Go mbeannaigh Dia duit, agus fáilte. Welcome to a final short reflection in our series with St Brigid.
Today we will hear about St Brigid’s cloak: Brat Bhríde, as it is called in Irish.
The colourful story is well known about how Brigid approached a local landowner in Kildare for some ground on which to build the monastery she wished to found there.
The landowner was reluctant but he did not wish to offend the holy woman with a direct refusal. So he told Brigid that she could have as much land as her cloak would cover.
Brigid laid her cloak on the ground and it began to spread, and spread, and spread until – in one version of the tale – it covered the whole of the Curragh of Kildare!
Could such a tale be true?
Its truth lies in the growing influence Brigid came to have, over her lifetime and in the following centuries, and in her reputation as a woman who championed the disadvantaged and the dispossessed in a society where power lay with the landed and the wealthy.
In his letter of last week, Pope Francis draws the world’s attention to the developers who are devastating the Amazon rainforests and to the impact of such activity both on the survival of indigenous local communities and on global world climate.
Still today there are many issues where we could do with Brigid’s inspiration, her vision and her intercession.
A Bhríd, a mhaighdean gheal chóir,
Brigid, bright beautiful virgin,
Cuidigh linn roimh Dia na glóir’,
Help us before the God of Glory.
Until we meet again, slán go fóill.