My Thoughts 01/02/2022

One of my early memories of my visits to Cork to stay with my Mum’s family was frequently seeing on the walls of houses crosses made of rushes. They are known as St Brigid’s crosses.

The story goes that she wove this form of cross at the death bed of her father or a pagan lord, who upon hearing what the cross meant asked to be baptised. Making a St. Brigid’s cross is one of the traditional rituals in Ireland to celebrate the beginning of early spring, 1st February, which is her feast day. She is sometimes referred to as “the Mary of the Gaels” and the “Mother Saint of Ireland”. Tradition says that she founded several convents, most notably that of Kildare. We know very little historical acts about her. The saint shares her name with a Celtic goddess. Brigid is patroness of many things, including poetry, learning, healing, protection, blacksmithing, livestock and dairy production . From 2023 1st February will be a Public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, the first named after a woman.

I think today is a good day reflect on the power of the cross.

Lord, I thank you for the Cross. When I gaze on the cross I see you, Love, lifted up. From the Cross you come down to us. As Pope St John Paul wrote “The Cross is the most profound condescension of God to man . . . The Cross is like a touch of eternal love upon the most painful wounds of man’s existence”

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest