BRIDGET (BRIDE, BRIDIG) (Saint) Virgin (February 1) (6th century) The “Mary of Ireland” was born of Christian parents at Fouchard (Foughard) in the present county of Louth, then reckoned as part of Ulster, about the middle of the fifth century. Her parents are said to have been baptised by Saint Patrick himself, and they brought up their children in the holy fear of God. From her infancy Bride gave signs of the sanctity to which God’s grace was leading her. In due time the Bishop Saint Mel or, as others say, Saint Machalleus, his disciple, gave her the veil of holy Religion, and she founded the monastery of Kildare, the first Religious House of women in Ireland. Wonderful were the miracles she wrought, and equally marvellous her influence for good over the nascent Church of her country. She passed away about the year 523, and her remains were enshrined with those of Saint Patrick, as being the relics of the Second Patron Saint of Ireland. In art, Saint Bride is represented holding a cross with a flame over her head sometimes with a cow near her, she being reputed the Protectress of those engaged in dairy work.