Saint Patrick is known worldwide, Ireland does have a female patron
Saint - Saint Brigid. Known as Bridey, Mary of Gaels and even as Biddy,
Saint Brigid was born near Dundalk to a pagan Gaelic chieftain named
Dubtach (Duffy) and to a Christian slave mother named Brocessa, who was
sold soon after Brigid's birth.
She was baptized by Saint Patrick with whom she was to become
friends. As a child the young Brigid enjoyed a position of some comfort
and privilege, the family being in receipt of financial support because
of their position of authority.
Upon reaching adulthood however, she assumed a role of servitude and
was charged with caring for her father and family. She never forgot her
mother however and, despite being forbidden to do so, she left the
family home, located her mother, negotiated her release from slavery and
returned home to her father’s house.
To her dismay, her father had arranged her marriage to a poet,
apparently a most prestigious profession at the time. But Brigid had
already vowed to remain celibate and to do God's work so once more, she
left her home, this time forever. Together with seven other dedicated
women she formed the first ever female monastic community in Ireland in
the 468 AD. They helped the poor of the time and many miracles were
attributed to them.
Despite having limited resources they never seemed to be without food
or supplies for their good works. She founded a school of Art and a
Monastery at Cill Dara, the site of the modern town of Kildare. The most
famous miracle associated with Brigid tells of her confrontation with an
Irish chieftain. She asked him for a quantity of land so that she could
build a monastic community. The chieftain replied that she could have
whatever amount of land her cloak could cover. Brigid took the cloak
from her shoulders and cast it on the ground where it covered over 12
acres of the chieftain’s lands. He gave it willingly.
The date of her death is now that of her feastday, February 1st which
is still celebrated with the traditional creation of the Saint Brigid
Cross, made from reeds. Legend has it that she is buried next to Saint
Patrick in Downpatrick.