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  • Writer's pictureMags

Saint Brigid as a Holy Shocking Saint

Brigid seems to be a favourite saint among the Irish children.

Being from the states, I wasn't raised on the familiar stories of Brigid. I didn't know about her cross or her cloak, and that cloak fascinates me! How magic it must have been to see it grow and grow and grow.

Then, one day I met Sine at the National Museum, because she had something to show me. And what she showed me was magic too! Right there, in the huge but dimly lit museum, was a little gold shoe that had belonged to Saint Brigid. It was delicate and thin. It was richly engraved with Latin words, some swirls, and a crown of thorns. It was amazing! I knew that along with the huge green cloak, and the daffodils that come up around St Brigid's day, I had to include that gold shoe in the illustrations for the book.

While drawing her, Brigid – always clutching her cross – went through a few versions. In the first picture, Brigid was blonde, but I was informed in no uncertain terms by a past student of St Brigid's National School that Brigid was in fact brunette. In the next illustration, the greens of the cloak were a bit too bright and if we intended to include ANY words on the page (Sine insisted on including words!), Brigid would have to be smaller. So in the final illustration of Brigid, her hair and cloak may be darker, but if you look closely you will be rewarded with the sightings of three tiny lady birds.

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