St John the Baptist held its regular Monthly Enlightenment in February, a month dedicated to the youth of our Archdiocese.
Mrs. Danielle Toumbelekis, a youth member of the parish prepared a talk on the life of St. Bridget of Ireland, who we commemorate on the 1st of February.
Another name attributed to St. Bridget is, ‘Mary of the Gael’, which is translated to, ‘Our lady of the Irish’. This name was bestowed upon her due to her resemblance to the Virgin Mary our most Holy Theotokos. St. Bridget was remembered for her extraordinary faith, hospitality, charity, and wisdom.
She was born around 450AD to a pagan chieftain father and a slave Christian Mother. As a child, St. Bridget showed compassion for the poor and strangers. She would give away food, clothing, and even her father’s possessions. When the household items would run out, she would pray to God, and upon God hearing her petitions, He would replenish her supply of food miraculously. Handmaidens who worked besides St. Bridget admired her wonderful trust in God’s Divine Providence.
From a young age, St. Bridget wanted to join a convent however her father took a firm stand and insisted that she was to marry a wealthy man. Knowing this, St. Bridget prayed to God asking for help to allow her to go to a convent. Eventually, her father caved in and her prayers were answered.
In 470AD at the age of 20, she called for God’s help again to convince the King to give her land to establish a monastery. He refused her request. She requested again but this time said, “Give me as much land as my cloak will cover”. The King laughed and granted her the request. With the works of God, her cloak grew to cover acres of land.
St Bridget performed many miracles in her lifetime, which spread across the country and are well known around the world to this day. As Christians, we should look towards St. Bridget’s undeniable faith and excessive generosity, especially during this period leading up to Lent.
Thank you, Danielle, for informing us about the life of St. Bridget of Ireland and allowing us to take further steps towards our impending eternal salvation.