domingo, 13 de julho de 2014


"Há momentos na vida em que Deus quer que agarremos com os dentes e apertemos até romper-se a mandíbula, sob pena de perder a vida. Meu Deus, rogo que se possível me prive de tal situação e me de inimigos pequenos. Mas se não for possível, eu rogo que me conceda graça para apertar e não soltar, para apertar até a morte".

__ Pe. Leonardo CASTELLANI. Camperas, Buenos Aires, Ed. Vértice, 2003, p. 65.

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  2. February 1 is the feast of Saint Brigid of Ireland, a fifth century convert to Christianity, who was inspired by the preaching of St. Patrick. As an abbess and Catholic nun, she founded a double monastery, of monks and nuns, at Kildare, the first women’s monastic community in Ireland. Saint Brigid is the patron saint of: babies, children whose parents are not married, dairy workers, midwives, nuns, poets, poultry farmers, printing presses, sailors, scholars, and travelers. Brigid is also known as Brigid of Kildare and her name is often given as Bride or Bridget. She is known as the “Mary of the Gael.”

    Around 453 AD, Brigid was born out of wedlock, the daughter of a pagan chieftain named Dubthach and a Christian slave woman named Brocessa. After giving birth, Brigid’s mother was sold to a Chieftain in Connaught, and Brigid was given to a Druid to be raised and educated.

    As a child, Brigid vomited when the Druid tried to feed her due to his impurity. She was nourished solely by the milk of a white cow with red ears. During her life, Brigid performed many miracles, including healing and feeding the poor. According to one story, she once gave away her mother’s entire store of butter to the poor. The butter was then miraculously replaced in answer to Brigid’s prayers.

    At the age of ten, she was returned as a household slave to her father, where her charitable and generous nature caused her to donate his possessions to anyone who asked. Dubthach was so angry with her that he took her in a chariot to the King of Leinster, to sell her. However, while Dubthach was speaking to the king, Brigid gave away his jeweled sword to a beggar to exchange it for food to feed his family. The king acknowledged her holiness and convinced Dubthach to give his daughter her freedom.

    The exact circumstance of her conversion to Christianity is unknown, though it is certain that her Christian mother was a guiding influence. Brigid was very beautiful and had many suitors, but after her conversion, she consecrated her life to God. Upon securing her father’s reluctant permission, she entered religious life.

    Around 480, Brigid founded a monastery at Kildare, “Church of the Oak”, on the site of an older pagan shrine to the Celtic goddess Brigid. The site chosen was under a large oak tree. Brigid, with a group of seven companions, founded the first consecrated religious order for women in Ireland. She founded two monastic institutions, one for men, and the other for women, and invited Conleth, a hermit, to assist her in Kildare as spiritual pastor. Conleth later was appointed the Bishop of Kildare. Thus, for centuries, Kildare was ruled by a double line of abbot-bishops and of abbesses, with the Abbess of Kildare serving as superior general of the monasteries in Ireland.

    Brigid’s wisdom and generosity became legendary, and people traveled from all over the country to obtain her wisdom. Her monastery at Kildare became one of the greatest centers of learning in Europe. She continued her holy and charitable work until her death in 525 AD, when she was laid to rest in a jeweled casket at Kil Dara. In 835, her remains were moved to protect them