Prayer to St Brigid
1st February, 2021
As you begin, name any prayer intention you have,
while including protection and healing
from COVID-19 and
the intentions of the people of our diocese
Oh Brigid, Mary of the Gael,
may your protection never fail.
Spread your mantle over me,
where ‘ere I am, where ‘ere I be.
Cover me with God’s joy and peace,
let my faith and hope never cease.
Shine your light where there is darkness,
strengthen me in any weakness.
Heal all within that may be ill,
give me the desire each day to do God’s will.
‘Till I rest, my journey o’er,
with God and you forever more.
St. Brigid, patron of Kildare and Leighlin,
pray for us.
Bishop Denis is inviting parishes to share and encourage parishioners to join in praying a prayer to St Brigid as a diocesan family. The image used in the prayer is taken from a mosaic in the Irish College in Rome. Bishop Denis will preside at Mass on the Feast of St Brigid, Monday 1st February, in the Church of St Brigid, Kildare town at 11 am.
Brigid founded her church at Kildare, a name which means the ‘church of the oak tree.’ The Irish College
now stands on Rome’s Coelian Hill, ‘the hill of the oak grove.’ The oak tree in the mosaic links these two
places with a common name: it recalls Brigid’s evangelical zeal at Kildare and it expresses the hope that
it might take firm root among us again. The dove perched in the oak tree has a double purpose. It
symbolizes Saint Columba (Columba is the Latin word for dove), Ireland’s secondary patron, who went
from his native Doire/Derry, meaning “the place of the oak-wood”, to found a monastery on the island
of Iona. The dove also reminds us that the chapel was reordered during a time of long prayed-for peace
on our island.
Brigid holds the church of Kildare close to her heart as gilded flames of love consume the church and
ascend through the oak tree to God. The flames rising through the tree recall the burning bush where
God appeared to Moses.
The cloak at Brigid’s feet recalls another story associated with the saint. Brigid went to the local
chieftain to ask for land on which she could build her church, a convent and a hospice for the poor. The
chieftain initially refused Brigid’s request but, because of her persistence, he subsequently agreed to
give her the land that she could cover with her cloak. According to tradition, Brigid placed her cloak on
the ground and it miraculously extended to cover the large area that is now known as the Curragh of
Kildare. There Brigid made her foundation and so was able to express her all-consuming love for God in
her hospitality to the stranger and her care for the poor.