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Saturday, January 31, 2015
Saint February 1 : St. Bridgid of Ireland : Patron of Babies; Children whose parents are not married; Fugitives; Ireland; Midwives; Poets
VIRGIN, PATRONESS OF IRELAND
Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth; d. 1 February, 525, at Kildare. Refusing many good offers of marriage, she became a nun and received the veil from St. Macaille. With seven other virgins she settled for a time at the foot of Croghan Hill, but removed thence to Druin Criadh, in the plains of Magh Life, where under a large oak tree she erected her subsequently famous Convent of Cill-Dara, that is, "the church of the oak" (now Kildare), in the present county of that name. It is exceedingly difficult to reconcile the statements of St. Brigid's biographers, but the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lives of the saint are at one in assigning her a slave mother in the court of her father Dubhthach, and Irish chieftain of Leinster. Probably the most ancient life of St. Brigid is that by St. Broccan Cloen, who is said to have died 17 September, 650. It is metrical, as may be seen from the following specimen:
Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of Kildare in his day: "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis". The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards, lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated curtains. Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century. Although St. Brigid was "veiled" or received by St. Macaille, at Croghan, yet, it is tolerably certain that she was professed by St. Mel of Ardagh, who also conferred on her abbatial powers. From Ardagh St. Macaille and St. Brigid followed St. Mel into the country of Teffia in Meath, including portions of Westmeath and Longford. This occurred about the year 468. St. Brigid's small oratory at Cill- Dara became the centre of religion and learning, and developed into a cathedral city. She founded two monastic institutions, one for men, and the other for women, and appointed St. Conleth as spiritual pastor of them. It has been frequently stated that she gave canonical jurisdiction to St. Conleth, Bishop of Kildare, but, as Archbishop Healy points out, she simply "selected the person to whom the Church gave this jurisdiction", and her biographer tells us distinctly that she chose St. Conleth "to govern the church along with herself". Thus, for centuries, Kildare was ruled by a double line of abbot-bishops and of abbesses, the Abbess of Kildare being regarded as superioress general of the convents in Ireland.
Not alone was St. Bridget a patroness of students, but she also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which St. Conleth presided. From the Kildare scriptorium came the wondrous book of the Gospels, which elicited unbounded praise from Giraldus Cambrensis, but which has disappeared since the Reformation. According to this twelfth- century ecclesiastic, nothing that he had ever seen was at all comparable to the "Book of Kildare", every page of which was gorgeously illuminated, and he concludes a most laudatory notice by saying that the interlaced work and the harmony of the colours left the impression that "all this is the work of angelic, and not human skill". Small wonder that Gerald Barry assumed the book to have been written night after night as St. Bridget prayed, "an angel furnishing the designs, the scribe copying". Even allowing for the exaggerated stories told of St. Brigid by her numerous biographers, it is certain that she ranks as one of the most remarkable Irishwomen of the fifth century and as the Patroness of Ireland. She is lovingly called the "Queen of the South: the Mary of the Gael" by a writer in the "Leabhar Breac". St. Brigid died leaving a cathedral city and school that became famous all over Europe. In her honour St. Ultan wrote a hymn commencing:
The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan, an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824. St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran. When dying, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to Ireland's Patroness. She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1 February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba. The relics of the three saints were discovered in 1185, and on 9 June of the following year were solemnly translated to a suitable resting place in Downpatrick Cathedral, in presence of Cardinal Vivian, fifteen bishops, and numerous abbots and ecclesiastics. Various Continental breviaries of the pre-Reformation period commemorate St. Brigid, and her name is included in a litany in the Stowe Missal. In Ireland today, after 1500 years, the memory of "the Mary of the Gael" is as dear as ever to the Irish heart, and, as is well known, Brigid preponderates as a female Christian name. Moreover, hundreds of place-names in her honour are to be found all over the country, e.g. Kilbride, Brideswell, Tubberbride, Templebride, etc. The hand of St. Brigid is preserved at Lumiar near Lisbon, Portugal, since 1587, and another relic is at St. Martin's Cologne.
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)
30-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 022
|- The Pope recalls the “immense tragedy” of Syria and Iraq|
|- Telegram from the Pope for the explosion in the Mexican maternity hospital of Cualjimalpa|
|- Pope Francis' prayer intentions for February|
|- The Master of Papal Ceremonies explains the new method of imposing the pallium|
|The Pope recalls the “immense tragedy” of Syria and Iraq|
Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Consistory Hall the Pope received thirty representatives of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, constituted in 2003 following an initiative of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the ecclesiastical authorities of the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches. During the last ten years, from a historical perspective, it has examined the roads through which the Churches have expressed their communion in the first centuries, and what this means for our search for communion today. During this week's meeting, the Commission embarked upon a deeper examination of the nature of the Sacraments, especially Baptism.
Francis recalled the inspiring commitment to dialogue of His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Was, Patriarch of the Syro-Orthodox Church of Antioch and all the East, who died last year, and joined in prayer with the clergy and the faithful for this “dedicated servant of God”.
“At this time we especially feel dismay and deep sadness at what is happening in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria. I think of all those living in the region, including our Christian brothers and sisters, and many minorities, who are experiencing the effects of a prolonged and painful conflict. I join you in praying for a negotiated solution and in imploring God's goodness and mercy upon all those affected by this immense tragedy. All Christians are called to work together, in mutual acceptance and trust, in order to serve the cause of peace and justice. May the intercession and example of many martyrs and saints who have borne courageous witness of Christ in all our Churches sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities”.
|Telegram from the Pope for the explosion in the Mexican maternity hospital of Cualjimalpa|
Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, Mexico, following an explosion in the Maternity Hospital of Cualjimalpa caused during the transfer of fuel to the centre, which claimed several victims and casualties including a number of babies.
Pope Francis, “greatly saddened by this tragic news”, according to the text, “offers his prayers for the eternal repose of the souls of the departed” and “wishes to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased, along with expressions of comfort, his fervent hope for the swift recovery of the injured. He imparts the comfort of his apostolic blessing as a sign of hope in the Resurrected Lord”.
|Pope Francis' prayer intentions for February|
Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for February is: “That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity”.
His intention for evangelisation is: “That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community”.
|The Master of Papal Ceremonies explains the new method of imposing the pallium|
Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) – In a letter sent to all the apostolic nunciatures and dated 12 January, 2015, the Master of Papal Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, made public the Pope's decision to modify the method of imposing the pallium on the new metropolitan archbishops. The strip of white wool, symbolising the sheep on the shoulders of Jesus the Good Shepherd, will be delivered and no longer “imposed” by the Holy Father, according to tradition on 29 June, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Instead the imposition of the pallium upon the new archbishops will take place in their dioceses, by the hand of the local apostolic nuncios.
Yesterday, in an interview for Vatican Radio, Msgr. Marini explained the meaning of the Pontiff's decision, indicating that from next 29 June the archbishops, “as is customary, will be present in Rome, will concelebrate with the Holy Father and will participate in the blessing of the pallia, but the imposition will not take place. Each archbishop will receive his pallium from the Holy Father in a simple and private way. The imposition will occur in the diocese of origin, and therefore in a second moment, in the presence of the local Church and in particular the bishops of the suffragan dioceses, accompanied by their faithful”.
This is intended, continued the Master of Papal Ceremonies, to “emphasise the relationship between the newly appointed metropolitan archbishops and their local Church, therefore enabling more faithful to be present and this rite that is so important for them, and especially for the bishops of the suffragan dioceses, which in this way will be able to participate in the moment of the imposition. This maintains the significance of the celebration on 29 June, which underlines the relationship of communion, including the hierarchical communion between the Holy Father and the new archbishops, but at the same time adds, with a meaningful gesture, the bond with the local Church. … It is a beautiful gesture which accompanies the other [the imposition of the pallium, Ed.], which remains with all its entirety and depth”.
Vatican City, 30 January 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family;
- Bishop Pietro Lagnese of Ischia, Italy;
- Francesco Maria Greco, ambassador of Italy, on his farewell visit;
- Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig, Commandant of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, on his farewell visit.