Brigid of Ireland
Brigid was born in the middle of the fifth century in eastern Ireland. Saint Patrick himself baptized her and after becoming Christian, she established a monastery at Kildare which housed both women and men, and was known for its hospitality. As abbess, Brigid was a strong leader; there is some evidence that she became powerful enough that she was ordained bishop.
Brigid is known for her generous and compassionate spirit. Many stories about her tell how she gave away whatever she had, and performed miracles that produced an abundance of food that she shared with the hungry. It was said she wanted most "to satisfy the poor, to banish every hardship, and to save every sorrowful man." This remarkable woman died in 525.
Legend has it that Saint Brigid wove a cross from rushes. Today, "Brigid's crosses" of rush are symbols of Celtic spirituality.
Brigid is the patron saint of Irish women, poets, healers, dairy workers, midwives, and newborn babies.