Celtic Holidays, Celtic Legends, Irish Traditions

The Feast of Saint Brigid – The Patron Saint of Ireland

Ireland’s very own patron saint St. Brigid’s Feast Day is February 1st also as Imbolc.

So what is Imbolc

Imbolc or Imbolg, is a Gaelic festival that traditional marks the start of warmer days and the arrival of spring.  It also the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Saint Brigid of Kildare is Ireland’s most important female saints. Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares her name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated.

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Who was Saint Brigid of Kildare?

St. Brigid, also known as “Mary of the Gael”, is a patroness Saint of Ireland. Born the daughter of a powerful Irish Chieftain St. Bridget or also spelled Brigid became a nun completely devoted to relieving the misery and hardship of the poor. The traditional woven cross is said to have originated during a visit St. Bridget made to a dying Chieftain in which she wove it from rushes on the floor to show the significance of Christian faith. The woven rush cross has become synonymous with St. Bridget.

Saint Brigid is also the Patron Saint of the LAOH. The LAOH stand for THE LADIES ANCIENT ORDER OF HIBERNIANS. The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish order and it was organized in The United States of America in New York City in the year of 1836.

What is the Meaning of the Saint Brigid’s Cross?

The Irish tradition of weaving a St. Brigid’s cross is one that endures to among the people of Ireland. The Irish legend of the Saint Brigid cross is tied to the saving action of Jesus Christ on Mount Calvary. Irish myth states that the St. Brigid cross wards off fire, hunger, and evil away from homes that hang it in various places. This is why St. Brigid Crosses are typical hung near house hold entrance ways.

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