St. Brigid and Pilgrims
"Bridget (Brigid, Bride, Bridey, or in Welsh, Ffraid) of Kildare was born around 450 into a Druid family, being the daughter of Dubhthach, court poet to King Loeghaire. At an early age, she decided to become a Christian, and she eventually took vows as a nun. Together with a group of other women, she established a nunnery at Kildare(meaning, Church of the Oak). She was later joined by a community of monks led by Conlaed. Kildare had formerly been a pagan shrine where a sacred fire was kept perpetually burning, and Bridget and her nuns, instead of stamping out the fire, kept it going but gave it a Christian interpretation. (This was in keeping with the general process whereby Druidism in Ireland gave way to Christianity with very little opposition, the Druids for the most part saying that their own beliefs were a partial and tentative insight into the nature of God, and that they recognized in Christianity what they had been looking for.) Bridget as an abbess participated in several Irish councils, and her influence on the policies of the Church in Ireland was considerable." (by James Kiefer, Satucket.com)
On the first of February in 523, Brigid died (or so the story goes), and thus in many traditions this day is her feast day. On my first pilgrimage to Ireland, we spent a day in Kildare with the sisters of St. Brigid, sitting around their sacred fire, sharing stories and learning the lore of St. Brigid. For more information about the sisters, see the link below.
It is my hope that this blog will be a place where pilgrims like you and like me can share stories and lore, journeying toward a greater understanding of ourselves and our world, as well as a place where reading, marking and inwardly digesting provides conduits for that sharing, signposts for that journey, and bridges for when it is time to cross difficult terrain.