St Brigid is one of the patron saints of Ireland. But the virgin nun has roots that go back to the days when the land’s pagan deities received prayers instead. It seems the Celtic goddess Brigid shares more than just a name with the saint.
There are churches dedicated to Saint Brigid in many parts of the world. With time, she became an important icon for the Catholic Church. However, it is still uncertain if she was a real person. An analysis of various resources suggests that her legend actually grew from a myth about a Celtic goddess.
During the first centuries of its existence, the Christian religion adopted and modified many pagan sites and stories. Several churches replaced ancient altars and sacred pagan locations. Moreover, stories about the great people of the past and myths about their deities became the foundation for legends which describe the lives of Christian saints. When the early Christians discovered a powerful story in the land of a recently converted community they tried to replace it with one of their own.