St Brigid was born in a quiet village named "Faughart" set upon a hill over looking Dundalk Bay. She was born about the year 454 A.D.
She spent most of her younger years in Faughart attending to the Dairy farm, and traditionally it occurred an important event in her life.
Within a very few years of her death she was venerated as patron of Faughart and its neighbourhood. It would seem that the district was the first in the Country of which she became chosen patron, and it was from this period the place was called "Faughart of St. Brigid".
Dubhthach her father commanded the fort on the top of the hill which controlled the gap of the North about half a mile to the North.
St. Brigid's Shrine attracts pilgrims every day; and large organised events are held at times during the year. Many improvements have taken place recently at the Shrine. The marble alter which has been transferred from St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh. Stations of the cross have been positioned along the stream.
The latter Relic which is the lower part of the head, was took to Ireland in 1928. One of the Relics remain in the Tabernacle in Kilcurry Church and is taken to the old Faughart Graveyard, on the 31st of January, which is the eve of St. Brigid's feast day for possession to St. Brigid's Shrine. The Rosary is recited and hymns are song. The Relic is carried in the possession. Hundreds of people line up to get blessed by the Relic. The Relic is at the Shrine for two days, 31st of January and the 1st of February.
THE HEAD STONE
The head stone is a cure for any head ailments. The pilgrim has to place their head into the curve marked out in the head stone.
THE HOLY STREAM
The Holy Stream flows through the entire length of the shrine. There is a gap at one end of the stream to collect holy water. The stations of the cross are erected along the banks of the stream.
THE EYE STONE
It is said that the eye stone always has holy water in it for the pilgrims to bless their eyes. Even on sunny days the water never evaporates from the eye stone.
THE KNEE STONE
Pilgrims kneel in the knee marks on the stone and Pray for a cure.
THE BACK STONE
The eye stone and the back stone are all in one. If you have a bad back and you lie on this stone hopefully it will cure you.
ST BRIGID'S WELL
St. Brigid's well is situated in Faughart cemetery. St. Brigid herself is believed to have drawn water from this well. A survey of the cemetery reveals some stones which appear to be the ruins of an ancient Church, One of these stones has a hole in the centre which appears to have held the base of a cross.
THE CROSS (How to make one)
Brigid wove a cross of
rushes by a dying chieftain's bed"
"Brigid what is that you're making
From the rushes there?", he said.
Brigid said,"A cross I'm weaving, like the cross where Jesus died."
"Who was Jesus?" asked the chieftain,
"Why was this man crucified?"
Brigid told the gospel story to a dying pagan King.
Lying silently he listened,
Never saying anything.
Then he kissed the cross of rushes
Saying ,"Brigid, thanks to you,
I have come to love this Jesus,
I will follow his way too!"
By Emma Finnegan