Santa Brigida

February 1 marks the feast day of Saint Brigid of Ireland (or of Kildare), the co-patron saint of Ireland along with St. Patrick and St. Columban.

According to legend, Brigid and her mother were baptized by Saint Patrick himself. The girl lived her life in generosity, often performing charitable acts on behalf of the poor or the sick, taking the veil and founding many monastic institutions over the course of her life. Many of her good deeds and miracles often involve her donating milk, butter, and cattle to those in need; due to this, Brigid is often portrayed alongside a cow. Her generous persona and her role of a "mother" for Celtic Christianity led to her being sometimes referred to as "the Mary of the Gael".


"Saint Brigid", illumination from the manuscript "Ruskin Hours", ms. Ludwig IX 3, f. 106v, ca. 1300, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.



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