Monday, 1 February was the Feast day of Saint Brigid, Earth woman, lover of nature, one of the patrons of Ireland from where Mercy springs. In ancient times, 1 February was the beginning of the Celtic festival known as Imbolc, the festival marking the beginning of Spring and the start of the agricultural year.
We are drawing on a very rich heritage then in timing Stage One of the International Reflection Process to commence on this date. As we make preparations across the Mercy world for our first gatherings to take place, we can take inspiration too from these words of Liam Lawton's, from his song Light the Fire, composed in honour of Saint Brigid:
'A woman’s voice...is heard across the plains,
That calls once more, for a people of new vision
To heal our wounds and green our Earth again...'
Image: Brigid's window in the Baggot Street Chapel