Online Encyclopedia

SAINT BRIDGET

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 557 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAINT BRIDGET, more properly BRIGID (c. 452-523), one of the patron saints of Ireland, was born at Faughart in county Louth, her father being a prince of Ulster. Refusing to marry, she chose a life of seclusion, making her cell, the first in Ireland, under a large oak tree, whence the place was called Kil-dara, " the church of the oak." The city cf Kildare is supposed to derive its name from St Brigid's cell. The year of her death is generally placed in 523. She was buried at Kildare, but her remains were afterwards translated to Downpatrick, where they were laid beside the bodies of St Patrick and St Columba. Her feast is celebrated on the 1st of February. A large collection of miraculous stories clustered round her name, and her reputation was not confined to Ireland, for, under the name of St Bride, she became a favourite saint in England, and numerous churches were dedicated to her in Scotland. See the five lives given in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum, Feb. r, i. 99, 119, 950. Cf. Whitley-Stokes, Three Middle-Irish Homilies on the Lives of Saint Patrick, Brigit and Columba (Calcutta, 1874) ; Colgan, Acta SS. Hiberniae; D. O'Hanlon, Lives of Irish Saints, vol. ii.; Knowles, Life of St Brigid (1907); further bibliography in Ulysse Chevalier, Repertoire des sources hist. Bio.-Bibl. (2nd ed., Paris, 1905), S.V.
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