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The St. Bridget's Cross

St. Brigid, " Mary of the Gael", abbess and patroness of Ireland, and founder of the first Irish monastery in Kildare, was born near Dundalk in 450 A.D. Traditionally tells is that her unbounded charity drew multitudes of the poor to her door and much enraged her father Dubhtach, a Leinster pagan Chieftain and a stubborn disbeliever. as he lay on his deathbed, she sat by him and whiled away the time weaving a cross from the rushed at her feet. Her father asked her to explain its meaning and was so overwhelmed that he became a Christian before his death. It is piously believed that this rush cross, which became her emblem, keep evil and hunger from the homes in which it is displayed. For centuries, it has been customary on the eve of her feast-day for the Irish to fasion a St. Brigid's Cross of straw or rushes and place it inside the house, over the door.  St. Brigid's feast day falls on the first of February, the day on which she died in 524 A.D. Her body lies at Downpatrick beside the graves of St. Patrick and St. Columba.

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