St Brigid a ‘strong woman of faith’ – Bishop Nulty

St Brigid a ‘strong woman of faith’ – Bishop Nulty Sr Theresa Kilmurray of the Brigidine Congregational Leadership Team presents Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty with the relic outside St Brigid’s Church in Kildare town on Sunday, January 28. Photo: John McElroy.

St Brigid, one of the three patron saints of Ireland, returned home to Kildare town 1,500 years after her death on Sunday, January 28.

Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty received the relic of a bone fragment from her skull, contained inside a specially commissioned silver representation of an oak tree in a red box.

It was brought to St Brigid’s Parish Church for a Mass celebrated by the bishop to mark the saint’s death in 524.

In 1283, three Irish knights departing to the Holy Land to fight in the Crusades dug up her remains and brought with them the relic of Brigid’s skull. They were killed at Lumiar, outside Lisbon, and the relic remains there to this day at the church of St John the Baptist.

The Irish Provincial of the Brigidine Order, Sr Theresa Kilmurray, carried the relic from the Solas Bhríde outside the town to the church, preceded by a Garda escort, with three young women on horseback representing the three knights who brought the original relic to Portugal.