It's the first day of February and. even though the weather was decidedly wintry today, officially it's the first day of Spring.
The first of February also marks the feast day of Saint Brigid. Brigid, or Bríd, as she is known in Irish, is renowned for making a cross out of rushes.
All around our school this week, boys were busy making Saint Brigid's Crosses.
Vast quantities of rushes were required and Mr Conneely, Mr Arthur, Ms. Callan and Mr. Lynch collected these from marshland and bogs and the boys from third to sixth class got busy sorting out rushes and weaving crosses.
Meanwhile, both Third Classes gathered together for a special Prayer Service. This prayer service celebrated Catholic Schools' week and also the heritage of Saint Brigid.
The boys told stories of Saint Brigid, her life in County Louth and Kildare and of how she comforted a dying chieftain by telling him about Jesus. Gathering rushes from the floor of the chieftain's house, Brigid weaved a cross and spoke to the chieftain of the crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord.
Our Prayer Space celebrates Saint Brigid for the month of February. She is part of the richness of our Irish heritage, her cross being almost as widely recognized as the harp and the shamrock as a distinctly Irish symbol. Brigid herself is one of our patron saints. Her memory lives on too in those named after her. Bríd, Bridie and Breda are all variations of the name Brigid.
According to an ancient Irish custom, hanging St. Brigid's crosses over the doors or windows of the house protected the house from harm.
Nowadays, the parade of Brigid's crosses from our school reminds us that it is worthwhile keeping some ancient traditions alive and that Spring days of sunshine, warmth, life and growth have finally arrived.