Faughart of Her Birth

Faughart of Her Birth

We climbed the steps to her Shrine
With Angelus Bell remembered Tom
Spoke aloud the names of Friends
Who often prayed that Prayer with him
Remembering all who could not come
His care to stop for Angel Call
Mairéad and Muireann leading

We began the pilgrimage with Eamonn
Who introduced the Peannaide
But not without the background of her
Story: Brigid, Biddy, Brigantia, Latin: daughter 
Of Slave-woman, Brocassa and the Chieftain
Dubhthach, in a rich tapestry of History
Myth, Folklore and the Pilgrimage Tradition 

We read aloud first verse of Tom’s Poem:
Lady! Cailleach! Brigit! : A Hymn of Praise. 
Began one side of stream: ‘an taobh abhus’
Continued on with Prayers and verses of
The Poem, stopping at each Station, four
In close proximity. We walked the Walk 
To The Stations of The Healing Stones

We passed other shrine remembrances
Lourdes, Knock and Calvary all reminders
Of the Christian journey, spirituality with
History linked, met other Pilgrims, noted
Bush with ribbons and the awakening 
Earth of Imbolg and always, as with Tom
The wider scene and our own connection

Healing Stones: Knees, Eyes, Body, Head
Our Hearts attuned. Eamon tells each story
And leaves a space to listen to the other
Faughart Parishioners, to pilgrims from the
Brigid Places: Ardagh of her Baptism and
Consecration, Kildare: Convent and Flame
Holy Wells, Liscannor and Limerick Border

Dublin, Monaghan, Belfast, Northern
Ireland, stories of The Biddy Boys in Dingle
And The West, the Crois Bhríde a woven 
Belt worn for Protection. Shapes and
Sculpture of stones ignite Imagination
We sing Gabhaim Molta Bhride and 
Continue to her Well on Faughart Hill

A hilltop view of the mountains we once
Climbed, Armagh from Louth; on other
Side, Loughcrew in Meath, Cavan
Below us in the sun the sea, Dundalk Bay
Beneath our feet Bruce history. We cross 
The style into Cemetery, stop at Well and 
Make our final circle round the stone-
Marked mound. We read aloud The Thirteen
Shouts for Brigid, women and men
Alternating: A Pilgrimage to remember.
                                                      Rose Moran