I was out with a couple friends last night at an Irish pub here in Atlanta. They had this menu sitting on the table (pictured above) that said “In Heaven there is no beer.” I couldn’t help but think of St. Brigid, her visions and this blog post I wrote in August 2010. If you’re not familiar with St. Brigid, let me give you some background information.
St. Brigid was born in the mid-fifth century and buried at Downpatrick beside St. Patrick and St. Colmcille. Brigid built the first Irish Convent beside a giant oak tree — this place became known as the Church of the Oak (Cill Dara) or Kildare as it is known today. Brigid was the daughter of a pagan chieftain — a stubborn unbeliever. Before his death Brigid sat by him in prayer and weaved the first St. Brigid’s Cross before his death. The St. Brigid’s Cross, believed to protect the home and animals from evil and want, is placed in cottages on her feast day, February 1st, the day of her death in about 524 A.D.
I first heard of St. Brigid’s visions when I was studying Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body with TOB expert Christopher West. He spoke of her visions of a lake of beer in Heaven. Obviously this piqued my interest so I did some digging on the internet and found this poem that is attributed to her:
I should like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I should like the angels of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal.
I should like excellent meats of belief and pure piety.
I should like the men of Heaven at my house.
I should like barrels of peace at their disposal.
I should like for them cellars of mercy.
I should like cheerfulness to be their drinking.
I should like Jesus to be there among them.
I should like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.
I should like the people of Heaven, the poor, to be gathered around from all parts.
I’d like to think she’s right on this! A lake of beer sounds pretty Heavenly to me … sorry, Irish pub, but I’m going with a saint on this and not your marketing team.
So here’s the real question … what beer is the lake of beer made of? Ponder that over a pint of Guinness!