From the intense glow they thought the house was on fire. But when they entered they found only young St. Brigit in her crib, ethereal flames shooting from the top of her head. This wasn’t the first indication that this child was extraordinary, but it was among the more dramatic – and prophetic. For the rest of her life Brigit would be a woman on fire.
St. Brigit lived a life fueled by passion for sacred wisdom and social justice. Patron saint of healing, poetry and the forge of transformation, she had tremendous compassion for those who suffered and expected no less from others, as demonstrated in this story from Seán Ó Duinn’s book The Rites of Brigid: Goddess and Saint.
The Queen of Leinster came to Brigid and gave her a silver chain as an offering. Brigid gave the chain to her nuns and they hid it away without telling her, as she was always giving things away to the poor. A leper came along and Brigid gave him the silver chain. The nuns were furious when they heard that the chain was gone. ‘Your mercy is of little use to us,’ they complained, ‘while we ourselves are in need of food and clothes.’ ‘You are a bad lot,’ said Brigid, ‘go to the church, to the place where I pray, and you will find your chain.’ They did and found the chain even though it had been given to the leper.
This story is evidence of both the strength of her convictions and her shamanic powers for Brigit, saint or goddess, was a woman of magic.