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Author Topic: Brigid the Goddess and or Saint?  (Read 4480 times)
Spectacular Views
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« Topic Start: December 04, 2009, 09:58:36 pm »

I was roaming around on the internet and came across an article talking about the possibility that Brigid may have been the inspiration for St. Brigid. 

Do you think this is possible?

For arguments sake, lets say that Brigid the Goddess and St. Brigid were the same, do you think Brigid would be upset that she was turned into a Saint?  Or maybe she wouldn't mind since she still received devotion? 

SV 
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« Reply #1: December 04, 2009, 10:04:06 pm »

I was roaming around on the internet and came across an article talking about the possibility that Brigid may have been the inspiration for St. Brigid. 

Do you think this is possible?

It's somewhat unlikely as there are apparently actual records of the Brigid (who was head of an abbey as I recall) who became the saint.  However, it is quite likely that some of the legends of Brigid the Goddess became conflated with those of Brigid the saint.
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« Reply #2: December 05, 2009, 07:43:46 am »

For arguments sake, lets say that Brigid the Goddess and St. Brigid were the same, do you think Brigid would be upset that she was turned into a Saint?  Or maybe she wouldn't mind since she still received devotion? 
My guess (based on UPG, but not itself a UPG, just my extrapolation from it) is that, as long as her Work is being done, she's a happy camper.

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« Reply #3: December 05, 2009, 12:12:40 pm »

I was roaming around on the internet and came across an article talking about the possibility that Brigid may have been the inspiration for St. Brigid. 

Do you think this is possible?

For arguments sake, lets say that Brigid the Goddess and St. Brigid were the same, do you think Brigid would be upset that she was turned into a Saint?  Or maybe she wouldn't mind since she still received devotion? 

SV 
Oh yea, there's a lot of speculation surrounding St. Bríd. Some Saints like Patrick, and other historic ones actually lived, but many others are remnants of pagan deities. Although St. Brighid of Kildare is supposedly a historic figure that lived around 439-524A.D, there many similarities and attributes between her and the Goddess of the same name, making the fabrication, or even creation of her existence highly probable. It's no coincidence that in Christian hagiography she is the patron saint of farm animals, crops, and other things pagan sovereignty goddesses are associated, as well as magical feats of turning water into ale, popular in the legends, and it just so happens that her feast day, Lá Fhéile Bríd, just happens to fall on the pagan Oímelg festival. This also gives another speculation that if she did indeed exist, she absorbed much of the pagan attributes of Brighid in her lore, allowing pagan folk tradition to survive in Christianity. She could, very much so, be a Christianised version of our Goddess.
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« Reply #4: December 05, 2009, 01:59:12 pm »

I was roaming around on the internet and came across an article talking about the possibility that Brigid may have been the inspiration for St. Brigid.  

Do you think this is possible?

For arguments sake, lets say that Brigid the Goddess and St. Brigid were the same, do you think Brigid would be upset that she was turned into a Saint?  Or maybe she wouldn't mind since she still received devotion?  

SV  

The legend I heard growing up (Brigid is my confirmation name - always felt a strong tie to her) is that Brigid (the Saint) was a child of a Catholic mother and a pagan father (or vice vera) and was therefore named after the Goddess Brigid.  

And to answer your second question, no, I don't the goddess would have minded at all.  St. Brigid was a wonderful woman who gave to the poor, often taking from her own family to do so.  I like the story of how her father went into a market, leaving her with the cart and horse, and whatever goods they'd already purchased.  He came outside to discover that she had given everything away to a widow with a bunch of children.  They practiced smithcraft at the abbey, and she's the patron saint of farmers and mothers, so she has those things in common with the goddess.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 02:01:19 pm by folksymama » Logged
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« Reply #5: December 05, 2009, 04:43:24 pm »

Oh yea, there's a lot of speculation surrounding St. Bríd. Some Saints like Patrick, and other historic ones actually lived, but many others are remnants of pagan deities. Although St. Brighid of Kildare is supposedly a historic figure that lived around 439-524A.D, there many similarities and attributes between her and the Goddess of the same name, making the fabrication, or even creation of her existence highly probable.

What Ulster Yank said.

There are historical "hints" that St. Brigid might have been a real person, but no solid proof.  It's very possible that the woman who was head of the abbey in Kildare took the name "Brigid" as a way of tapping into that love and respect for the goddess.

I personally think the goddess is fine with this -- otherwise, She probably would have done something to stop it.   Wink
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« Reply #6: December 06, 2009, 10:19:39 pm »

I was roaming around on the internet and came across an article talking about the possibility that Brigid may have been the inspiration for St. Brigid. 

Do you think this is possible?

For arguments sake, lets say that Brigid the Goddess and St. Brigid were the same, do you think Brigid would be upset that she was turned into a Saint?  Or maybe she wouldn't mind since she still received devotion? 

SV 
Yes, I think it is possible.  It is, perhaps, more likely that St. Brigid was an actual person, and that stories of the Saint and the Goddess have been conflated, however.  I do believe that the St. Brigid of legend was to some extent an appropriation of Pagan Celtic myth used to ease conversion, but I am unsure to what degree this was the case.
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« Reply #7: December 07, 2009, 01:44:26 pm »

The legend I heard growing up (Brigid is my confirmation name - always felt a strong tie to her) is that Brigid (the Saint) was a child of a Catholic mother and a pagan father (or vice vera) and was therefore named after the Goddess Brigid.  

And to answer your second question, no, I don't the goddess would have minded at all.  St. Brigid was a wonderful woman who gave to the poor, often taking from her own family to do so.  I like the story of how her father went into a market, leaving her with the cart and horse, and whatever goods they'd already purchased.  He came outside to discover that she had given everything away to a widow with a bunch of children.  They practiced smithcraft at the abbey, and she's the patron saint of farmers and mothers, so she has those things in common with the goddess.

I wasn't aware of that story about her, and I also would imagine it's not a coincidence that St. Brigid is the patron of so many things that Brigid oversaw. 

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« Reply #8: December 07, 2009, 04:57:21 pm »

I wasn't aware of that story about her, and I also would imagine it's not a coincidence that St. Brigid is the patron of so many things that Brigid oversaw. 



I agree.  I try not to put too much stock in the legends...I don't know if they're true or not, if St. Brigid was an actual person, etc...but, I love all the stories and I love Brigid in any form.  They're lovely stories and I think it's interesting learning about it.  Whether it's factual or not, at least for me, is a mere technicality. Smiley
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« Reply #9: December 08, 2009, 08:58:27 pm »

I agree.  I try not to put too much stock in the legends...I don't know if they're true or not, if St. Brigid was an actual person, etc...but, I love all the stories and I love Brigid in any form.  They're lovely stories and I think it's interesting learning about it.  Whether it's factual or not, at least for me, is a mere technicality. Smiley

I agree, as long as the story has a good moral it's useful to know. 
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