St Brigid is accredited with first creating the unique cross which bears her name. This cross is normally hand created from rushes however occasionally straw is also used. The distinctive St. Brigid’s Cross design, made from woven rushes, is thought to keep evil, fire and hunger from the homes in which it is displayed.
There was an old pagan Chieftain, he may have been her father, who lay on his deathbed in Co Kildare. His servants summoned Brigid to his beside in the hope that the saintly woman may calm his spirit. Brigid is said to have sat by his bed, consoling and calming him. It is here that she picked up the rushes from the floor and began weaving them into the distinctive cross pattern. Whilst she weaved, she explained the meaning of the cross to the sick man. It is thought her calming words brought peace to his soul. He was so enamoured by her words that the old Chieftain requested he be baptized as a Christian just before his passing.
Since that day, and for the centuries that followed, it has been customary on the eve of her Feast Day for Irish people to fashion a St. Brigid’s Cross of straw or rushes and place it inside the house over the door.
The bangle has been hallmarked at the Dublin assay office located in Dublin Castle which gives the piece an extra connection to Ireland. You may also like to see our Book of Kells Rosary Beads