poor.
Saint Brigid of Ireland is associated with the tradition of making Brigid's Crosses.
Different types of these crosses seen to the right are on display at Brigid's
Garden in Galway, a specially landscaped garden dedicated to Brigid and
to the four Celtic seasons.
- The foods that
miraculously appeared were often dairy products such as butter and milk. Dairy
products were very special foods back then. They were very difficult to produce
and to keep fresh. Of the dairy products, milk in particular was associated
with healing. It was a high prestige food that was always on the menu when
there were visitors.
- After reading a bit about this period of early Christianity in Ireland, about which very little is known, I have come to put the miracles in context.
- This context was that it was actually very important for Brigid's followers to establish Brigid not only as a pure and spiritual person, but also as a powerful one, someone who had control over food and over people's health. The more the 'Brigid legend' came to life, the more followers there would be. This would have greatly strengthened the groups position in a world where Christianity, at that time, was the minority faith under constant threat.
- Furthermore, milk was
associated with purity. Being able to replenish supplies of milk established
Brigid as pure. This association, too, was originally pagan, as Imbolc
- The miracle stories of
Brigid relating to dairy start when, as an infant, she rejects food given to
her by her father, vomiting because he was ‘impure’. She was then allocated a
special cow to be nursed by. This, in the understanding of the time, was a sign
that she was pure.
The thatched roundhouse at Brigid's Garden in Galway, a garden dedicated to Brigid and the traditions surrounding her.
- Another such story tells
us that Brigid attended a very sick woman who told her she needed to drink milk
or else she would die. Brigid instructed her assistant to bring her a cup of
water and to conceal it. She then proceeded to bless the cup after which it was
revealed and found to contain milk. The woman drank of the milk and was
- A different kind of healing
miracle occurred when Brigid hit her head on a stone when travelling. The blood
she lost was mixed with water and poured onto the heads of dumb siblings who
were then cured. The stone is still revered as curing any trouble to do with
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Thanks a million and warmest regards from Susanna and Colm
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