Brighid, Goddess and Saint

Recommended reading



Double page spread in Gaelic and English from Carmina Gadelica

Original source texts available to read online

Carmina Gadelica Volume 1, Alexander Carmichael, Scottish Academic Press 2nd edition 1928, ISBN 7073 0003 7

Lives of Saints, from The Book of Lismore translated by Whitley Stokes, Clarendon Press 1890

Cormac's Glossary translated by John O'Donovan, edited by Whitley Stokes, Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society 1868



Carmina Gadelica, Alexander Carmichael, Presented by John Macinness, Floris Books 1992, ISBN 0 86315 520 0
The complete collection of charms and incantations of the Gaels collected in the 19th century mostly from Catholics and the islands Here rendered into English and presented in one volume. They show a great love of St. Columba and St. Brigid and, of course, St. Mary Mother of God. A selection of the original notes and folklore study has also been included.

The Festival of Brigit, Sēamas Ō Cathāin, DBA 1995 ISBN 0 9519692 2 6
The author outlines the events and activities associated with Brigit's festival in modern times. The sources deployed include the manuscript collections of the Department of Irish Folklore at University College Dublin. Sadly this book is out of print and second hand copies now command a premium price.

The Rites of Brigid Goddess and Saint, Seān Ō Duinn OSB, The Columba Press, 2005 ISBN 1 85607 483 8
A description of the rites and rituals of Imbolc and their relevance in history and today. The author is a monk of Glenstal Abbey.

Brigid Goddess, Druidess and Saint, Brian Wright, The History Press, 2009 ISBN 978 07524 4865 7
A comprehensive study that unravels the mystery of a goddess and saint complicated by the passage of time. Includes an in depth discussion of St. Brigid's first documented visit to England in 488ce.

Pagan Portals – Brigid: Meeting the Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Forge, and Healing Well, Morgan Daimler, Moon Books 2016 ISBN 178 5353 20 9
A basic introduction to the Goddess Brigid focusing on her history and myth as well as her modern devotion and worship.

The Book of St. Brigid, Colm Keane & Una O'Hagan, Capel Island, 8 September 2021, ISBN-10 ‏ 1999592034
" Feminist, farmer, abbess, bishop, convent founder and miracle worker, St. Brigid has inspired Irish women and men down through the ages. She cared for the poor, healed the sick, and managed monastic settlements. She became patron saint of revolutionaries and women fighting for their rights."

The Stations of the Sun, A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, Ronald Hutton, Oxford University Press, 1996 ISBN 0 19 285448 8
A challenging and fascinating journey through the ritual year in Britain.

Rekindling the Flame, A Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Brigid of Kildare, Rita Minehan CSB, Solas Bhrīde 1999 ISBN 0 9536192 0 6
An invaluable companion to any pilgrimage to Kildare. Rita is a Brigidine Sister. The Brigidines are a restoration of the ancient fifth century Order of St. Brigid of Kildare established by Bishop Daniel Delany in Tullow, Co. Carlow, Ireland on St. Brigid’s Day, 1807.

Historical Novel

A.D. 500 A Journey Through the Dark Isles of BRITAIN and IRELAND, Simon Young, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2005 ISBN 0 297 84805 4
A window on the world of the Dark Ages written as a practical survival guide for the use of civilised Greek visitors to Britain and Ireland around the time of St. Brigid of Kildare. This novel is based squarely on archaeological and historical evidence and provides a vivid and original picture of the era.

Pocket Books

Saint Bride, edited by Iain MacDonald, Floris Books 1992 ISBN 0 86315 142 6
Contains an English translation of The Life of Brigid from the Book of Lismore and an old Irish poem, Hail Brigid.

The Life of Saint Brigid, Anna Egan Smucker, Appletree Press, 2007 ISBN 10 0 86281 997 7
Looks at the stories connected with the saint and examines why the goddess Brigid became fused with her in legend.

Saint Brigid, the Celts & the Early Irish Church, Justin R. McCarthy, Independently published 2020 ISBN 979-8648681187
This book is a history of Ireland during Brigid’s lifetime as well as a biography of the saint. It begins by examining the Celtic people, their way of life and their pagan beliefs. It then deals with the conversion of Ireland to Christianity and the unique nature of the early Irish Church. The remainder of the book is an in depth examination of Saint Brigid’s life, the founding of her monastery at Kildare, and the lasting impact she has had on Catholicism both in Ireland and throughout the world.

Illustrated Book for Children

The Story of Saint Brigid, Caitriona Clarke Illustrated by Barbara Croatto, Veritas 2015 ISBN 978 1 84730 586 2
Suitable for children aged seven to ten.