Thursday, February 6, 2014

St. Brigid of Kildare

I found a new saint yesterday. Quite by accident, actually, and I kind of forget how I stumbled across her. Her name is St. Brigid of Kildare.

St. Brigid, pray for us.
St. Brigid is also known as St. Bridget of Ireland, St. Bridgett, and St. Brigit. The spelling changes, as she lived in the 400's AD.

Story goes, her mother was converted and baptized by St. Patrick himself. Her pagan father died, leaving her Christian mother to work as a dairy maid for a Druid landowner. Brigid worked for the family dairy as well, eventually eschewing a mixed marriage with a pagan for the sake of preserving chastity, and ultimately, the habit. Legend has it that St. Patrick heard and approved her final vows before entering the convent.

I have a personal affinity and connection with St. Brigid for several reasons. And as Wife and I have been told recently in our NFP journey, there are no coincidences.

My personal connection with St. Brigid is sort of fascinating, and started giving me goosebumps a little bit as I explored it.

  • St. Brigid is the patron saint of chicken farmers and cattle owners, among other things.
  • Kerrygold butter, which we have started buying since switching to eating paleo, has farms in Kildare County, Ireland.
  • I worked for a construction company in high school, and was assigned to a work site for about a week's span. My temporary boss had some quite unseemly reading materials in the bathroom. Though encouraged by him to "take a look," I did not, instead preserving my own chastity at the time. The construction trailer? Located right between Franciscan Ln. and Kildare Ln.
  • This is more of a sidenote, but I used to keep in shape by playing sports. Since college, I have been in and out of shape (mostly out), but since homesteading, I have found that taking care of the animals is my new "workout." In my entire sports career, I had only one girl on any of my teams (AAA baseball). Her name was Bridget.
  • Right before I interviewed for my previous job, I had an interview, and looked at houses, in the Cleveland, OH area. I found one house that would have been great - good layout, decent space for a garden, etc. I did not get the job (obviously), but if I had, our home parish would have been St. Brigdet of KildareMind. Blown.
  • Some traditional, longstanding prayers to St. Brigid invoke and echo this years's theme for me and the homestead: "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His justice."
  • St. Brigid's feast day is February 1. I find it fascinating that I am exploring getting a family milk cow, the economics of chicken farming, the costs of keeping a milk cow, and small-scale subsistence farming during the octave celebration of her feast. I just discovered this feast day yesterday, BTW.
  • And last but most certainly not least, Wife came across and checked out the saint's name generator at the beginning of this year. Yup, you guessed it. Wife's patron is the very same St. Bridget of Ireland.

St. Brigid of Kildare, pray for us. Pray that the Holy Spirit descends upon us and guides us in wisdom and understanding. Pray that we might exercise prudence in our decisions, courage in our work, and chastity throughout our lives. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

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