mary of the gael stained glassOur Patroness, Saint Brigid of Kildare

Saint Brigid of Kildare, known to the Irish as “Mary of the Gael”, is the ideal patroness for this Dublin parish. Brigid was born in the late fifth century in County Louth, and may have been baptized by Saint Patrick. She founded the monastery of Kildare, the first religious house of women in Ireland, which later became a center of learning and religion for both women and men. Saint Brigid was best known for her concern for the poor and the hungry, always giving to those in need. Wherever mercy is shown to those in need, wherever the hungry are fed, wherever justice and peace are the goal, Brigid is there.

Saint Brigid is one of the three great patron saints of Ireland, along with Patrick and Columba. Her feast day is February 1st. Her symbols are many, including the oak leaf, the acorn, the cow, a bowl of fire, and her unique woven cross. Her patronages include school children, mothers, dairy workers, and the sick.

Always, this was her desire: to feed the poor, to repel every hardship, to be gentle in every misery… Towards God she was simple; towards the wretched she was compassionate; in miracles she was splendid… Therefore among created things she is like the Dove among birds, the Vine among trees, the Sun above stars…She is the Mary of the Gael.