Sunday, January 31, 2010

Feast of St. Brigid: February 1st

To learn more about St. Brigid, the patroness of Ireland, click on over to last year's post in honor of her feastday. In that post, I gave some ideas for how to celebrate St. Brigid's Day, which is the first of February. I list those ideas below, with a few new ones for 2010.
  • Volunteer at a local food kitchen or donate to your parish food bank in honor of Brigid's charity to the poor.
  • Donate to or volunteer with a local program that helps women and children, in honor of Brigid's selfless care of mothers and their children.
  • Consider volunteering your time or other resources to ministries that help pregnant mothers in crisis, as a service both to them and their unborn children.
  • Educate yourself about midwifery or pray for a local midwifery practice, in honor of St. Brigid.
  • Pray for expecting mothers and their unborn children. You might want to perform a special act of service for a pregnant mother you know: You might offer to do a grocery run for her this week, or perhaps you could take her older children out for an afternoon at the park so she can get some much-needed rest while she grows that precious baby!
  • Make traditional Irish foods, such as colcannon, corned beef & cabbage, or soda bread.
  • Here is the recipe I use for St. Brigid's oatcakes.
  • The recipe for Noreen Kinney's Irish Soda Bread, originally published in A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent, is our family's favorite soda bread, and a must alongside a bowl of hot Irish Vegetable Soup. While many soda bread recipes are sweet, this one is savory. The ingredient list may look prohibitive, but if you have access to buying dry goods from the bulk bins at a local grocery store, it is really quite economical--and very nutritious!
  • Make a St. Brigid's Cross. Legend has it that during her travels, Brigid sat on the floor of a dying chieftain's home, making such a cross out of the rushes on his floor When he asked her what she was doing, she told him about Jesus, and the chieftain came to faith and was baptized. It became tradition to make these crosses on Brigid's feastday. After the cross was made, it was blessed with holy water and the prayer, "May the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost be on this Cross and on the place where it hangs and on everyone who looks on it." It was then hung on the door or in the front window of the house and left up all year to be burned and replaced the following year on February 1st.
  • Brigid is the patron of many people, among them cattle and chicken farmers! If you happen to own cows or chickens, you might want to give them an extra treat in honor of Brigid and pray for her intercession to protect your livestock.
  • Brigid is also the patroness of poets. You might want to read some poetry with your family today, perhaps religious poetry or something from one of the many wonderful Irish poets. You might enjoy writing poetry, too--consider a homeschool lesson on poetry in honor of Brigid's feast. Limmericks, perhaps? "There once was saint who milked cows..."
  • Finally, Brigid is patroness of children whose parents are not married, as hers were not. Please take some time today to invoke St. Brigid's intercession on behalf of those children who find themselves in broken families. If you are close with an single mother or father, think of some practical way to bless them and their children in honor of St. Brigid. Let us be the tangible hands of Christ in this fallen world, as St. Brigid was and continues to be by virtue of her prayers.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post! You've given so many beautiful ideas for folks to consider on St. Brigid's feast day. I hope to link my blog to yours next February 1st!


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