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Brigid: Warrior Saint and Historic Rebel

By Courtney Weber

[Snip] As Christianity spread across Europe, the Gods of indigenous faiths were either disregarded by the Church or absorbed into folklore. Some were demoted to demons in the new Christian lore. Others were transformed into heroes of a legendary past where they continued to be revered with magick and significance. Still others, particularly those of paramount importance, were adopted as saints. The role of beloved saint was the next chapter for Brigid.

The idea of a beloved God or Goddess of ancient Pagan history turning into a saint can be a painful one for those who love old religions and Goddess worship. For many, the movement from God to saint may seem a demotion, although those who have loved and honored the saints would likely disagree. Particularly in the case of Brigid, the new saint lost few, if any, of her Goddess characteristics and was revered with power and prestige in Ireland on a level only rivaled by St. Patrick.

St. Brigid was identified with the Christian Mother-Goddess figure of Mary, as “Mary of the Gaels,” or sometimes “the Foster-Mother of Christ,” and in some stories as Mary’s midwife. With the exception of the archangels, very few saints enjoy such inclusion with the two most important figures in Catholic Christianity. Even so, St. Brigid is an unsaintly character, one known for screeching across battlefields or flagrant defiance against Church leaders.

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