St. Brigid is greatly revered in Ireland. Such reverence is not surprising given the stories associated with her life.
The stories associated with her early life illustrate the point pretty well. The story of her birth has several variations (of poor Christian parents, of noble birth, of an illicit relationship). In the illicit relationship version, she is banished by her father's wife. The father insists on her return. Thus, the mother tries to make Brigid's life miserable. However, the young Brigid takes it all in stride and whenever she could, she gave whatever she had to the poor. This infuriated her parents so they sent her to live with her mother who was in bondage to a Druid. He also tried to make Brigid's life miserable and made her work long hours in the dairy. Brigid responded by giving dairy products to the poor. The Druid tried to stop this but noticed he actually had more to sell than he had had before Brigid started giving things to the poor.
Giving alms to the poor was Brigid's way of giving to the Almighty. She did this throughout her life. Because Brigid was doing well her parents brought her back home and tried to find her a suitor. She refused. The parents told her that she was so attractive that a man would take her forcibly if didn't marry. To avoid either option she mutilated her face and kept giving her parents things to the poor so they finally agreed to let her become a nun.
The story goes on but you get the idea. Brigid had a clear notion of what her mission in life was very early in life. It was to serve God by assisting the poor, sick, and injured.
She eventually established a monastery getting land for it from the King. The King was not keen on giving her land so she asked him to just give her as much land as her cloak would cover. He readily agreed. When she laid down, her cloak it spread over an enormous area. There are many miracles performed by Brigid but this one persists. People to this day pray for the protection of Brigid's cloak.
There are at least two versions of the creation of St. Brigid's cross (depicted above). One version is that she wove it to pass the time while attending to her father on his deathbed. He wanted to know what it was. She explained it represented the cross on which Christ was crucified. Although a pagan, he was so moved he accepted Christianity before he passed away (in another version it is a local Chieftain raster than her father).
As you might expect, Brigid's cross is held in high regard. For example, it is thought that displaying the cross in one's home will protect the inhabitants.
There is also some thought that St. Brigid and the three Brigid's of pagan origin are related. Given the overlap of the roles of the three Brigids and the roles St. Brigid fills, one can see the possibility of these Brigids being interrelated. A statue depicting the three Brigid's can be seen by clicking here.
Our brick and mortar store carries a number of products featuring Brigid's cross (ear rings, necklaces, wall plaques, and so forth). If you have an interest in any of these contact us at info@wanderingangus.com