St. Brigid of Ireland, Virgin | Saint of the Day | February 1

Prayer to St. Brigid of Ireland, Virgin

Lord, our God, grant that Your faithful spouse, St. Brigid, may kindle the flame of Divine love in us for the everlasting glory of Your Church. Amen.

Patroness of Scholars and Dairy Workers

St. Brigid is known as the second Patron of Ireland and “the Mary of the Gael.” Born in County Louth near Dundalk about 450, of parents baptized by St. Patrick, she showed signs of sanctity from her youth. According to a legend, she asked God to take away her beauty in order to escape marriage and pursue her religious vocation. And when she received the veil from St. Mel, her beauty that had given way to deformity returned.

The saint founded the first convent in Ireland at “Cil-Dara” (the Church of the Oak), now Kildare, over which she presided many years. She also established communities in other parts of Ireland and by her prayers and miracles exercised a potent influence on the growth of the early Irish Church.

St. Brigid was generous and joyful, vehement and energetic. Her one desire was to aid the poor and needy and relieve those in distress. One of her friends once brought her a basket of choice apples and saw her distribute them to the crowd of sick people thronging about her. The friend could not refrain from exclaiming: “They were for you, not for them.” St. Brigid simply said: “What is mine is theirs.” She died about the year 525 and was buried in Downpatrick in the same grave as Sts. Patrick and Columba.