Miracles Through Life And Beyond

Miraculous events infuse almost every story of St. Brigit. One iconic story tells of Brigit seeking land to establish her monastic community, however her many petitions were disdainfully rejected until at last the land owner, exasperated and wanting to be rid of this annoying woman, said she could have all the land her cloak could cover. Brigit was delighted. The following morning she arrived at a large field near Kildare with several of her nuns instructing them to take hold of a corner of her cloak and walk. They did and the cloak expanded to cover several acres, much to the chagrin of the land owner.

12_perpetual-flameYet the miracles did not end with Brigit’s death, as was noted five hundred years later in the writings of cleric Giraldus Cambrensis.

At Kildare in Leinster, celebrated for the glorious Brigit, many miracles have been wrought worthy of memory. Among these, the first that occurs is the fire of St. Brigit, which is reported never to go out. Not that it cannot be extinguished, but the nuns and holy women tend and feed it, adding fuel with such watchful and diligent care, that from the the time of the Virgin, it has continued burning through a long course of years; and although such heaps of wood have been consumed during this long period, there has been no accumulation of ash.

Each of them has the care of the fire for a single night, the last nun, having heaped wood upon the fire says: ‘Brigit take charge of your own fire; for this night belongs to you.’ She then leaves the fire, and in the morning it is found that the fire has not gone out, and that the usual quantity of fuel has been used.

Although the original fire of St. Brigit was eventually extinguished in 1220 by the archbishop of Dublin, it was relit in 1993 by the nuns of Kildare who have been tending it since. Literally and figuratively the fire of this mystical nun, shaman and wise woman was destined to burn through the ages.