LIVED: Brigid was born in 451 and died about 525 in Ireland. Her mother was a Christian slave, and so Brigid was born into slavery. Her pagan father named her after the Celtic goddess of fire. She lived at about the same time as St. Patrick, whose influence inspired her to become Christian.
MISSION: With the help of her companions, St. Brigid organized religious communities for women all over Ireland, including the famous one at Kildare. She also founded a school of art.
ADVENTURES: One day when Brigid was about 18 years old, as she came inside from milking the cows, her father, Dubthach, noticed that her pails were empty.
“Did the cows not give any milk this morning?” he demanded.
“No, the cows filled both pails,” Brigid responded.
“Then where’s the milk?” her father roared.
“Why, father, I gave it away to a poor beggar woman,” she said. “But do not worry; I did not give away the cows this time. Or the beer. Or the butter.” (Brigid had a habit of giving things away.)
“Not this time,” Dubthach muttered, shaking his head, “but soon enough, you will empty the whole house with your charity to the poor! Get in the chariot! I can’t afford to keep you
anymore—but perhaps the king will buy you!”
Soon enough, they arrived at the king’s castle. Dubthach went inside to persuade the king to take his daughter as his slave—for a fair price, of course.
But while he was speaking to the king, he left Brigid in the chariot. That was a mistake, for when he and the king returned, he noticed something missing.
“Where is my sword?” Dubthach asked.
“Well,” Brigid said, “there was this man begging for bread; but I had none, so….”
“You gave away my jeweled sword!”
“Yes, father,” admitted Brigid. “But think of the treasure you have gained in heaven!”
The king burst out laughing. “Dubthach, perhaps the only one who can afford the price of your generous daughter is her God. Perhaps you should give her to him!”
And that is how Brigid became free to serve God for the rest of her life. M:C
Get the St. Brigid coloring sheet.
More about St. Brigid
Here’s a short overview of St. Brigid’s life from Catholic Online:
Here’s a video about how to make a St. Brigid’s cross…
…and here’s a five-page PDF telling many of her stories in a kid-friendly way.