The Greatness of Her Grace and the Proximity of Her Miracles

They come then to Tailtiu. Patrick was there. They were debating an obscure question there, namely a certain woman came to return a son to a cleric of Patrick’s household. Brón was the cleric’s name. “How has this been made out?”, said everyone. “Not hard”, said the woman. “I had come to Brón to have the veil blessed on my head and to offer my virginity to God. This is what my cleric did, he debauched me, so that I have borne him a son.” As they were debating, Brigit came towards the assembly. Then Mel said to Patrick: “The holy maiden Brigit is approaching the assembly, and she will find out for you by the greatness of her grace and the proximity of her miracles whether this is true or false; for there is nothing in heaven or earth which she might request of Christ, which would be refused her. This then is what should be done in this case”, said Mel. “She should be called apart out of the assembly about this question, for she will not perform miracles in the presence of holy Patrick.” Brigit came then. The host rises up before her. She is summoned apart out of the assembly immediately to address the woman, and the clerics excepting Patrick accompany her. “Whose yonder child?”, said Brigit to the woman. “Brón’s”, said the woman. “That is not true”, said Brigit. Brigit made the sign of the cross over her face, so that her head and tongue swelled up. Patrick comes to them then in that great assembly-place. Brigit addresses the child in the presence of the people of the assembly, though it had not yet begun to speak. “Who is your father”, said Brigit. The infant replied: “Brón the bishop is not my father but a certain low and ill-shaped man who is sitting in the outermost part of the assembly; my mother is a liar.” They all return thanks to God, and cry out that the guilty one be burned. But Brigit refuses, saying: “Let this woman do penance.” This was done, and the head and tongue lost their swelling. The people rejoiced, the bishop was liberated, and Brigit was glorified.

— Anonymous Life of St. Brigid, Bethu Brigte, Chapter XL.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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