St. Bridgid 524 A.D. “Mary of the Gael” was born in the mid-fifth century. A contemporary of St. Patrick she is buried next to him at Downpatrick. St. Bridgid built the first Irish convent beside a giant oak tree- this place became known as the Church of the Oak (Cill Dara) or Kildare as it is known today.
The daughter of Dubhtach, a Leinster pagan chieftain, and stubborn nonbeliever, Bridgid sat in prayer beside her dying father and whiled away the time by weaving the first St. Bridgid’s Cross from rushes strewn about the floor. Her father seeing the cross asked her to explain its meaning and was so overwhelmed that he became a Christian before his death.
For centuries it has been customary, before the Spring planting, for Irish folk to fashion a St. Bridgid’s Cross of straw or rushes and place it at the entrance to their cottage or outbuildings to protect their homes, animals, and loved ones from want and evil.
To this day, in Ireland, St. Bridgid’s Day is celebrated on the first of February, and her crosses are still in use. We stock a selection of St. Bridgid crosses in a traditional rush, bronze, ceramic, and other materials.