St. Brigid’s Cross & The meaning behind it.
St Brigid and her famous cross is something that we all would have learnt about growing up. Every spring making her cross out of reeds and hanging them in our kitchens. So, let us refresh your memory and tell you the meaning behind St. Brigid’s Cross.
Firstly, who was St. Brigid? St Brigid is one of Irelands patron saints. She was an early Irish Christian nun who founded several monasteries. There is very little known of her early life but from what was told through folklore and legends. St Brigid’s father was a pagan chieftain of Leinster and her mother a slave. Her father kept her and her mother as slaves where they worked cooking, cleaning, washing and feeding the animals on the farm. She lived during the time of St. Patrick and was inspired by his preaching’s so became a Christian.
When Brigid turned 18, she stopped working for her father as he wanted to her to get married but Brigid didn’t want to, she wanted to spend her life doing God’s work by looking after the elderly sick and poor. This and her charitable ways made her father very angry as he thought she was being too generous to the poor. Brigid finally got to enter a convent and made her vows to dedicate her life to god. News of all Brigid’s good work had spread and soon girls from all over the country came to join her in the convent.
St Brigid’s Crosses
Her crosses are traditionally made on the 1st of February, St. Brigid’s Feast Day and are a traditional ritual in Ireland which celebrates the beginning of early spring. They are made from rushes that are pulled rather than cut and are hung by the door to protect the house from fire and evil.
St Brigid and her cross are linked through the story of how she wove the cross on the deathbed of her father who on hearing what the cross meant, asked to be baptised before dying.