Saturday, January 08, 2005

St. Bridget's Day

Celebrated each year on Feb. 1, St. Bridget's Day honors a legendary fifth-century Irish saint who helped the poor and less fortunate. It is believed that hanging a cross from rushes like the one she made over a door will bring protection, good luck and prosperity.

The custom was to gather a bundle of green rashes, and, standing with them in the hand on the threshold of the door, to invite St. Bridget to come and lodge with them that night, saying-,

"Brede, Brede, tar gys my thie, tar dyn thie ayms noght.
Foshil jee yn dorrys da Brede, as lhig da Brede e beet staigh."
" Bridget, Bridget, come to my house, come to my house to-night.
Open the door for Bridget, and let Bridget come in."

After these words were repeated, the rushes were strewn on the floor by way of a carpet or bed for St. Bridget. According to Manx tradition the nunnery near Douglas was founded by St. Bridget, who was born in 453, and was also buried there, her body being afterwards translated to Downpatrick, and placed beside the remains of St. Patrick and St. Columba. It is also affirmed by some that her remains are at Rome, so that it appears doubtful where to find the relies of the virgin of Kildare.

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