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Saint Brigid's Cross Wall Hanging

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Saint Brigid's Cross Wall Hanging





The Story of Brigid's Cross

The 1st of February, which is the first day of Spring in Ireland, is also known as St. Brigid's Day.  Making a St. Brigid’s cross on this day is a traditional ritual in Ireland to celebrate the beginning of early spring.  The crosses are made of rushes.  They are hung by the door and in the rafters of homes to protect the house from fire and evil.  According to tradition, a new cross is made each St. Brigid's Day, and the old one is burned to protect the house from fire.  Some believe that keeping a cross in the ceiling or roof is a good way to preserve the home from fire which was always a major threat in houses with thatch and wood roofs.

St. Brigid and her cross are linked together by the story that she wove this cross at the death bed of a pagan lord in Kildare.  Some versions of the story say this chieftain was actually Brigid's father.  Christians in his household sent for Brigid to talk to him about Christ.  When she arrived the chieftain was delirious.  Brigid sat down at his bedside and began consoling him.  in his delirium.  As was customary for the time, the dirt floor was strewn with rushes both for warmth and cleanliness.  Brigid began to weave the rushes into a cross.  The sick man asked what she was doing and as she spoke to him, his delirium quieted.  Through her weaving of the cross and conversation, he converted and was baptized at the point of death.  

St. Brigid is the female patron saint of Ireland. She is also known as Muire na nGael or Mary of the Gael which means Our Lady of the Irish.


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