The Brigid of Ireland Book, “Brigid of Ireland, The saint and the goddess” (2015) is a 56 page soft-back book written by John J. Ó Ríordáin, CSsR, Redemptorist and Celtic scholar.
The book chapters are below:
- The saint and the goddess
- The Life by Cogitosus
- A Saint of the 21st Century
- Claims and Counterclaims
- Rituals and Relics
- Prayers and Hymns
The synopsis of the book is below:
In rural Ireland St Brigid’s Day was the farmer’s New Year. Hired labourers took up their contracts in new or old surroundings. Farm machinery, such as it was – ploughs, harrows, hand instruments – were all checked for serviceability. Snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils appeared; lambs, calves, litters of smaller animals began to appear in field and farm. Traditionally, crows also built their nests on February 1st but having failed to adapt to the revision of the old calendar they are now credited with building on the 11th.
According to Cogitosus, the saint of Kildare died on the pre-Christian feast of Imbolg the first day of spring. That day was sacred to an ancient European goddess called Brigid. And since her domain seems to have been care for the earth and its produce, the inheritance of the disgarded old goddess fell into the lap of Brigid the new Christian saint. It is likely then that while Cogitosus offers St Brigid as a model of devotion to Christ’s poor, he also lands her with the farming portfolio with responsibility for the farming community, the animal kingdom and environment issues.