Tag Archives: St. Brigid

The Happy Virgin of Celestial Life

St. Brigid's Cross.

St. Brigid’s Cross.

O Glorious St. Brigid, Mother of the Churches of Erin, patroness of our missionary race, wherever their lot may be cast, be thou our guide in the paths of virtue, protect us amid temptation, shield us from danger. Preserve to us the heritage of chastity and temperance; keep ever brightly burning on the altar of our hearts the sacred Fire of Faith, Charity, and Hope, that thus we may emulate the ancient piety of Ireland’s children, and the Church of Erin may shine with peerless glory as of old. Thou wert styled by our fathers “The Mary of Erin,” secure for us by thy prayers the all-powerful protection of the Blessed Virgin, that we may be numbered here among her most fervent clients, and may hereafter merit a place together with Thee and the countless Saints of Ireland, in the ranks of her triumphant children in Paradise. Amen.

– Prayer to St. Brigid by Patrick Francis Cardinal Moran (composed 1902),
published in Saint Anthony’s Treasury (1941).

By the Lake of Beer

St. Brigid's Cross.

St. Brigid’s Cross.

I’d like to give a lake of beer to God.
I’d love the heavenly Host
to be tippling there
For all eternity.

I’d love the men of Heaven to live with me,
To dance and sing.
If they wanted, I’d put at their disposal
Vats of suffering.

White cups of love I’d give them
With a heart and a half;
Sweet pitchers of mercy I’d offer
To every man.

I’d make Heaven a cheerful spot
Because the happy heart is true.
I’d make the men contented for their own sake.
I’d like Jesus to love me too.

I’d like the people of heaven to gather
From all the parishes around.
I’d give a special welcome to the women,
The three Marys of great renown.

I’d sit with the men, the women and God
There by the lake of beer.
We’d be drinking good health forever
And every drop would be a prayer.

– X Century Irish poem attributed to St. Brigid
(as sung by Nóirín Ní Riain on Vox de Nube).

Bride Ban-Chobhair

St. Bride by John McKirdy Duncan; 1913; National Galleries of Scotland (Scotland); tempera on canvas.

St. Bride by John McKirdy Duncan; 1913; National Galleries of Scotland (Scotland); tempera on canvas.

Thainig thugam cobhair
Moire gheal is Bride;
Mar a rug Anna Moire,
Mar a rug Moire Criosda,
Mar a rug Eile Eoin Baistidh
Gun mhar-bhith dha dhi,
Cuidich thusa mise ‘m asaid,
Cuidich mi a Bhride!

Mar a gheineadh Criosd am Moire
Comhliont air gach laimh,
Cobhair thusa mise, mhoime,
An gein a thoir bho ‘n chnaimh;
‘S mar a chomhn thu Oigh an t-solais,
Gun or, gun odh, gun ni,
Comhn orm-sa, ‘s mor m’ othrais,
Comhn orm a Bhride!

– Carmina Gadelica, Aimsire, 71.

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Sian Bride

The charm put by Bride the beneficent,
On her goats, on her sheep, on her kine,
On her horses, on her chargers, on her herds,
Early and late going home, and from home.

To keep them from rocks and ridges,
From the heels and the horns of one another
From the birds of the Red Rock,
And from Luath of the Feinne.

From the blue peregrine hawk of Creag Duilion,
From the brindled eagle of Ben-Ard,
From the swift hawk of Tordun,
From the surly raven of Bard’s Creag.

From the fox of the wiles,
From the wolf of the Mam,
From the foul-smelling fumart,
And from the restless great-hipped bear.

*       *       *       *       *
*       *       *       *       *

From every hoofed of four feet,
And from every hatched of two wings.

Carmina Gadelica, Uibe, 136.

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Gleidheadh Treuid

Gun gleidheadh Moire min an ciob,
Gun gleidheadh Bride bith an ciob,
Gun gleidheadh Calum-cille an ciob,
Gun gleidheadh Maol-ribhe an ciob,
Gun gleidheadh Carmag an ciob,
O’n mhi-chu ‘s o’n mharbh-chu.

Gun gleidheadh Odhran an crodh,
Gun gleidheadh Maodhan an crodh,
Gun gleidheadh Donnan an crodh,
Gun gleidheadh Moluag an crodh,
Gun gleidheadh Maolruan an crodh,
Am boglach’s an crualach.

Gun gleidheadh Spiorad foir an treud,
Gun gleidheadh Mac Moir Oigh an treud,
Gun gleidheadh Ti na gloir an treud,
Gun gleidheadh an Teoir an treud,
Bho reubain ‘s bho mhearchall,
Bho reubain’s bho mhearchall.

– Carmina Gadelica, Oibre, 104.

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Ora nam Buadh

I bathe thy palms
In showers of wine,
In the lustral fire,
In the seven elements,
In the juice of the rasps,
In the milk of honey,
And I place the nine pure choice graces
In thy fair fond face,
The grace of form,
The grace of voice,
The grace of fortune,
The grace of goodness,
The grace of wisdom,
The grace of charity,
The grace of choice maidenliness,
The grace of whole-souled loveliness,
The grace of goodly speech.

Dark is yonder town,
Dark are those therein,
Thou art the brown swan,
Going in among them.
Their hearts are under thy control,
Their tongues are beneath thy sole,
Nor will they ever utter a word
To give thee offence.

A shade art thou in the heat,
A shelter art thou in the cold,
Eyes art thou to the blind,
A staff art thou to the pilgrim,
An island art thou at sea,
A fortress art thou on land,
A well art thou in the desert,
Health art thou to the ailing.

Thine is the skill of the Fairy Woman,
Thine is the virtue of Bride the calm,
Thine is the faith of Mary the mild,
Thine is the tact of the woman of Greece,
Thine is the beauty of Emir the lovely,
Thine is the tenderness of Darthula delightful,
Thine is the courage of Maebh the strong,
Thine is the charm of Binne-bheul.

Thou art the joy of all joyous things,
Thou art the light of the beam of the sun,
Thou art the door of the chief of hospitality,
Thou art the surpassing star of guidance,
Thou art the step of the deer of the hill,
Thou art the step of the steed of the plain,
Thou art the grace of the swan of swimming,
Thou art the loveliness of all lovely desires.

The lovely likeness of the Lord
Is in thy pure face,
The loveliest likeness that
Was upon earth.

The best hour of the day be thine,
The best day of the week be thine,
The best week of the year be thine,
The best year in the Son of God’s domain be thine.

Peter has come and Paul has come,
James has come and John has come,
Muriel and Mary Virgin have come,
Uriel the all-beneficent has come,
Ariel the beauteousness of the young has come,
Gabriel the seer of the Virgin has come,
Raphael the prince of the valiant has come,
And Michael the chief of the hosts has come,
And Jesus Christ the mild has come,
And the Spirit of true guidance has come,
And the King of kings has come on the helm,
To bestow on thee their affection and their love,
To bestow on thee their affection and their love.

Carmina Gadelica, Achaine 3.

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The Cross of the Saints and the Angels

Crois nan naomh agus nan aingeal liom
Bho fhrois ma aodain gu faobhar mo bhonn.

* * *

A Mhicheil mhil, a Mhoire ghlorach,
A Bhride mhin nan dualan orach,
Dionaibh mi’s a cholunn bhronach,
Dionadh tri mi air sligh na corach.
O! tri mi air sligh na corach.

Dionaibh mi’s a choich-anama bhochd,
Dionaibh mi’s mi cho diblidh nochd,
Dionaibh mi air sligh gun lochd,
Dionadh tri air mo thi a nochd.
O! tri air mo thi a nochd.

– Carmina Gadelica, Achaine, 17.

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It Is Not I Who Performed This Miracle

They go to Tethbae, to the first settlements of the bishops, namely Ardagh. The king of Tethbae was feasting nearby. A churl in the king’s house had done a terrible thing. He let fall a valuable goblet belonging to the king, so that it smashed to pieces against the table in front of the king. The vessel was a wonderful one, it was one of the rare treasures of the king. He seized the wretch then, and there was nothing for him but death. One of the two bishops comes to beseech the king. ‘Neither shall I give him to anybody’, said the king, ‘nor shall I give him in exchange for any compensation, but he shall be put to death.’ ‘Let me have from you’, said the bishop, ‘the broken vessel.’ ‘You shall have that’, said the king. The bishop then brought it in his arms to Brigit, relating everything to her. ‘Pray to the Lord for us that the vessel may be made whole.’ She did so and restored it and gave it to the bishop. The bishop comes on the following day with his goblet to the king and [says]: ‘If your goblet should come back to you make whole’, said the bishop, ‘would the captive be released?.’ ‘Not only that, but whatever gifts he should desire, I would give him.’ The bishop shows him the vessel and speaks these words to the king: ‘It is not I who performed this miracle, but holy Brigit’.

– Anonymous Life of St. Brigid, Bethu Brigte, Chapter XXX.

Not Hard, O Nun

On the same Easter Sunday there came to her a certain leper from whom his limbs were falling, to ask for a cow. ‘For God’s sake, Brigit, give me a cow.’ ‘Grant me a respite’, said Brigit. ‘I would not grant you’, said he, ‘even the respite of a single day.’ ‘My son, let us await the hand of God’, said Brigit. ‘I will go off’, said the leper. ‘I will get a cow in another stead although I obtain it not from you.’ ‘. . .’, said Brigit, ‘and if we were to pray to God for the removal of your leprosy, would you like that?’, ‘No’, said he, ‘I obtain more this way than when I shall be clean.’ ‘It is better’, said Brigit, ‘. . . and you shall take a blessing [and] shall be cleansed.’ ‘All right then’, said he, ‘for I am sorely afflicted.’ ‘How will this man be cleansed?’, said Brigit to her maidens. ‘Not hard, O nun. Let your blessing be put on a mug of water, and let the leper be washed with it afterwards.’ It was done thus and he was completely cured. ‘I shall not go’, said the leper, ‘from the cup which has healed me — I shall be your servant and woodman.’ Thus it was done.

– Anonymous Life of St. Brigid, Bethu Brigte, Chapter XXIII.

Take the Veil Then My Daughter

Shortly afterwards a man came to Dubthach’s house to woo Brigit. His name was Dubthach moccu Lugair. That pleased her father and her brothers. ‘It is difficult for me’, said Brigit, ‘I have offered up my virginity to God. I will give you advice. There is a wood behind your house, and there is a beautiful maiden [therein]. She will be betrothed to you, and this is how you will recognize it: You will find an enclosure wide open and the maiden will be washing her father’s head and they will give you a greater welcome, and I will bless your face and your speech so that whatever you say will please them.’ It was done as Brigit said.

Her brothers were grieved at her depriving them of the bride-price. There were poor people living close to Dubthach’s house. She went one day carrying a small load for them. Her brothers, her father’s sons, who had come from Mag Lifi, met her. Some of them were laughing at her; others were not pleased with her, namely Bacéne, who said: ‘The beautiful eye which is in your head will be betrothed to a man though you like it or not.’ Thereupon she immediately thrusts her finger into her eye. ‘Here is that beautiful eye for you’, said Brigit. ‘I deem it unlikely’, said she, ‘that anyone will ask you for a blind girl.’ Her brothers rush about her at once save that there was no water near them to wash the wound. ‘Put’, said she, ‘my staff about this sod in front of you.’ That was done. A stream gushed forth from the earth. And she cursed Bacéne and his descendants, and said: ‘Soon your two eyes will burst in your head.’ And it happened thus.

Dubthach said to her: ‘Take the veil then, my daughter, for this is what you desire. Distribute this holding to God and man.’ ‘Thanks be to God’, said Brigit.

– Anonymous Life of St. Brigid, Bethu Brigte, Chapters XIV-XVI.