The Crest of St Brigid’s College is derived from the Brigidine congregation. The crest is used by all Brigidine schools. Two crosses are found in the top section of the badge, one is the Cross of St Brigid, and the large cross of diamonds is taken from the badge of Bishop Daniel Delany who founded the Congregation of St Brigid in 1807, in Ireland.
The Cross of St Brigid is based on the simple cross of reeds which, tradition says, St Brigid used when teaching the gospel of Christ. The small lamp on fire in the centre of the badge represents the light of Christian faith and the light of learning.
“Strength and Kindliness” derives from the motto of Bishop Daniel Delany, re-founder of the Brigidine Order. It is held in common with all Brigidine schools throughout the world. The motto, “Strength and Gentleness” (Fortiter et Suaviter), was the motto of the Founder, Daniel Delany. The motto sets before us the virtues of strength and gentleness, so characteristic of Brigid of Kildare.
Brigid’s symbol is the cross made from rushes. As the shamrock is associated with St Patrick, this simple cross is associated with Brigid. Woven by her from the green rushes that formed the ‘carpet’ on the floor of a chieftain’s house as he lay dying, she explained the life and death of Jesus. When he listened to her story, he asked to be baptised before he died. The tradition of weaving the Brigid’s cross is carried on throughout Ireland and in other parts of the world. According to tradition a new cross is woven each St Brigid’s Day on 1st February. The old one is burned to protect the house from fire, although customs vary. Some believe that keeping a cross in the rafters preserves the house from fire and disease. In Brigid’s time, most of the houses were straw thatch and wood roofs. The cross is also placed under the barn eaves or in the cow byre to protect the animals.
A story is told that an eternal flame was tended by St Brigid and her community of Sisters at her monastery in Kildare in 5th century Ireland. To honour that heritage, the lamp is a symbol used today to denote the lamp of learning in the Brigidine tradition. This lamp denotes the illumination that education brings to the hearts and minds of young people.