The first of the Lough Derg Beds is dedicated to St Brigid. Along with Patrick and Columba / Colmcille, Brigid is honoured as one of Ireland’s Patron saints. A Leinster woman, her origins were in Co Louth at Faughart, her religious formation at Ardagh in Longford, and her great monastic foundation at Kildare – Cill Dara, the Cell of the Oak. St Brigid is often pictured with the cross of rushes that bears her name. If anything, Brigid has grown in popularity of late, and there is a revival of associated folk traditions like leaving out a piece of cloth overnight on the vigil of her feast (1 February) for her blessing as she passes: the Brat Bhríde. I pray:
Brigid of the welcomes,
friend of the sick and the poor,
lover of land and of livestock,
bless my way through Lent to Easter. Amen.