Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Office of Saint Brigid from the Roman Breviary


February 1

St Brigid (Bride,) Virgin.
Patroness of Ireland.

Double of the Second Class.

All from the Common Office for Virgins (p. 567,) except the following.

Prayer throughout the Office.

O GOD, Who year by year dost cause us to rejoice as upon this day, in the feast of Thy blessed hand-maiden Brigid, mercifully grant us help for her sake, the bright ensample of whose chastity doth still shed its light upon us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.



Lessons from i Cor. vii. 25, as in the Common.


Fourth Lesson.

THE holy virgin Brigid was born of noble and Christian parents in the province of Leinster in Ireland, and she was the mother in Christ of many holy maidens. While she was yet a little child, her father saw men clad in white raiment pouring holy oil upon her head, which thing was a foreshadowing of the godliness and holiness of the virgin. As soon as she had attained to the first years of girlhood, she chose Christ her Saviour for her Bridegroom, and clung to Him with so profound a passion of her heart, that she gave away to the poor whatsoever she had. The matchless loveliness of her body brought about her a host of suitors, and lest they should prevail with her to break the intention of virginity, by which she had given herself over to God, she prayed God to make her unsightly. She was soon heard. One eye swelled, and her whole face became so changed, that she was allowed to send back the messenger of the suitors, and by a solemn vow to keep her virginity for Christ.

Fifth Lesson.

SHE took with her three maidens, and went to Bishop Mahew, the disciple of St Patrick. When he beheld a pillar of fire over her head, he clad her in a white tunic and a white mantle, read the sacred prayers, and admitted her to that canonical profession which blessed Patrick had brought into Ireland. At the moment that she bowed down her head to receive the hallowed veil, she chanced to touch the wooden step of the altar with her hand, and the dry wood at once became green, and her eye was healed, and her face became lovely as beforetime. After her example so great a multitude of maidens embraced the regular life, that in a little while all Ireland was filled with houses of nuns, whereof the chief was that one in which Brigid herself ruled, and from which the others hung, as from their head.

Sixth Lesson.

THE holiness of this virgin is witnessed by the miracles which she openly wrought, not only during her life, but also after her course in this world was ended. Very often did she cleanse lepers, and obtain health by her prayers for them that were sick of divers diseases. She opened the eyes of one that was born blind. A certain shameless woman had an unlawful child, whereof she protested that Bishop Broonus was the father, but Brigid made the sign of the cross upon the mouth of the new-born child, which forthwith told the name of its real father, and so delivered the Bishop from that false accusation. She had the spirit of prophecy, and foretold many things which were yet to come, as though they were present before her. She was bound in a holy friendship to St Patrick the Apostle of the Irish. She foretold when he would pass out of this life, and where would be the place of his sepulchre. She was there when he passed away, and gave the linen which she had made ready beforehand to swathe his body withal. At last she gave up her beautiful soul to her bridegroom Christ, and was laid in the same grave with blessed Patrick.


Lessons from Matth. xxv. i, with the Homily of St Gregory (p. 571.)

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