Saint Brigid’s day ( Feb. 1st)
St. Brigid’s Day, (Feb. 1st) holds a special place in the hearts of all those who live in Ireland. An obvious symbol of this Feast Day is the making of St. Brigid’s Day crosses, an ancient Irish tradition. The history of these crosses is deeply rooted in the life of one of our patron saints, Saint Brigid.
St. Brigid is associated with various miraculous acts and gestures of immense kindness. St. Brigid wove a cross from rushes while explaining the Christian faith to a dying pagan chieftain. This act is said to have inspired the tradition of crafting St. Brigid’s crosses. symbolising Faith, Hope, and Protection.
The skill of making St. Brigid’s Day crosses involves using rushes to make a distinctive square shape with arms extending from each corner. The process is both practical and symbolic, reflecting the agricultural traditions of Ireland and the Christian teachings associated with St. Brigid. We have many talented weavers in TY this year who are experts in the craft. We also have others who were very quick learners and can now make excellent, tightly woven crosses. We had others who recalled fond memories of National School and making them with their teachers. Some who had not made them in over 5 or 6 years suddenly “clicked” back in again and it was like “riding a bicycle” it all came back to them, which was a lovely moment to witness. Well done all, the expert weavers and the expert apprentices who are now masters.
The Transition Year students were unbelievably busy with both their ongoing rehearsals for the musical (İMama Mia, Papa Mia!) and making St. Brigid’s Day crosses, certain diligent students even multi-tasking ‘in between’ scenes weaving crosses and rehearsing. (There will not be a rush left in Ballaghaderreen, Ballymote, Lisacul, Carracastle, Frenchpark, Kilomovee, even Charlestown! and anywhere else we have forgotten to mention in the surrounding areas!)
Certain students are also taking part in the John Paul II Gaisce Awards and will continue to make crosses next week as part of their community involvement projects.
These crosses have been blessed and are in the Cathedral for anyone to take away for free. We will continue to make more next week, and everyone is welcome to take one home.
Well done to all our Transition Year students who gave so willingly of their time, even during lunches and breaks. We are so proud of you all. Hopefully, your crosses will bring joy to all who take one home. We will also deliver a box of crosses to the local nursing home on Feb. 1st where those who wish, are welcome to take one for their room.