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St Brigid's Killarney | St Brigid

St Brigid

St. Brigid was born at Faughart near Dundalk around 454 A.D. Her father was a nobleman, who had his own band of soldiers. Her mother did not have the same social status as her father. However both Brigid's parents were Christians. Brigid received a very good education and she was also trained in all matters relating to dairying. Brigid grew up to be a beautiful young woman and as she was also very wealthy, many young men wanted to marry her.
In Brigid's youth, Christianity was not really established in Ireland. Pagan ideas were still in the minds and hearts of the people. Even her own parents could not understand her when she decided to devote her life to God. It took Brigid four years to convince her parents that she was sure that she wanted to become a nun.
In 470 A.D., Brigid and seven other girls were professed as nuns. Afterwards, she founded a convent, where there was an oak tree and the place was named Cill Dara, that is, "the church of the oak".
Shortly after arriving in Cill Dara, Brigid started to go out among the people spreading the gospel. She soon realised that the people needed a priest, so she went to Drogheda and persuaded Connlaith to return to Cill Dara with her. Shortly afterwards, Connlaith was consecrated a bishop.
Scores of young women wanted to join Brigid's congregation in Cill Dara. Many young men also came to join Connlaith's congregation also. So the two communities lived closely and shared the same oratory. Strict rules were enforced governing the interaction between the nuns and the monks.
Brigid made many journeys away from Cill Dara. She built her second convent in Ardachadh. She travelled in Munster to Limerick, and in Connaght to Galway and Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon. It is also believed that she travelled to Scotland spreading the gospel. Brigid always enjoyed returning to Cill Dara and she died there in 534 A.D.
She left no written memoirs, no letters so there is a shortage of information about the details of her life. Brigid was very influenced by a sermon she once heard about the Beattitudes. She and seven other nuns decided to concentrate on a particular beattitude. Brigid's choice was "mercy". She showed mercy to all she encountered, the poor, the sick and the hungry.