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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  February 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION February 2009

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Subject:

Re: saints of the day 1. February

From:

Conrad Bladey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 2 Feb 2009 11:06:38 -0500

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text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Yes! I make them always- bars hide their straws when I come in. I make 
them of catalpa pods -long slender brown pods which need soaking or 
rushes. I generally do one version but can do others. My book St. Brigid 
of the Gael has instructions for several varieties and photos of others. 
Yes- quite a revival in Ireland of this. Over the past 5-6 years church 
and school groups have been holding workshops. Easy to make. I use 
drinking straws for teaching and in bars. Ornamental grasses do well 
too. I have made protable shrines for Brigid with small crosses. Great 
for nervous fingers.

As for dates. Yes they drift. Who knows why or how.Most likely a 
multitude of reasons.  Probably error and bad memories of scribes 
contribute. I would immagine that if one looses track of a specific date 
the season would be rememberd and then moved to a well known event 
within it....lots of reasons. The basic problem is trust of the written 
record whatever that is. No matter what one does with the available 
texts one should apply the same standard. If Patrick is thought of as 
historical and real so too Brigid who is mentioned in most if not all of 
the same sources. Discount one or discount both. Patrick is known for 
writings however, they are just additional ancient writings which should 
fall under the same guidelines for authentication as other ancient 
writings. The Brigid lives basically derive from Cogitosis who was 
something like 150-200 years after Brigid and working at Kildare. While 
200 years is not a short period of time neither is it too long to rule 
out basic accuracy. Saint tales require a fair measure of faith but 
there are supporting documents such as the annals. I would settle for as 
human as Patrick. Not appropriate to always link mentions of Brigid 
to.....she was a goddess you know.  Of course in new revelation she can 
be anything. But we do know what is older and how it changed through 
time. I told folks yesterday that for all I know she may have made her 
appearance as Bridie in the black 47 song Funkey Ceili! I do keep 
looking for her face in my boxty and potato bread but no luck thus far. 
I will have them on ebay in a moment if I do. I do no this however, 
Patrick never made Ale! Just remember that. And any nit wit who sticks 
his stick into the ground in Ireland will find water! I am convinced 
that Patrick has been over emphasized to keep the channel open to Brigid.

Of course there are many Brigids so there is an entire other dimension 
of possible confusion beyond dates. Saints lives most likely got 
combined mixed and matched. They are much more than histories. Road 
maps, Geneologies, Outlines of Political spheres of influence and just 
really good stories. I think Henry Glassie described the folk process 
best in the introduction to his collection of Irish stories- a spark- a 
great life- the motivation to commemorate to remember and transmit.

Conrad Bladey
Peasant

jbugslag wrote:

>medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
>Conrad,
>Are St Brigid's Crosses still actively being made these days?
>
>The coinsidence of the death date with
>  
>
>>a major seasonal change has helped successive generations to continue
>>and develop the celebration.
>>    
>>
>
>If, that is, it were a coincidence and not a case of syncretism.  If the date of Christ's death 
>could, essentially, have been fudged in the 4th century to coincide with an already 
>established "seasonal change", why not St Brigid?
>Cheers,
>Jim
>
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