Many hundreds of years ago, St. Brigid was born in Ireland. The year was 452. Her mother was a Christian slave baptized by Saint Patrick; her father, a pagan chief. Thus, when Brigid was born, she too was a slave.
When you are a slave, you must do whatever your master tells you. At any time your master may decide to sell you to another family and you must go—most likely never seeing your own family again!
Before Brigid was born her mother was sold to another pagan man. Luckily for Brigid, she was able to stay with her mother for the first ten years of her life. Growing up, she was a pure and holy child. She fed the poor and healed the sick. One time she gave away all of her mother’s butter! Later, after Brigid had prayed, the butter miraculously reappeared.
When she was ten years old, Brigid was returned to her father, since he was legally her master. If ever someone was in need of something, and her father had it, Brigid would give it away. I am sure this was very frustrating to her father. Can you imagine never knowing if something you left in your house would be there later? But Brigid never wanted to turn away someone she could help, and these were things that her father did not need. The details of her actions are not very clear since she lived more than 1,500 years ago. Maybe she asked permission from her father each time. One thing that is clear is that she always helped the poor.
Eventually, her father decided to sell her and brought her before the king to see if he wanted to buy her. The king could tell by Brigid’s actions that she was a Christian. (Can people tell you are a Catholic just by looking at your actions?) Being a Christian himself, he convinced her father to free her from slavery.
As a free woman, Brigid went back to her mother, who was still a slave. Now her mother was in charge of running a dairy for her master. While Brigid stayed with her mother, she gave a lot of milk away to the poor. God rewarded her generosity and the dairy prospered. After a time, her mother was freed from slavery too.
Brigid’s father wanted her to get married. She refused, saying she was to be a bride of Christ. Brigid prayed to God to turn her ugly so no one would want to marry her. He granted her request. But later, after she took her final vows as a nun, she became radiantly beautiful.
During her life, she accomplished many great works including starting a monastery in Ireland. She and Saint Patrick were good friends and she helped many people throughout her life. On February 1, 525 she died of natural causes.
Saint Brigid, pray for us!
Feast Day: February 1
Activity: Irish Soda Bread
Time to make some YUMMY Irish Soda Bread. This is an activity for you to do ONLY with a grown up!!! My family loves this and it is not hard to make. My favorite recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. I found an almost identical recipe online at the Better Homes and Gardens website.
The ingredients you need are:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 Tablespoons margarine or butter
- (This recipe calls for raisins. I have never put them in.)
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 3/4 cup buttermilk ( I never keep buttermilk on hand. For a substitute, take one cup milk and add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir and let sit 5 to 10 minutes. The milk will begin to curdle. After you have made this buttermilk substitute, measure off 3/4 of a cup of it and add it to the recipe.)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- nonstick cooking spray.
Follow the steps in the above link and enjoy!