Bishop Nulty: “I visited Lumiar with the singular intention of securing a relic for Saint Brigid’s Church”

29 Jan, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News

Caption Bishop Denis Nulty celebrating the Installation Mass of the holy Relic of Saint Brigid in the Church of Saint Brigid, Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin [Photograph by John McElroy]

On 28 January, in his homily during Mass for the installation of the holy Relic of Saint Brigid at the Church of Saint Brigid, in Co Kildare, Bishop Denis Nulty (pictured) welcomed, “all to our gathering that in many ways formally begins the celebrations of the 1,500th Anniversary of the death of Saint Brigid.  Brigid’s homecoming!  Brigid coming home to her own Kildare, Cill Dara, the Church of the Oak, the place of Brigid.  Brigid will be no stranger here, like our visit in this morning’s gospel to Capernaum … we’ve been there before … the word Capernaum coming from the Aramaic meaning ‘uncertain’.  A strange place one might think to begin ministry and yet it’s here in Capernaum that Jesus chooses to anchor His ministry.

Bishop Nulty informed his congregation that in October 2021 he visited the Church of Saint John the Baptist in Lumiar, outside of Lisbon, “with the singular intention of securing a relic for Saint Brigid’s Church … having been brought there by three Irish knights in 1273, who are also believed to be buried within the church ”

The Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin continued, “in this morning’s gospel text taken from Saint Mark, Jesus walks into their synagogue and we are told he taught with ‘authority’, a word that features twice in our text.  We realise authority is challenged at every turn these days.  Moses, a figure of prophetic authority in the Old Testament is preparing the people for his successor; his time is coming to an end.   It might be called today ‘succession planning’.  Saint Brigid was a huge figure of authority in the early Church, baptised by Saint Patrick, professed by Saint Mel, Spiritual Adviser to Saint Conleth.

“Saint Brigid listened to God’s voice in creation all around her, in the streams, the hills and the plains.  When you walk out to Saint Brigid’s Well out the road, you appreciate the God of Creation.  Just as her cloak stretched over the Curragh plains, so too she stretches her hand of welcome, hospitality and affection over us this historic day.  A day when we welcome home to Kildare the relic that has come to us, from the Brigidine Sisters in Tullow who in turn received from Lumiar, just outside Lisbon in the 1930’s.

Bishop Nulty encouraged all who visit the church to prayer and to take a, “quiet moment in the presence of the relic of a saint and in the presence of Our Lord.”

For Bishop Nulty’s full homily, click here



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