Saint Bridit and African American Women Saints
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My Classmate who traveled to Ireland last year was able to share with me about Saint Bridit, I was anxious to know about the great saints in Ireland. I was eagered to know about Saint Bridit because when I was born my mother named me Cassandra and back in Celtic tradition my name meant Prophetess and Godesss and Bridit was considered to be a Godess as well. While attending Ohio Dominican my instructor gave an lecture on Saint Bridit and women in the ancient Celtic Tradition, which drove me to write about Bridgit. I wanted to know who this women was who brought a powerful presence to Ireland, her name was so recognized that she was honored by man and women in highplaces.
I was overwhelmed when I read an article on Saint Bridit, I felt so apart of this women. Back in my mothers day and in some churches today women are not honored let alone recognized for any five fold ministry gifts in the church. My class mate recently told me she did visit a well in Ireland that was named after saint Brigit. This was overwhelming to me because when we was growing up I did know of any wells named after any African American Women Saints. When we attended the Baptist Church coming up as children, women in the Baptist church ironed the Choir robes, raised money for Pastors Aide, Coordinate Mission trips, raised money for outreach, taught Sunday School and over the Nursey. Women was not recognized as Pastors, Bishops and Founders, We knew men was in charge in the church, I noticed only time women was recognized in the churrch is when they was raising money for church and Pastor.
We were taught in church that women were submissive to men, and that God designed it that way and we was not to question that. When Dad would get mad, he would say a child stay in a child's place, and a women stay in a women place, know your role and stay in it.
When attending the baptist church in Queens New York the church was dominately male figures, bishop was male, deacon was male, priest was male, the bible is dominately male and back in those days that was accepted, However I do not believe Saint Brigit would of been well received for all her good works and good deeds. Women in the church was considered to have small intelligence, small minds and weak, and Saint brigit was considered to be intelligent, strong in faith, and a giver. My classmate stated when she was standing at the well that she felt the divine presence in the atmosphere. My classmate stated she was so overwhelmed by the male leaders in authority paying honor to a female Saint. I think men should teach more about all women who was used of God greatly. I believe right now all churches and all demonations should be open to God using women in authority. Right now we see alot of women in authority such as oprah winfrey, Michelle Obama, and Mother Teresa, however just because we see these women in authority do not mean that men accept these women in these positions. The article I read about Saint Brigit she was well received by many. In the article reading I did not read anything about here being persecuted by men.
Saint Bridit have a holiday in Ireland on February 1, what women in the American Church have a national holiday, Even the mother of Jesus do not have a holiday, which tells me Saint Brigit was special to God. Saint Brigit was considered to be a very powerful women of God, she was known as a female poet, women of healing, and art. There was alot of great women of God in church and the bible, that was not taught to us. The women in the church was minimized and discounted. Ester was a young women in the bible who saved her people from being destroyed. Miriam was Moses sister and she was considered to be a prophetess and praiser. We had Mary in the bible who was a friend to Jesus. Lydia was a business women who help fund Paul Missionary Trip. Prescilla was known in the bible as a teacher and helper of Paul, paul credits her from teaching him. The Bible includes a warrior woman (Deborah led troops into battle) and working women (Ruth and the Proverbs 31 woman, who goes nameless), powerful women (Esther, Miriam) and simple women (the widow who befriended Elijah or the prophetess Anna who lived at the Temple in Jerusalem). When I was coming up in the church these women was not discussed and preached about. I had to do my own research concerning women, and If I did not do that on my own, I would of been left empty in my soul and spirit. In Ireland women came with there own abilities and intentions to be great.
Saint Brigit would not be received in modern church history because she was a slave girl who carried out her assignments. Every article I read talked about brigit unusual generous giving spirit. She is known for giving of herself to the needy, poor and down trodden. She would of been known in our society as a giver, but she would not been recognized as a founder or Abbess. Brigit lived between 454-524 she was influenced by the leader St patrick. There are other earlier examples about communites of women in the lives of the desert fathers Antony and Pachomius as well, but what is unique about Celtic female monastiic leaders is that they were only in charge of groups of women, but some, such as brigit of Kildare, where leaders of what is called a double Monastery consisting of both women and men. (p,405) Saint Brigit is very famous of Irish saints, who is called the Mary of Gael. This is amazing because alot of women were martyed for there faith and love for God. I believe Saint Brigit would of stood her Ground in her faith. I believe if she was living today, she would of surpass Mother Teresa.
Bridgit is portrayed as a person who cures the lepers, I believe this is one of the persons Mother Teresa modled her self after. I wonder today if a leper was to come into the church today, will the leper be received loved and cared for. Some churches are still stuck in a person appearance, cars, powers and homes. Congregants gets offended by people ordors and dirty clothes. I know some christians who get offended when a person go up to the altar for prayer each weak. We need the spirit of Brigit back in the churches today. Brigit life from the beginning is associated with outreach, generosity, kindness and deeds of hospitality. What is our churches doing today concering outreach. Some women with insight from God was told not to go to help the poor and was discouraged by the male image not to follow the call of God on there lifes. I know many women who are called to the five fold ministry office, and presented to the male bishops was shunned, or kicked out of the church or organization because the women rather obey God verses man. Mother Teresa presented her dreams and visions to the archbishop many times and was denied many times, but she did not quit and give up.
Brigit founded a double monastery, and this was considered a great accomplishment, what women do you know in this hour who have founded spiritual place for men and women who welcome ordinary people from different walks of life, not many. Another Story talks about a leper walks up to Brigit requesting food and she had nothing to give but her father sword with Jewels, and the father was so outraged, that he sent her to a nun school. I can not believe he was upset over a little sword to help the poor. I remember growing up and if a young lady got pregnant, the parents would send her far away, because her being a teen mother brought embarrasement to the family and church. A recent article talked about brigit who healed the sick, feed the hungry and clothed the naked and seeking out lost souls in the Richmond Times Dispatch. This should bring shame to women in five fold minisry because I am not reading anything in the Columbus Dispatch about a women bringing healing to the sick. The story goes on to talk about a A pagan chief who was dying and requested Brigit and moved by compassion she ran to him to share her faith. Brigid made a cross from a handful of rushes, and begin to making a cross and the man was healing because she laid the cross on him and shared Jesus. Today in the modern church we have the crucifix, anointing oil and people are still not getting healed let alone salvation.
Brigid stories and legends are an part of the history of christian church, alot of women who are successful and read the stories about brigit is walking in there destiny. Me reading about Bridit stirred something in me, so this legend is important for my great success. Coming from a christian background no one is more known than Mother Teresa, Mother Teresa had a great impact on me as well, through her example and words thousands of men and women have been informed, inspired challenged and directed into helping the poor. I know alot of women presently who are planting Churches, Founders of outreaches, CEO of there own corporations, so Bridid will be able to adjust to the American Culture today. Many women have spent there whole life going against the male opposition to full fill purpose, and by these women not giving up, paved a way for us.
The Foreign Mission Journal talked about a women name Lottie Moon who died on Tuesday, December 24, 1912. At her death she was one of the oldes women missionaries, one of the first single women missionaries, educator, evangelist among women, alone in her station for months at a time, breave, devoted to Chinese women and girls, "the best man among our Missionaries" p.574. Many of us have read about awesome women of God, who have never been heard of and reason being is because the psyche for the role of women in the church did not change. It sadden my heart when I hear of women who are not able to preach and teach at a national conference. It is very sad that women are good enough to raise money but they are not to have a title of position in church, such as bishops and Apostles, those titles are taboo.
The male-female relationship is undergoing a shift in its center of gravity. Throughout our society, a patriarchal culture based on the predominance of male rationality is giving way to a more personal model centered on individual and on personal equilibrium a like event occurs only once every several thousand years. And when it occurs, the axis of history suffers a universal shock, as men and women produce a new self-interpretation and redefine their interpersonal relations. Within the institutional framework of the powers that be, the image of God flashes forth with a new face. p, 577
In conclusion, the church is really trying to be open to the presence of God. The church is slow to the new reformation, however they are open minded now towards women. My denomination is now trying to move through all the ignorance towards women. We must pay attention to our history, because it can not do anything to us but help us. I believe we can learn from each women such as Brigid, Teresa and the women of the bible that each of us are called and special, we need greater love, justice and compassion. It was, after all, Brigid who gave the sword away, and who told the king that if she has his power and wealth, she would give it all to "the Lord of the Elements." Her life and ministry reminds us of the principle by Carl Jung: "Where love reigns, there is no will to power; and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking".p419