Patricia and her family live in Co. Roscommon and she herself handcrafts St Brigid crosses from rush harvested from the river Shannon using traditional weaving techniques. In the spring, deep within the reeds, Patricia will be found, her sickle in her hand and she cuts the Bulrush reeds and brings each haul back to her shed where she begins the drying process.
A story often told about St Brigid is of when she was by the sick bed of a dying pagan chieftain, soothing him with stories about her faith and her unwavering trust in God. She began telling the story of Christ on the Cross, picking up rushes from the ground to make a cross. Before his death, the chieftain asked to be baptized.
Over time, word spread about St Brigid, her kindness, faith and the making of the cross became synonymous with her and the tradition now bears her name.
An ancient tradition in Ireland, we make similar crosses to hang over the doors of our homes to ward off evil, fire, and hunger, and generally to protect the home!