Farm Women United
St. Brigid Society
"The St. Brigid Society" has been established by Farm Women United to highlight the essential role faith communities play in the proper formation of "conscience" concerning the serious issues impacting the well-being of farmers, the rural culture, and all who depend on farmers for their food. Rural life is under assault from the intensification of dehumanizing, utilitarian policies that disregard the dignity of the human person at all levels, both on and off farms.
Farm Women United has chosen St. Brigid of Ireland as the patroness of these efforts.
To learn more about St. Brigid, whose feast day is celebrated on February 1st, and to better understand why she has been chosen to represent the efforts of Farm Women United in this outreach to the faith communities, here is an excerpt from Catholic Rural Life's history of the life of St. Brigid of (Kildare) Ireland:
"St. Brigid – Patron Saint of Dairy Farmers
On February 1, we celebrate the Feast of St. Brigid of Kildare. St. Brigid is not only one of the three patron saints of Ireland, she is also the patron saint of dairy farmers...born around 451AD....
There are many stories of the virtues she showed throughout her childhood and the miracles worked through her generosity. She served the poor and sick...often...giving away her father’s wealth to others in need.... Brigid... continued to offer her life in service to the poor and sick.... St. Brigid died from natural causes around 525AD.
But, why is Brigid considered the patron saint of dairy farmers? One account says this is because Brigid’s mother was in charge of her master’s dairy. Brigid helped her mother in this work and the dairy prospered under her.
However, Brigid gave away the produce to the poor, sick, and needy. Another account explains that early monastic life in Ireland involved prayer but also manual labor. One of the parts of this labor was dairy farming. All the accounts agree that throughout her life Brigid was always generous with her dairy, giving away the milk, butter, and cream to those in need.
Saint Brigid continues to serve (as) an example to us of generosity. She understood from a young age that everything we have is a gift from the Lord. May we follow her example of generosity and trust in the Lord. St. Brigid, pray for us!
– Annie Huntington is the Project Coordinator for Catholic Rural Life."
Prayer to St. Brigid:
You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict.
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
and may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens.
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit.
Below are Statements of Faith
Supporting American Farmers
Click on documents below to enlarge
Overcoming Poverty in Appalachia
A Call For Justice and Action
Advocacy for a Just Farm Policy
National Catholic Rural Life Conference Farm Bill 1995
Agriculture with a Human Face
A Value System to Sustain an Agricultural Rural People
Ecumenical and Interfaith Statements and Policy Statements of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
The Powerful Monopoly: A Biblical Perspective
Responding to Rural America
Strangers and Guests
Toward Community in the Heartland