Festival Newsletter for Imbolc 2021

Greetings from Faughart (near Dundalk) regarded as the birthplace of Brigid in her Celtic Christian form 425 CE. However, Brigid has been a part of the spiritual landscape of this island for much longer. Brigid in her many forms over the millennium is associated with many places in Ireland...especially Faughart her birthplace and Kildare the site of her abbey. Brigid is a pre-Christian, pre-Celtic Goddess who embodies different energetic forms, maiden mother and Cailleach, at different times in the year. Brigid represents the Divine feminine within the many spiritual traditions that have evolved in Ireland over the many millennia. At Imbolc we celebrate the young vibrant Brigid who blazes through the land releasing it from winter sleep and…

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Of a Thousand Years by Anne Powell

Our sincere thanks to Sr. Anne Powell, New Zealand, for allowing us to include her wonderful poem which relates to the 3 monasteries, of St. Brigid at Faughart, St. Monnina at Kileavy and the current Poor Clares at Faughart,  all linked through time by place, prayer and lives of contemplation. Of a thousand years Within the triangle of three monasteries walk the women of a thousand years, steadily singing the song line of creation and pleading for the world. Their feet are bare where rock and earth sedge and Spirit beckon to the edge of things. They know what prayer is. They know how sorrow and joy enfold a day. They know the power of facing east. They…

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Faughart-A Weave of Celtic Spirituality through the Landscape by Pat O’Rourke

A clear indication of the approach of Saint Brigid’s Day or Imbolc, is that nature’s time of rest is coming to a close and the landscape is re-awakening. This was noted most beautifully by the local poet Marie Kerley in her poem : What is Spring When crocuses push Coloured heads Through quickening soil. When trees rustle Skeletal branches – When buds burst bark. When Birds weave baskets And trill. When air is flushed green And Brigid’s spirit reigns. Saint Brigid’s Shrine at Faughart. At Saint Brigid’s Shrine we see the cheerful stream weave through the re-awakened mystical landscape just as the reeds weave together to make the traditional St Brigid’s Cross. The stream emerges out of Mother…

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On the Week Before the Brigidine Festival by Brid McDonnell

On the Week before the Brigidine Festival. Brigid, my namesake, how I wonder about you, The all-embracing goddess and the saint. What is it about you that is burning bright again, After millennia of continuous flame. Unforgettable your lasting love, your poverty, your healing. Bristling through place, space, time immemorial. As you initiate your monastery forward When you cover your cloak over fertile land. Matriarch in the stars, Primordial as Mary As you wet nursed her child. Mary of the Gael Where do you lie? With us and on high. The people’s person Vastly beyond Saint Brigid, Although she you once were. I adore you with your cross As girl, as mother, as cailleach. Whoever you were, Whoever…

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