"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Mt 22:37

The Legend of Bridget's Cloak

The Legend of St. Bridget’s Cloak

Saintly St. Bridget and her friends became the Sisters of Mercy, known throughout Ireland for their goodness and great learning. So many came to live under St. Bridget’s guidance that she had no place to house and teach them all. She knew she needed a church and land.

She went to see the King of Leinster.

“Sire, I’ve come to you to humbly ask you to grant the Sisters more land for my people to live and work and study.”

The King laughed at her, for he was known to be a greedy man who wished to have all the land he could to keep as his own.

“You are asking too much of me,” he said.

“But Your Majesty, I want only enough land so that my people can live in some comfort.”

The King laughed again but he said, “You may have all the land you can cover with your cloak, dear Bridget.”

Bridget bowed and thanked the King. She ran to the top of a hill in pastureland known as the Curragh, bringing along four of her friends to help her. She spread her cloak on the ground and then directed each Sister to take a corner.

“Now turn your back and run,” said Bridget and so the Sisters did. As they ran, the cloak began to stretch. Soon more women came to help hold the edges off the ground and ran. Still the cloak stretched to more than a mile over the lush, green land.

The King and the courtiers ran to stop the Sisters who smiled as they laid the cloak upon the earth. Bridget looked at the King and said, “This is the land you promised me.”

“So it is,” said the King and he gave her the land and goods for the poor as well. Later, when he behaved in a stingy fashion, Bridget had only to life her cloak to remind him to be kind to those who lived under his protection.