This afternoon the seventh Annual Latin Mass Pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Brigid of Kildare took place. The procession to and from St. Brigid's Well, Tully, Co. Kildare, took place as usual at 12.30 p.m. After the procession, at 2.30 p.m., Revd. Fr. Desmond Flanagan, Ord. Carm., celebrated Mass in the Gregorian Rite in the Parish Church of St. Brigid, Kildare Town. Three servers and a congregation of forty four were also in attendance.
In his sermon, Fr. Flanagan said that we are extremely lucky in this Country to have so many associations with the Faith everywhere we look. Kildare is a great centre of the Faith in Ireland but is neglected today. St. Brigid is perhaps our greatest native Saint who founded a great ecclesiastical city in Kildare that she ruled with St. Conleth as Bishop. Her glorious example of sanctity and religious life spread throughout Ireland. The Irish missionaries brought the great tradition of religious life begun by St. Brigid to the rest of Europe and later to the whole world.
Another fine heritage we have from St. Brigid is the sanctuary lamp. It was she who began the perpetual flame of Kildare to signify the presence of God who is always with us. Every time that we come into a Church and see the flame of the Sanctuary lamp, we know that Jesus Christ, True God and True Man is really, truely and substantially present in the Tabernacle under the appearance of bread. What a glorious gift to countless generations of Catholics this is. How many of us have been consoled in this vale of tears by the sight of St. Brigid's lamp ever-burning before the Blessed Sacrament? This is another gift of St. Brigid to the Church and another great example for us, that of devotion to the True Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Ireland was indeed the Island of ancient Saints and Scholars but is is still so today? St. Brigid was a sterling Saint, a woman of Faith and a woman of prayer but she also was a woman who lived the Faith by her example of charity towards her neighbour. He said that the Faith was very much in decline today but that the answer is in our own hands. If each of us in our own lives lives is able to live truely Christian lives not just on pilgrimage and not just on a Sunday morning but seven days a week, we would have made a great start towards bringing our Country back to the Faith.
After Mass, Fr. Flanagan gave Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the traditional form. Adoremus in Aeternum Sanctissimum Sacramentum!
St. Brigid of Kildare, pray for us!