453 AD – Mary of the Gael – is second only to St Patrick in the esteem of the Irish people. She is of course, specially associated with Kildare and the whole area of Magh Life (The Liffey Plain). Confirmed historical facts about St. Brigid (Brigit, Bride/Bree, Bridget, Ffraid) are few because the numerous accounts of her life include many miracles and anecdotes deeply intertwined with pagan Irish folklore. Nevertheless, these accounts taken together give us a strong impression of her character and her importance to countless generations of Celtic women and men.Brigid was born in approximately the year 453 in Faughart, a few miles from Dundalk, county Louth. The goddess was transformed by the Church into St. Brigid, and given a new biography. Some believed she was the daughter of a Druid converted to Christianity by St. Patrick. Others thought she was midwife to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and Foster Mother to the Savior. A convent was founded in Kildare where the saint lived with her sisters, tending her eternal flame until her death.
523/25 AD – There is no exact date for St Brigid’s death. It is said that she died at the age of 70 or 72, which would make the date of her death somewhere between this year and 525 AD. Her spirit lives on in the hospitality afforded by the nuns at Kildare, and she is still revered as a patron of Irish women and motherhood. She is one of the two patron saints of Ireland and the only native one, since Patrick was born elsewhere. Christians and pagans alike celebrate Brigid’s feast on February 1, also known as Imbolc, the ceremonial first day of spring; thereby perpetually connecting St. Brigid with the renewal of the earth, the promise of abundance, the hope of new growth, and the eternal cycle of new life.
1960 – Brigid was decanonized. However, on Imbolc of 1993, the Daughters of the Flame relit a fire in honor of the goddess.