Brigid's Cross - ShanOre Irish Jewlery

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St. Brigid’s Cross

Discover a simple yet powerful symbol to protect your home from evil, fire, and hunger!

Originally posted on Aug 6, 2013

Upon my initial arrival in Ireland, every nuanced symbol scattered across monuments effortlessly seized my attention. Stepping into the country in early February, a singular emblem stood out prominently, diverting my focus. Brigid’s Cross, I then discovered, is a ubiquitous symbol adorning Irish households during this season.

Considering that you’ve landed on this post, one can assume that you’re also curious to know what a Brigid’s Cross is. So today, we’ll delve into the realm of Brigid’s Cross, which, simply put, is a cross made of interwoven patterns with lines cinched together.

The cross resembles the organic designs featured in West Elm’s latest collection of shower curtains, duvet covers, and throw pillows. In essence, its unassuming appearance belies its profound significance, contributing to its status as a potent symbol.

You may also like:Who was St. Brigid of Kildare?

What is a Brigid’s Cross?

What is a Brigid's Cross?

A Brigid’s Cross is a handmade pattern in which people use straw or reed to create the cross design. Some Irish people believe that displaying the cross in your home will protect the household from evil, fire, and hunger.

The symbol bears the name of St. Brigid of Kildare, the female patron saint of Ireland. Some people believe that St. Brigid is the creator of the first design, which has since evolved into various patterns.


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The cross designs varied based on regional styles, resulting in the diverse forms of Brigid’s Cross across the land. Traditional designs could take on shapes like interlaced, diamond, or wheel-shaped, featuring two, three, or four arms. The most basic methods involved securing two pieces of wood or woven straw together to create a cross.

To make a Brigid’s Cross, people often used straw, rushes, and reeds, but you could also find crosses made of grass, hay, wood, and goose quills. Additionally, there were also people who opted to use wire and fabric instead. Once finished, the household would dash some holy water on the cross. A prayer would follow, and that was a way to welcome St. Brigid into their home.

Every 31st of January, many Irish homes still observe the tradition of crafting St. Brigid’s Crosses. Among the various designs, the four-armed cross is the most commonly seen. The symbol gained popularity in 1961 when Irish television adopted it as their emblem.

You may also like:Discover Ireland’s Other Patron Saint, Brigid

The Tale and Origin of St. Brigid’s Cross

The Tale and Origin of St. Brigid's Cross

As the legend recounts, in times long past, a woman named Brigid rescued the life of a pagan Chieftain from Kildare. Upon the servants’ plea, Brigid positioned herself by his side with the intention of soothing his troubled soul.

While he approached the end of his life, she gathered rushes from the floor and skillfully wove them into a distinctive pattern. Methodically folding the rushes from left to right, she spoke of her faith with each repetition, gradually bringing the man to a state of tranquility and serenity.

Unexpectedly, the man, believed by some to be Brigid’s father, survived the night. The overwhelming joy led him to embrace the same faith that young Brigid had passionately shared. Thus began the narrative of St. Brigid’s Cross.

You may also like:The Rich Meaning and Symbolism of The Irish Celtic Cross

How to Make a St. Brigid’s Cross

How to Make a St. Brigid's Cross

Every year, on the 31st of January, some Irish people weave Brigid’s Cross to welcome the Saint into their homes. This tradition anticipates the feast day of St. Brigid, traditionally celebrated on February 1st each year. So, if you believe in the power of the Cross and want to create your own, I’ve selected three of my favorite YouTube tutorials to assist you on this quest.


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To Sum It Up

We hope this brief journey into the realm of the Brigid’s Cross has enlightened you about the power behind this meaningful Irish symbol. It’s a simple yet intricate motif created by the Irish Goddess Brigid, possessing the power to protect homes. The next time you visit an Irish home and spot one of these, you’ll no longer be intrigued as I once was.


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