Goffine’s Devout Instructions – Feast of Saint Bridget, Abbess and Patroness of Ireland

February 1

Saint Bridget was born about the year 453 at Fochard, in Ulster. When about twenty years old she received the veil from Saint Mel, the nephew and disciple of Saint Patrick. So many sought the religious life under her direction that a convent, the first in Ireland, was erected for her and she was made superior. From this parent stem branched forth other convents in different parts of Ireland, all which acknowledged her as their mother and foundress. Several churches in England and Scotland are dedicated to God under her name, and some also in Germany and in France. After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtups, corporal infirmities admonished our saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh. For half a century she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained. The day on which our abbess was to quit this life, 1 February 523, having arrived, she received the blessed body and blood of her Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him. Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, bnt was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar. In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of Saint Bridget were removed to Down-Patrick, where they were deposited in the same grave with those of Saint Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of Saint Columba were translated afterwards to the cathedral of the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of Saint Bridget is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.

The Introit of the Mass is as follows:

“Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, O God, Thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. My heart hath uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King.” Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

Give ear to us, O God our Saviour, that, as we celebrate with joy the solemnity of blessed Bridget Thy virgin, so we may improve in the affection of piety. Through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

Epistle: II Corinthians 10:17-18; 11:1-2

Brethren: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself is approved, but he whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly, but do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

[] At that time Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who, taking their lamps, went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise; but the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.

- Goffine’s Devout Instructions