Fr McKenna

Last year, I got a lovely present from the boys and girls in P3. It was a very colourful St. Brigid’s Cross with a special prayer underneath all about the lovely person she happened to be. She was a woman of peace. Anyone who loves God has to be a peaceful person.

Brigid was also kind and generous to those who were poor. One day she discovered there was no bread in the house to give to the poor but here was a big crock of homemade butter. She gave it all away but got scared that her mum would be cross at what she had done. So she prayed to God and suddenly the empty crock was filled with new fresh butter. Brigid taught people how to be kind, not selfish.

Brigid also had the gift of healing. When people touched her cloak they were cured. Sometimes on the eve of her feast day, people leave out a little piece of cloth on the doorstep. They call it Brigid’s cloak. And they hope her spirit will pass over it and that through it, people will be cured. I wonder if Brigid were here today, could she make the Coronavirus go away.

One day Brigid was looking after a very old Irish chief who was dying, She sat praying for him and making a cross out of the rushes lying on the floor. He asked her what she was doing, and she told him about Jesus dying on the cross. He listened very carefully and said he would like to become a follower of Jesus. So she baptised him and very shortly afterwards he died and went to heaven.

The St. Brigid’s crosses I have just blessed are very special. They were made out of rushes from the Ecos Centre here in Ballymena These rushes grew in marshy ground not too far from Slemish where St. Patrick herded sheep as a teenager and it was where he prayed to God in time of trouble. As a bishop he taught people about the cross of Christ as a symbol of love. I am sure St. Brigid told her followers how great a saint Patrick was. Today, in school, your teachers tell you stories about Patrick and Brigid and how great they were. Someday, people might talk about you and me and say that we were great saints. That’s what God wants us to be. And it is possible, if  only we said  our prayers like Patrick and were like Brigid, kind and caring.