February 1 is the feast day of Saint Brigid. Michelle Abernathy has taken her beautiful painting of this saint and made it into a coloring page.
“When faith’s light of freedom to Ireland first came,
You, Lord, raised up Brigid to make known your name.
Her proud chieftain father’s wild rage she defied,
And followed your way, with the gospel for guide.
In silence of fields, while she tended her fold,
You spoke to her heart words more precious than gold.
White figure of peace, through our country she went,
In your loving service her whole life was spent.
With keen fiery arrow she set hearts aflame;
To live ‘neath her rule many monks and nuns came.
The poor and the hungry were fed from her store,
For open to all were her heart, hand and door.
For Brigid we praise you, our Father and God,
We praise Christ your Son in whose footsteps she trod,
We praise your kind Spirit who guided her ways,
We praise you, blest Trinity, all of our days. (From carholicireland.net)”
A little more about St. Brigid:
Living from around 450 to 523, St. Brigid is one of the patron saints of Ireland, along with St. Patrick. Little is known of her life that is verifiable, but many many legends surround her. Also known as Bridget or Bride, she was the daughter of an Irish slave woman and a nobleman, Dubhthach. In some stories, her parents were baptized by St. Patrick and in others, Brigid herself was baptized by him. When she was around 14 years old, she became a nun and built a hermitage for herself in what is now Kildare. Eventually, a group of women gathered around her; they became a monastic community and Brigid was abbess. She was renowned for her compassion, and her love for animals and the natural world. She died when she was around 75 and was buried at Kildare. Alexander Carmicheal, in the Carmina Gadelica, says:
There are many legends and customs connected with Bride. . . Bride is said to preside over fire, over art, over all beauty . .. beneath the sky and beneath the sea. And man being the highest type of ideal beauty, Bride presides at his birth and dedicates him to the Trinity. She is the Mary and the Juno of the Gael. She is much spoken of in connection with Mary,–generally in relation to the birth of Christ. She was the aid-woman of the Mother of Nazareth in the lowly stable, and she is the aid-woman of the mothers of Uist in their humble homes.