Friday, September 17, 2010

Brighid and Me: Experiences with the Goddess

I`ve just received my contributor's copy in the mail--Hollee Swann's new 48 pp pamphlet,

BRIGHID AND ME: Experiences With the Goddess.

It is a series of articles by devotees of Brighid, and I am thoroughly enjoying reading the offerings. What a brave and lovely group of beings!

Hollee had wanted to do a book on Brigit but, on researching the subject, decided she'd be simply rehashing available materials. Instead when she reluctantly let go of the project, she was inspired to collect the stories of some of Brigit's followers and offer them to the world.

In honour of Brigit's attributes as a healer, and Hollee's mother, who is in a care home with late stage Alzheimer's, donations from the sale of the book will go to the Alzheimer's Society.

£4.50 per copy. £4.10 for 3 or more copies in one order
Postage at cost. Overseas postal rates on request.
Email: helen(AT) for ordering and payment details. (Replace (AT) with @ )

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Do You Recognize This Brigidine Church?

I found this photo on the internet, on a Russian site--I am quite unable to read Russian. Do you by chance know where this building is, and what it's called? Ta!

(Here's the link.)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hrana Janto Brigit Illumination

There is so much amazing Brigidine art upwelling into the world these days! Another fine example: this illumination by Hrana Janto.

„Untersuchungen zu den ältesten Vitae sanctae Brigidae“

There is online a German language thesis, written by Karina Hochegger, which compares the earliest life of Brigit (Cogitosus, 650 CE) with the Vita Prima Sanctae Brigidae (750 CE). These texts have different aims and means for achieving their goals, as described in Lisa Bitel's excellent book, Landscape with Two Saints. For those German speakers amongst us, I link you to „Untersuchungen zu den ältesten Vitae sanctae Brigidae“. Below find her abstract.



This thesis shall provide a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the two oldest Lives of saint Brigid of Kildare, the “Life by Cogitosus” and the so-called “Vita Prima”. It will also illustrate the most important findings concerning the intentions of the presumed authors in writing these Lives. Dating of the Life by Cogitosus to the third quarter of the 7th century appears to be appropriate based on the reference that Muirchú makes to Cogitosus and his work. Cogitosus was likely an intellectual member within Kildare’s monastic society and he would have been able to write. His political aim in creating a Life of saint Brigid and establishing her as one of the main saints was to strengthen both the influence and power of the monastic centre and its parochia. The Life contains accounts of miracles describing the beauty and greatness of the church of Kildare, the sepulture of Brigid and her bishop Conleth, and the wonders that supposedly took place after Brigid’s death. This would inspire believers from across Ireland to make pilgrimages to Kildare. The reason for establishing the Life may have been the competition between the two main churches of Ireland during the 7th century, Kildare and Armagh. Both of them wanted to spread their power and their parochia. There is no proof of a direct relationship between Cogitosus and the Uí Dúnlainge, the ruling dynasty of Leinster at that time. But it is clear that the expansion of the sphere of control of Kildare was on behalf of the governance of Leinster. There are compositional and structural aspects which support McCone’s theory that the Vita Prima came after the Life by Cogitosus, in the middle of the 8th century. This is because passages from the Life by Cogitosus can be found at the end of Vita Prima and because of the friendly relationship between Patrick and Brigid, the two main saints of Armagh and Kildare. Despite the efforts of Vita prima’s author to create a thorough account of Brigid’s travels, there can be found inconsistencies throughout this Life. The author also neglected Kildare, and emphasized Brigid as a nomad saint; he intended to establish a national saint in Brigid by compiling miraculous stories in order to illustrate her nationwide political-ecclesiastic influence.

Karina Hochegger
angestrebter akademischer Grad
Magistra der Philosophie (Mag. phil.)
Vienna, 2009

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Maud Gonne and the Daughters of Ireland

From 1916: The 1916 Rising, Personalities and Perspectives, an online exhibition by the National Library of Ireland:

Maud Gonne’s most notable contribution was to the establishment in April 1900 of Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland). The organisation was solely for women and adopted Saint Brigid as patron. Its agenda was political, social and feminist: it opposed the Irish Parliamentary Party and Home Rule, opting instead for full independence, but supported the Irish-Ireland movement, the concepts of self reliance preached by Sinn Féin, free meals in schools and women’s suffrage. It organised programmes of distinctively Irish cultural activities and promoted national self awareness. From 1908 onwards it published Bean na hÉireann (‘Irishwoman’), a nationalist womens’ journal. In 1914 Inghinidhe na hÉireann was absorbed into Cumann na mBan, the women’s auxiliary of the Irish Volunteers, although some trades union members then opted to join the Irish Citizen Army. In its time, Inghinidhe na hÉireann helped to politicise a generation of Irish women, many of whom afterwards participated in the 1916 Rising.