“Between St. Patrick and St. Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many great works.”
Historical, legendary and mythical details of her life are difficult to untangle, but tradition holds that she was a nun and Abbess, and founder of several monasteries for both men and women, of which Kildare, south west of Dublin, was the most famous and important. She may have been born at Faughart, to Dubhthach, of the local pagan nobility, and Brocca, a Pictish slave, baptised by St Patrick. Sometimes known as Mary of the Gael, she is associated with the distinctive Crosóg Bhríde, a cross made of reeds, sewn together by her, so the story goes, for the edification of a dying chieftain, to whom she administered the rite of baptism. She is especially invoked as a protector of chastity for nuns, and among the many hundreds of churches around the world of which she is patron, in virtue of the existence of St Bride’s CofE Church on Fleet Street in the City of London, she has a special place in the life of British newspaper journalism. The Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates her in the following troparion:
“O holy Brigid, thou didst become sublime through thy humility, and didst fly on the wings of thy longing for God. When thou didst arrive in the Eternal City and appear before thy Divine Spouse, wearing the crown of virginity, thou didst keep thy promise to remember those who have recourse to thee. Thou dost shower grace upon the world, and dost multiply miracles. Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.” [quoted in Wikipedia]
|The Moiry Pass or Gap of the North|
 After my return home I learnt that English King Edward II’s troops were commanded by one John de Bermingham, a detail which almost made me rub my eyes in disbelief, because later in the pilgrimage I met and had long conversations with an Irishman called John Bermingham!