Bridgit: Bishop?

It is said that St Bridgit went to confession to St Mel, who pronounced the formula for the consecration of a bishop in place of absolution. From this derives the tradition that Bridgit was herself a bishop.

In any case, she was apparently granted some kind of jurisdiction at Kildare and elsewhere, with the approval of the Primate of Armagh, according to the seventh century text of the Book of Armagh. 

Most agree that Bridgit died at Kildare in 525, attended by St Ninnidh. She was buried first in Kildare Cathedral. In 878, because of Viking raids, her remains were disinterred and taken to Downpatrick, where she rests alongside SS Patrick and Columba.

St Bridgit exemplified the chaste, contemplative life but she was far from being a recluse. Her monastery was a refuge for the poor, the sick and refugees and offered tremendous hospitality. She was compared with Our Lady and was given the honorary title Mary of the Gael.

… more later …

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