On another day, much later, Brigit approached an assembly in Tailteann, where Patrick lived with a synod of Ireland’s clerics around him. They were debating a woman who had come toreturn a son to Brón, a cleric of Patrick’s household. “I had come to Brón to have the veil blessed on my head and to offer my virginity to God. This is what my cleric did then, he debauche me, so that I have borne him a son,” sobbed the woman. Then Bishop Mel said to Patrick, “The holy maiden Brigit is here, and she will find out for you by the greatness of her grace and the proximity of her miracles whether this woman’s claim is true or false.” Brigit asked the woman by whom she had conceived the child, and told her not to utter a lie. And the woman answered, “It is by Bishop Brón.” “That is not true,” said Brigit. Brigit made the sign of the cross over her face, then the woman’s tongue swelled until it filled her mouth so that she could not speak. Then, Brigit made the sign of the cross over the newborn’s mouth and asked it, “Who is your father?” The newborn, in an improbably manly voice answeredand said, “Brón the bishop is not my father but a certain low and ill-shaped man who is sitting in the outermost part of the assembly. My mother is a liar.” They all return thanks to God, and cry out that the guilty woman be burned. But Brigit refused to have her burnt, saying “Let this woman do penance.” This was done, and her head and tongue lost their swelling. The people rejoiced, the bishop was liberated, and Brigit was glorified.Jamie drew attention to this the story during the podcast and suggested that it was worth reading in full. He is correct, I think that this story is not one you would find in the easliest mythological texts.
More to come.