Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Testimony of Saint Brigid on the Angels

Continuing the vignettes from the life of Saint Brigid with a follow-up episode to yesterday's angelic intervention. Saint Brigid has been able to save her father's household from burning by an enemy thanks to the warning of an angel. Now back in her newly-established convent at Kildare she elaborates on her relationship with the heavenly host:

C. Erskine, Angels in Art (1898)

When she returned to her new home one of the sisters said to her: "I pray that the angel of the Lord may always assist you, as he had done, during the past night, by the liberation of yourself, your father and his family".  "Not only this night," said the saint, "but in every age, I shall have the Lord's assistance in all things, through the ministry of His angels. For daily I experience a great joy of spirit, while I hear through divine inspiration songs, spiritual canticles and strains of heavenly organs. I am able also to hear every day those sacred Masses which are offered in honour of the Almighty in distant parts of the world, in like manner as if I were present at their celebration, while the angels of God present my prayers to heaven day and night. Wherever I am the Lord always hears me, as I will show by the following two incidents:

On a particular occasion a certain woman, who was a leper and infirm, asked me to bring her water and to perform some other charitable offices for her. Whereupon, I blessed the vessel, which was  filled with water, and presented it, telling her to place the vessel between herself and the wall, so that no person should be able to touch it until her return. But in my presence, the angel of the Lord blessed that water and it was turned into whatever kind of liquid the leper desired; thus it had the taste of honey when this was wished for, again the taste of wine, of beer, of milk, or of any other liquid that infirm woman especially required.

Again, when I was a little girl, I fashioned an altar-stone in honour of my God, yet with child-like intent. Then an angel of the Almighty, in my presence, perforated the stone at its four angles and placed at each of them four wooden feet. That you may glorify Our Lord Jesus Christ I have mentioned, O my daughter, these two interpositions of my Angel Guardian. Thus the grace of God hath always continued within me."

Saint Patrick and the Saints of Ireland from authoritative sources (London, John Ouseley Ltd, 1908-1909), 59-60.

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