CARMELITE MONASTERY, TRANQUILLA,

KNOCK, CLAREMORRIS,

CO. MAYO, IRELAND.

 

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FEBRUARY

There are 3 feasts of special note this month:

1st:   St. Brigid

2nd: The Presentation of the Lord

3rdOur Lady of Lourdes

 

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FEBRUARY
1st

Feast of
St. Brigid

 

Springtime comes to Ireland on February 1st, feast of St Brigid, one of the three Patrons of Ireland, with Patrick and Columcille. It is known that she founded a monastery in the 5th century in Kildare, or Cill Dara, the Church of the Oak.
It was a double monastery, one for men and one for women and St. Brigid seems to have been the Abbess of the two families. Brigid, or Bride, has always been an inspiration to Irish women, in particular known for her great hospitality and compassion towards the poor.
The Book of Lismore, says of her: "She is the prophetess of Christ; she is the Queen of the South; she is the Mary of the Gael."

Writing in the 12th century, a Welshman named Giraldus, tells of the 'Perpetual fire' of St. Brigid, probably of pagan origin, for there was a Celtic Goddess of a similar name - and it is difficult to distinguish between history and legend. However, this flame is still kept in Kildare, and, in the millennium year, it was brought to the four provinces of Ireland as a symbol of Christian faith.

 

Brigid, at the threshold of Christianity,
you transformed the flame of our ancient heritage
into the light of Christ,
and inspired men and women
to be committed to the Gospel.
As we carry the light of Christ across the centuries,
may it illumine our darkness,
may it warm us with the light of Christ's love.

May it fill us with hope.

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FEBRUARY 2nd:

FEAST OF THE

PRESENTATION

OF THE LORD

On February 2nd we remember the Presentation of Jesus as a Child in the Temple. Mary and Joseph brought Him to His Father's House and with Him presented the offerings of the poor, "two turtle doves, or two young pigeons".

From this event we have the inspiring song of the old man Simeon, the 'Nunc dimitttus', which is still sung at the Night Office of Compline.

This feast is also called Candlemas, as on this day candles are blessed and carried in procession.

For many years now February 2nd is the day dedicated to Religious men and women. Knock is home to many Religious families and we usually gather together in our Chapel for Vespers or Evening Prayer, after which we have a 'get-together' for refreshments. It is an occasion very much enjoyed by all.

 

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FEBRUARY 11th:

FEAST OF

OUR LADY

OF LOURDES

The story of Lourdes is well documented.

Our Lady appeared 18 times to a girl named Bernadette Soubirous from 11th February to 16th July 1858.

According to Pope John 23rd, revelations or apparitions "are not to proclaim a new doctrine of faith, but to direct human actions," in other words: to recall us to Christian living.

Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage where many have come for healing.
At Our Lady's command, Bernadette scratched the ground in front of the grotto to reveal a spring which flows to this very day and has been channelled into baths in which pilgrims bathe. Lourdes water is highly prized by many Catholics. But it is noteworthy that most of the cures take place during the procession of the Blessed Sacrament. As at Cana, Mary points to her Son. It is to Him we pray: "Say but the word and I shall be healed."

Bright Star of Salvation, Virgin Mary,
from you rose the Sun of Justice,
Who comes to visit us from on high.

(Morning Prayer of the Feast)

 

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