St Brigid’s feast day is this Sunday, February 1. The date is half way between the winter solstice and spring equinox. It was a day, much like our Groundhog day, when spring weather was forecast.
Brigid herself was born around 451. She was raised by converts of St. Patrick. Much to the consternation of her father, Brigid persisted on giving away her possessions, and those of others, to the poor and needy.
At one time, Brigid asked the local bishop for permission to start a monastery. Observing the Holy Spirit around her, he maintained that God himself had ordained Brigid. And so she became a bishop and is still depicted holding the crook, the traditional symbol of a bishop.
St. Brigid’s Cross is said to have first been fashioned by Brigid out of rushes or reeds. In those early Christian times, the farmers adopted the custom of making these same crosses at the beginning of spring to protect their holdings, placing the St. Brigid’s Crosses in prominent positions in their houses and buildings. The tradition of making St. Brigid’s Crosses on the 1st of February, St. Brigid’s Feast Day, continues to the present day.