Saint Brigid is the patron saint of Ireland, commonly known as Saint Bride
(451-523). According to tradition, she was a woman of great beauty and ability.
Not wishing to marry or to be troubled with suitors, she prayed for an alternate
vocation in life. Her prayer was answered, and she went to live as a nun in a
small dwelling under a large oak. The monastery of Kildare was founded in
that spot. The name means the Church of the Oak. Saint Brigid taught the
Christian faith by creating a cross woven from rushes. Even to this day similar
crosses are made, and placed in the rafters of a cottage to protect from harm.
This ritual occurs on St. Brigid's feast day - February 1st, the supposed day
of her death.