« PreviousContinue »
better than before. Then it was taken back to the King, and the captive was released. And Bishop Mél said, "Not for me hath God wrought this miracle, but for Brigit."
Once upon a time Brigit went to the house of another virgin, even Brigit daughter of Conaille. The water that was put over Brigit's feet after she had arrived, healed a certain virgin who was lying sick in the house. Now when Brigit and her virgins went to eat their dinner, she began to look for a long while at the table. The other Brigit asked, "What perceivest thou? " Said Brigit, "I see the Devil on the table." "I should like to see him," said the other virgin. "Make Christ's Cross on thy face, and on thy eyes," saith Brigit. The virgin made it and she beheld the Satan beside the table, his head down and his feet up, his smoke and his flame out of his gullet, and out of his nose. Said Brigit: "Give answer to us, O Devil!"
"I cannot, O nun," saith the Demon, " refuse to answer thee, for thou art a keeper of God's commandments, and thou art merciful to the poor and to the Lord's household."
"Tell us then," saith Brigit: "why hast thou come to us among our nuns?"
"There is a certain pious virgin here," saith the Devil, "and in her companionship am I, enjoining upon her sloth and negligence."
Brigit said to that virgin: "Put the cross of Christ over thy face, and over thine eyes." She put it at once; the virgin beheld the hideous monster. Great fear seized the virgin when she beheld the demon. Said Brigit: “Why dost thou shun the fosterling whom thou hast been tending for so long a time?" The virgin then made repentance and was healed of the demon.
A certain woman brought unto Brigit a hamper full of apples. Then lepers came to Brigit begging for apples. Said Brigit: "Give the apples to them." When the woman heard that, she took back her hamper of apples, and said: "To thee thyself I brought the apples, and not to lepers." It was an annoyance to Brigit that her alms should be forbidden, and she cursed the trees from which it had been brought. When the woman went home, she found not a single apple in her barn, although it had been full when she left, and (the trees) were barren thence forward.
Once upon a time Brigit went to Teffia with great hosts accompanying her; and there were two lepers behind her between whom a dispute arose. When one of the lepers desired to smite the other, his hand withered and the hand of the other of them shrank. Then they repented, and Brigit healed them of their leprosy.
Brigit went to a certain church in the land of Teffia to celebrate Easter. The prioress of the church said to her maidens that on Maundy Thursday one of them should minister to the old men and to the weak and feeble persons who were biding in the church. Not one of them was found for the ministering. Said Brigit: "I to-day will minister unto them." (There were) four of the sick persons who were biding in the church, even a consumptive man, and a lunatic, and a blind man, and a leper. And Brigit did service to these four, and they were healed from every disease that lay upon them.
Once upon a time Brigit went into a certain house a guesting. It came to pass that all the household went forth except one little consumptive lad, and he was dumb, and Brigit knew not that he was so. Then came guests unto Brigit into the house to beg for food. Brigit asked of yon dumb lad, where was the key of the kitchen. Said the lad: "I know the place in which it is." Said Brigit: "Go and fetch it to me." He rose at once and attended on the guests.
Then came a man for Brigit that she might go to consecrate a new house which had been built for him. When he had prepared food for Brigit, Brigit said to her maidens: "It is not lawful for us to eat the food of this heathen man, for God has revealed to me that he has never been baptized." When the good man heard that, grief of heart seized him and Bishop Brón baptized him. Thereafter Patrick ordered Brigit and his successor that they should never be without an ordained person in their company: therefore Nat-fraich took priest's orders.
At the same time a man from the south of Bregia bore his mother on his back to Brigit to be healed, for she was consumptive; and he put her from his back on Brigit's shadow, and when the shadow touched her, she was whole at once.
At another time they saw Patrick coming to them.
Said Lassair to Brigit: "What shall we do for the multitude that has come to us?" "What food have ye?" asked Brigit. "There is nought," said Lassair, "save one sheep and twelve loaves, and a little milk." Said Brigit: "That is good: the preaching of God's word will be made unto us and we shall be satisfied thereby." When Patrick had finished the preaching, the food was brought to Brigit that she might divide it. And she blessed it; and the two peoples of God, even Brigit's congregation and Patrick's congregation, were satisfied; and their leavings were much more than the material that had been there at first.
There was a certain man biding in Lassair's church, and his wife was leaving him and would not take bit nor sleep along with him; so he came to Brigit to ask for a spell to make his wife love him. Brigit blessed water for him and said: "Put that water over the house, and over the food, and over the drink of yourselves, and over the bed in the wife's absence." When he had done thus, the wife gave exceeding great love to him, so that she could not keep apart from him, even on one side of the house; but she was always at one of his hands. He went one day on a journey and left the wife asleep. When the woman awoke she rose up lightly and went after the husband; and saw him afar from her, with an arm of the sea between them. She cried out to her husband and said that she would go into the sea unless he came to her.
A certain woman of Húi Meic Uais came unto Brigit to beg; and before that she had always been in poverty. So Brigit gave her girdle to her, and Brigit said that it would heal whatsoever disease or illness to which it was applied. And it was so done, and thus the woman used to make her livelihood thenceforward.
Once on a certain high tide friends came to Brigit, having with them an offering, and they had left their house behind them without care-takers. Thereafter came robbers, and carried off the oxen that were biding in the house. The river Liffey rose against them, so they put their garments on the horns of the oxen, and the oxen with the garments turned back thence to the place in which Brigit was biding.
Once upon a time Brigit went into Magh Lemna to converse with Patrick, He was preaching the Gospel there.
Then Brigit fell asleep at the preaching. Said Patrick: "Why hast thou fallen asleep?" Brigit prostrated herself thrice and answered: "It was a vision I beheld," saith she. "Declare the vision," saith Patrick. "I beheld," saith Brigit, "four "four plows in the southeast, which plowed the whole island; and before the sowing was finished, the harvest was ripened, and clear well-springs and shining streams came out of the furrows. White garments were on the sowers and plowmen. I beheld four other plows in the north, which plowed the island athwart, and turned the harvest again, and the oats which they had sown grew up at once, and was ripe, and black streams came out of the furrows, and there were black garments on the sowers and on the plowmen."
"That is not difficult," saith Patrick. "The first four plows which thou beheldest, those are I and thou, who sow the four books of the Gospel with a song of faith, and belief, and piety. The harvest which thou beheldest are they who come into that faith and belief through our teaching. The four plows which thou beheldest in the north are the false teachers and the liars who will overturn the teaching which we are sowing."
Once when Brigit was in Armagh two persons pursued her bearing a tub of water. They went to be blessed by Brigit. The tub fell behind them and went round and round from the door of the stronghold to Loch Laphain. But it was not broken, and not a drop fell out. It was manifest to every one that Brigit's blessing was upon them. Thereafter Patrick said: "Deal ye of the water to Armagh and to Airthir." And every disease and every ailment that was in the land were healed.
Brigit went into the district of Fir Rois to release a captive who was in the district. Said Brigit: "Lettest thou yon captive out for me?" "Though thou shouldest give me the whole realm of Fir Breg, I would not give thee the prisoner. But lest thou shouldest go with a refusal, for one night thou shalt have the right to guard his soul for him." Brigit appeared to the captive at the close of the day, and said to him: "When the chain shall be opened for thee, repeat this hymn (Nunc populus) and flee to thy right hand." It is done thus: the captive flees at Brigit's word.
Once Brigit went over Sliab Fuait. There was a madman biding on the mountain who used to harry the congregations. When the nuns beheld him, fear and great dread seized them. Said Brigit to the madman: "Since I have come to thee here, preach thou God's word unto us.”
"I cannot," saith he, "avoid ministering unto thee, for thou art merciful unto the Lord's household, both the miserable and the Poor."
Then said the madman: "Love the Lord, O Nun! and every one will love thee. Revere the Lord and every one will revere thee. Pray unto the Lord and every one will pray unto thee."
Once her father entreated holy Brigit to go to the King of Leinster, even to Ailill, son of Dunlarg, to ask for the transfer of the ownership of the sword which he had given to him (for a time) on another occasion. Brigit went at her father's commands. A slave of the King came to converse with Brigit, and said: "If I should be saved from the bondage wherein I abide with the King, I should become a Christian, and I should save thee and the Lord." Brigit went into the fortress and begged two boons from the King, to wit, transfer of the ownership of the sword to Dubthach and freedom to the slave.
"Why should I give that to thee?" saith the King. "Excellent children shall be given to thee," saith Brigit, and Kingship to thy sons, and heaven to thyself." Said the King, "The Kingdom of Heaven, as I see it not, I ask it not. Kingship for my sons, moreover, I ask not, for I myself am still alive, and let each one work in his time. Give me, however, length of life in my realm, and victoriousness in battle over Conn's Half; for there is often warfare between us."
"It shall be given," saith Brigit. And this was fulfilled; for through Brigit's blessing thirty battles were broken before Ailill in Ireland and nine in Scotland. The Húi Néill invaded Leinster after his death. The Leinstermen carried his body to the battle, and their foes were at once routed before them.
Brigit was once with her sheep on the Curragh, and she saw running past her a son of reading; to wit, Nindid the scholar was he, "What makes thee unsedate, O son of