Saints Brigid & Darlughdach

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Brigid was one of the many Celtic saints who insisted that a vital component of the spiritual life is having a soul friend (Anam Cara). Her own dear friend was the younger nun Darlughdach, who slept with her and sometimes functioned as her ambassador. When Brigid told her that she expected to be dying soon, Darlughdach begged that they might die together. Brigid responded that she would outlive her for one year, in order to succeed her as abbess. Ancient accounts show that their souls were so connected even after death that Darlughdach outlived Brigid by exactly one year.

Anam Cara refers to the Celtic spiritual tradition of souls connecting and bonding. When you connect with another person and become completely open and trusting with that individual, your two souls begin to flow together. Should such a deep bond be formed, it is said you have found your Anam Cara, your soul friend.

According to John O’Donahue, an accomplished Irish poet, philosopher and Catholic priest, “…You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home.”

Born: 453 at Faughart, County Louth, Ireland

Died: 1 February 523 at Kildare, Ireland of natural causes; buried in Downpatrick, Ireland with St. Patrick and St. Columba; head removed to Jesuit church in Lisbon, Portugal

Name Meaning: Fiery arrow (= brigid)

Also known as: Bride; Bride of the Isles; Bridget of Ireland; Bridget; Brigid of Kildare Brigit; Ffraid; Mary of the Gael

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