Wednesday 1 February 2012

The Feast of Saint Brigid in the Martyrology of Christ Church, Dublin

This is the entry in Latin for the Feast of Saint Brigid in the Book of Obits and Martyrology of Christ Church, Dublin. It speaks of Saint Brigid's signs and miracles, of her works of mercy and fasting and of her example of holiness and chastity to her nuns:
Kal. Februarii.

Item apud Hiberniam; dormitio beate uirginis Brigide ueneranter hoc die commemorata. Que post signa et miracula, post opera clara misericordie et elemosinarum; post humilitatem puram et beneuolentiam deo deuotam, et post exemplum ceteris uirginibus castimonie et sanctitatis ut breuiter dicam; ad Cristum cuius ob amorem hec omnia compleuit in opere, inter angelicos chores uecta migrauit. Si enim larga ipsius prefate uirginis opera cartis inserere uoluissem, proprii uoluminis eguisset solentia.

J.H. Todd who contributed the introduction to this work commented:
Kal. Feb. (Feb. i), p. 84, S. Brigida. The notice of St. Bridget which occurs here, seems altogether peculiar to this Martyrology. Ado's account of her is as follows :

" Item apud Scotiam Sanctas Brigidie virginis, cujus vita miraculis claruit: quae cum lignum altaris, in testimonium virginitatis SUES tetigisset, viride factum est."

The notice in the Roman Martyrology agrees with this almost verbatim; and it is remarkable that there also Ireland is called Scotia.

It is worth noting, that in this account of St. Bridget, the compiler of the Dublin Martyrology speaks of himself in the first person :

"Si enim larga ipsius praefate virginis opera cartis inserere voluissem, proprii voluminis eguisset solentia."

Colgan has collected six lives of this saint in his Trias Thaumaturga.

The entry in the Roman Martyrology which I found online does not describe Ireland as Scotia but as Hibernia. However, this may simply reflect a more recent translation than that used by Todd:

Apud Kildáriam, in Hibérnia, sanctæ Brígidæ Vírginis, quæ, cum lignum altáris tetigísset in testimónium virginitátis suæ, lignum ipsum statim víride factum est.

At Kildare in Ireland, St. Bridget, virgin.  Once, when she touched the wood of an altar, it immediately sprouted into life, in testimony of her virginity.

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