READING I: 2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17
RESPONSORIAL: Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7
GOSPEL: Mark 6:1-6
This is the feast of St Brigid, the secondary saint of Ireland after St Patrick. Brigid died about about the year 525 and is thought to have been converted by St Patrick himself. She founded a monastery for women at Kildare and her holiness and kindness were legendary. Many women came to join her and soon the monastery opened daughter houses. In honour of her holiness and sanctity Brigid is also called "The Mary of the Gaels."
The St Brigid cross is a long tradition in Ireland which stretches back to the roots of our faith. Made of reeds, which are readily available in Ireland's boggy fields, the St Brigid's cross is made on 31st January and blessed at Mass today. It is hung above the front door of the house as protection against evil spirits and evil happenings. The tradition is still alive and strong in Ireland. Last night in our parish in Co Derry at least 100 people gathered for an evening of cross making and craic, and the knowledge of the tradition was passed on to younger generations. Feast of St Brigid