Wednesday, February 1, 2012

From the martyrology: St Brigid (Feb 1)

Today the Office celebrates the feast of St Ignatius (d. 110 at Rome):

"St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch and martyr, who gloriously suffered martyrdom on the 20th of December."

Several letters written by St Ignatius while on route to his martyrdom in Rome have survived and well worth reading.

But in many places it is also the feast of St Brigit (439-524), Abbess, a famous leader of the early celtic church and foundress of several monasteries:

"At Kildare in Ireland, St. Bridget, virgin.  Once, when she touched the wood of an altar, it immediately sprouted into life, in testimony of her virginity."

St Brigit has become something of a feminist icon in recent times, because of her authority over the double monasteries she established, a system which continued until the twelfth century.

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