Brigit of Kildare, Ignatius of Antioch and Mary with Christ
The beautiful woman on the left is Brigit of Kildare, daughter of the chieftain of Leinster (feast day February 1). When she found out she was to be married, she prayed to become so ugly that she would not have to marry and would be able to preserve her Christian virtue. After she succeeded in maintaining her virginity, she reverted to her former beauty. Countless miracles and blessings are ascribed to Saint Brigit. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch (feast day February 1), was one of the early martyrs; during the reign of Emperor Trajan he was brought to Rome to be torn apart by wild animals in the Colosseum. On his way to Rome he wrote letters to Christians from several cities in which he demonstrated his eagerness to die a martyr. On the right we see Mary carrying the baby Christ on her chest. The corresponding feast day of Candlemas (February 2) commemorates the day on which Mary performed the Jewish traditional purification ritual of sacrificing two pigeons on the fortieth day after giving birth.