Rekindling the Flame
On this day in Ireland, St. Brigid of Kildare is remembered and for the first time, the country observes a national holiday in her honor. The story of Brigid is filled with mystery and folklore and some would say that her life was full of parables that told deep truths like the parables of Jesus. Stories abound of her faith, her healing powers, her skill with animals, her hospitality and generosity, and especially her concern for the poor, the oppressed and the embarrassed.
It is believed that she established an abbey and a church on the site now occupied by St. Brigid's church in Kildare (see below), where she held a unique position as the Abbess presiding over a monastery for men and women. "Her abbey was acclaimed as a centre of education, culture, worship, hospitality and pilgrimage in Ireland and far beyond until the suppression of the abbeys in the 16th century."
On a rainy windy Irish day this past October, a group of pilgrims arrived at St. Brigid's Cathedral and discovered a warm and welcoming curate who invited us in and read the Daily office for us, ending with the most beautiful chanting of the Lord's prayer in Gaelic. (Listen below.) St. Brigid's cross is on the altar behind us here. We experienced the true hospitality for which St. Brigid is so well known.
On this day we will pause together at noon Ireland time, to remember St. Brigid as many people all over the world will also. We will remember the warm welcome not only at the Cathedral, but at the St. Brigid's centre where the sisters of St. Brigid rekindle the flame for her mission and ministry to send a message out to the world to form a spirit of solidarity and peace in societies all over the globe.
Please join us if you can shortly. 7 am will be noon in Ireland. This is a rolling Pause for Peace beginning in New Zealand and moving seamlessly through continents and islands.