School: Rahan

Raheen, Co. Offaly
B. Nic Lochlainn

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Saint Brigid's Cross - How it Originated

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0804, Page 033

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On Saint Brigid's Eve there is a custom in some places in Ireland of making crosses of rushes on straw, and hanging them in the home in honour of Mary of the Gael. Few, however know the origin of this praisworthy custom.
When Saint Brigid and her companions were spreading Christianity in the West of Ireland, night overtook them on the Neifinbeg Mountains and they lost their way. Seeing light in a house nearby they went thither. A man and his wife, both pagans, were the only occupants. Brigid got the required information, and before leaving, the whole company were offered a drink. This Brigid did not like to refuse, and the woman went to get it.
On returning she offered the first drink to Brigid. Before drinking it Brigid picked up a rush and immersing it in the milk, made the sign of the Cross with it. The

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