Brigid of Ireland: ‘I would like …’

-From Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.

Brigid of IrelandBrigid of Ireland said, “I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present.”

Brigid of Ireland, circa 450-525, is believed to have been the daughter of a pagan Scottish king and a Christian Pictish slave [a member of an ancient people of uncertain origin, possibly Celtic, who inhabited parts of northern Britain, fought against the Romans].

Even as a child, she was known to have a generous spirit and a compassionate, tender heart and was drawn to help the poor, the hungry, and the cold.

Eventually, Brigade’s father decided she must be married or taken into someone else’s household, because he could no longer afford to keep her (especially in light of her excessive giving to the poor, which he feared would be the ruin of him).

Brigid refused marriage and became a nun with seven other women. At Kildare, she founded a double monastery for monks and nuns, assisted by a bishop. The perpetual fire at the monastery became a symbol of its hospitality and constant, undying devotion to God and the poor.

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