Monday, 8 February 2016

Saint Brigid - an Outdated Patron Saint?

As the Octave of the Feast of Saint Brigid draws to a close we return to the 1964 study of Saint Brigid by Daphne Pochin Mould. In her final chapter, 'Saint Brigid and Modern Ireland'  the author makes the point that the traditional way of life with which Saint Brigid was so intimately connected has now disappeared:
...Times have changed. Modern life leaves little leisure for the gracious round of folk custom, modern discoveries have replaced prayer and traditional skill with surer methods. The modern hospital, the ambulance plane, the vet with a whole litany of modern drugs at his disposal; these are the things to which mainlander and islander now turn for help in trouble. There is no need today to use any of the ancient prayers to Brigid for help, when we look for it rather at the end of a telephone line! Even the way of country life is so changed that the old prayers cease to have point or place. The fire is no longer smoored but switched off! 
Thus one may say that a whole section, and a very large section, of the cult of Brigid is linked to a way of life that is no more.  
On the other hand, should one go on to claim that Brigid herself is irrelevant to modern Ireland; that the country should change to some more contemporary patron? Does Brigid still set a headline for Irishwomen, and Irishmen for that matter? Can we, in fact, sum up the essential characteristics of the real Brigid and her life?
D.D.C. Pochin Mould, Saint Brigid (Dublin and London, 1964), 73-74.

Answer tomorrow!

Content Copyright © Trias Thaumaturga 2012-2016. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment