QIYUF#1: St Brigid.

You know, some saints weren’t even people.

Take St Brigid of Ireland for example.  Ireland was one of the few places that Christianity was able to convert peacefully, and has three main saints.  Patrick (of snake and beer drinking holiday fame), Colombo (whose claim to fame includes miracles, conversions and copyright infringement), and St Brigid, who is the most interesting of the lot.

There is no accepted biography of the saint. Some accounts have her as the daughter of a chieftain while others say she was the daughter of a Portuguese woman, sold to the Irish by pirates. The uncertainty to her history may be because it was all made up later, to make her a person, instead of what she originally was, a local goddess.

Brigid is the name of the local goddess of fire, and there is a distinct possibility that this goddess was canonized as a way to help with the conversion of the locals.

If this is the case, this makes her an interesting contrast to Beelzebub (AKA Baal), the Philistine god who underwent a fall from grace to become a demon in hell. 

She is the patron saint of, amongst other things, babies, cows, chicken farmers, fugitives and nuns.

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