The Legend of the St. Brigid's Cross
St. Brigid was a contemporary of St. Patrick who founded a monastery in Kildare in the 6th century. It is said that she converted her father to Christianity while making a cross from rushes. In those early Christian times the farmers adopted the custom of making these same crosses at the beginning of spring to protect their holding, placing the St. Brigid's Crosses in prominent positions in their houses and buildings. St. Brigid's parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. Even as a young girl, St. Brigid evinced an interest in a religious life. and took the veil in her youth from St. Macaille. St. Brigid eventually founded a double monastery at Kildare, which developed into a center of learning and spirituality. St. Brigid was one of the most remarkable women of her times and despite the numerous legendary, extravagant, and even fantastic miracles attributed to her, there is no doubt that her extraordinary spirituality, boundless charity, and compassion for those in distress were real. The tradition of making St. Brigid's Crosses on the 1st of February, St. Brigid's Feast Day, continues to the present day.