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Sat Jan 27, 2024, 08:51 PM Jan 2024

Who was St. Brigid and why is she inspiring many 1,500 years after her death?

Source: Associated Press

Who was St. Brigid and why is she inspiring many 1,500 years after her death?

Updated 1:29 AM EST, January 27, 2024

Devotees of St. Brigid plan to celebrate her Sunday with the scheduled return of a relic associated with the so-called matron saint of Ireland. The festivities come about a millennium after her remains were removed from the town of Kildare, where she founded a prestigious abbey and inspired a host of colorful, miracle-filled legends.

The celebration in her hometown, southwest of Dublin, is part of Brigid 1500 — a series of observances across the world centered around the saint’s feast day of Feb. 1, marking the 1,500th anniversary of her death around the year 524.

In a sense, Brigid is on a roll. The commemorations come a year after Ireland began honoring her with an annual public holiday — the first Irish woman to be recognized with one.

While St. Patrick has long been the saint most identified with Ireland, Brigid has gained a growing following in the 21st century. Devotees draw inspiration from Brigid the saint — and from Brigid the ancient pagan goddess, whose name and attributes she shares — as emblematic of feminine spirituality and empowerment. This comes amid growing disenchantment with the patriarchal and historically dominant Catholic Church.


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/st-brigid-1500-ireland-catholic-pagan-explain-a6a41566acca80033c3514f180d6443e

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