Sunday 8 February 2015

European Offices and Devotion to St Brigid

We conclude the octave of posts in honour of Saint Brigid with a brief account of devotion to our national patroness in some other European countries:

The eminent charity, and the great number of miracles which God had wrought through her intercession, caused her to be placed, immediately after her death, amongst the most illustrious saints. Parents were emulous to give her name to their female children. The church erected altars, and dedicated temples to her, which honours were surpassed by those which she received from posterity. Ireland considered her as her patroness; and her reputation soon spread itself beyond the narrow limits of that island. All Europe participated in this devotion. Her name is invoked at Seville, Lisbon, Placentia, Tours, Besancon, at Namur, in the abbey of Fulda, in which are some of her relics; at Cologne, where one of the principal churches in the city is dedicated to her; and lastly, in London, where there is still a church that bears her name.

This devotion was strengthened by an office of nine lessons, in honour of this saint, which is to be met with in several Breviaries in Europe; in an ancient Roman one printed at Venice, in 1522, in that of Gien, (in Breviario Giennensi) in Italy; in that of the regular canons of Lateran; in an ancient Breviary of Quimper in Armorica: in a church bearing her name at Cologne, of which she is patroness; and finally in a chapel dedicated to her in the territory of Fosse, diocese of Maestricht. We find an office to St. Bridget in the Breviaries and Missals of Maestricht, Mayeuce, Treves, Wirtsburg, Constance, Strasburg, and other towns of Germany.
The History of Ireland Ancient and Modern taken from the most authentic records and dedicated to the Irish Brigade by the Abbé Mac Geoghegan (Dublin, 1844), 157.

As the Abbé has mentioned the offices to Saint Brigid to be found in continental Breviaries, it is perhaps appropriate to conclude with the prayer from the Roman Breviary, first posted here:

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.

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