Celebrating Saint Brigid of Kildare: Person of Compassion

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by Patricia Mathson

Click here for a fun activity page about Saint Brigid of Kildare.

A legend about Brigid tells of a rich lady giving her a beautiful basket of apples. Just then, a group of people who were poor came by, and Brigid gave the apples to them. When the rich lady got upset about this, Brigid said, “What is mine is theirs.” Brigid lived by these words and was always generous to others.

Faith in God

Brigid was the daughter of a wealthy man and a slave woman in Ireland. Brigid was a slave, too, but was eventually freed. She was a person of great faith in God and great love for others. Even as a child, she tried to help people in need.

Caring for Others

When she grew up, Brigid founded the first convent in Ireland. She and her group of sisters took care of people living in poverty and those who were sick. They also provided an education for young girls who did not have the opportunity to go to school. Later Brigid traveled all over Ireland setting up schools and hospitals.

Example of Love

Brigid died in 523, but her example of love for others lives on. Her feast day in Ireland is a week-long celebration. Her life reminds us to be compassionate, to reach out to people who are poor and sick, and to help all those who suffer in any way.

What Can We Do?

* Let’s make posters about Ireland and Irish saints. This country is the birthplace of many other Catholic saints including St. Patrick. We can use books or the internet for information and ideas.
* Let’s look up Matthew 25:40. Jesus tells his followers, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Saint Brigid saw the face of Jesus in people in need. How can we bring hope to the lives of others?
* Let’s be peacemakers like St. Brigid. What are some ways to do this? We can listen carefully to what others say. We can treat all people with respect. We can help different groups get to know one another. We can pray for peace around the world.


Lord Jesus Christ, help us to love others as St. Brigid did. May we be compassionate, always ready to reach out and offer help to others. Fill our hearts with your love. Fill our lives with hope in you. Amen.

Patricia Mathson has many years experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a Master of Religious Education degree. She is currently the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of ten books with the latest titled
70 Sacrament Starters for Children (Twenty-Third Publications).

Copyright 2011, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, January 2011.

Image Credit: jorisvo/Shutter Stock 544541167

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