She Who Tends the Fire

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The Priestesses of Brighid kept her flame eternally lit in the year 480 AD. They kept vigil and made sure the flame was never extinguished. When Christianity spread throughout Ireland the Goddess was so engrained in the Irish people that they could not eradicate her, so she became a saint. In the 6th century a monastery was built on the site where the priestesses kept vigil of the fire temple. Another one was built in the 13th century and still stands as the sisters continue her work which was begun by the priestesses.

They kept the flame going up until the time of the Reformation in the 16th century. King Henry X111 destroyed most of the monasteries and the flame was extinguished, but never forgotten.

In 1807 the Bishop of Kildare began the restoration of the Sisterhood of St. Brighid. Their mission was to restore the ancient order and bring back the legacy of the fire.

In 1993 Brighid’s perpetual flame was rekindled by Mary Teresa Cullen, the leader of The Brigidine Sisters. The sacred flame was kept in their home in Kildare and in February of 2006 the flame was brought back to the Market Square where it has been permanently housed in a large glass vessel.

If you visit Kildare today look for a Sister Mary Minehan of the Brigidine Order . This order is unlike any other Catholic order,as they embrace the Goddess aspect of Brighid and honor her.She will give you a tour of the Temple Room where Brighid’s light shines brightly.

You can contact her at – solasbhride@eircom.net

 

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