February 1 (†523)
The well-known founder and abbess of the Monastery of Kildare has been revered and loved throughout Europe for almost fifteen hundred years. While she was still a young woman, her unbounded compassion for the poor, the sick and the suffering grew to such proportions as to shelter all of Ireland. St. Brigid's tonsure at the hands of St. Mael of Ardagh (February 6, †488) inaugurated the beginning of women's coenobitic monasticism in Ireland. St. Brigid soon expanded it by founding many other convents throughout Ireland. The gifts of the Holy Spirit shine brightly upon all through her—both men and beasts—to this day. After receiving Holy Communion at Kildare from St. Ninnidh of Inismacsaint (January 18, †6th c.) she gave her soul into the hands of her Lord in 523.
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