[Relique/ Relic ID # 655-5402]
Relique/ Relic ID # 655-5402
Classification: First class relic
Source: Uncovered at [undisclosed] private property domestic well site during renovations. Believed to have been anonymously removed/stolen from Sainte-Brigide de Kildare Church and buried at location where found.
Description: Said to be the incorrupt phalanges (toes) of the left foot of Saint Brigit of Kildare (c. 451–525), Irish – “miracle” healing properties include for infertility, lack of breast milk, and head injuries as well as possessing other regenerative properties.
*Please see the Specimen Gallery for correlating images of the artifact.
Biological/Forensic Inquiry: A high concentration of Disodium Tetraborate (Na2B4O7·10H2O) in the specimen indicates a prominently vegetarian diet, with little or no chemical fertilizers present, meaning the likelihood of a foraged nutritional source versus farmed. Foraging being the common practice of nomadic cultures, it is probable that this individual initially belonged to a nomadic tribe, such as the little-known Pavee, who predate Anglo-Norman settlements on Ireland and are suspected to be its aboriginal inhabitants. Resulting pathology: None. Specimen indicates optimal health.
Details: Na2B4O7 10H2O 11/12/13 | Sat. sol. 10% | D. O. C. 11/14/13 | WFH | protocell liquid suspension in polyhedron3: half dodecahedron
Comments: Officially recognised by the Vatican as a first-millennium saint, legitimized by popular acclaim versus formal canonization. St Brigit of Kildare remains one of the most venerated and mysterious icons of Irish culture, surviving the political/religious transition of Ireland from paganism to Christianity (stories of Brigid predate Christianity). Sainte-Brigide de Kildare Church, built 1878-1880 by architect Louis-Gustave Martin, was designed to serve the working class Irish community in the Faubourg à M’lasse. Faubourg à M’lasse was one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Montreal, nicknamed after both the pervasive molasses smell and legends of women collecting free molasses from barrels ‘accidentally’ dropped by crane operators from boats with large shipments for the breweries. The majority of the neighbourhood was razed in 1963 to address a declining Montreal economy: Place Radio Canada was built on the grounds of the former Faubourg à M’lasse in order to embrace new communications technologies and promote francophone television and radio programming. Sainte-Brigide de Kildare Church is designated by Héritage Montréal a “threatened emblematic site”.
Common history: Mythology surrounding Ireland’s female patron saint includes the tale of her self-inflicted corporeal disfigurement: Brigit gouged one of her own eyes out in order to avoid being forced into an unwanted marriage with a poet. This was adopted by the Christian faith as a sign of her dedication to holy service to God and thus she became Ireland’s first nun. It may be speculated that Brigit (also known as “Bride”) refused marriage as was her right within the customs of her (pre-Christian) peoples and resorted to drastic measures in resistance or to secure her own economic independence. Brigit became a landowner by performing the cunning miracle of stretching her small cloak in all the four cardinal directions over a massive parcel of choice land, thus tricking the king into giving it to her to build her convent on with her sisters. Her convent was best known for its blueberry jam production, which was sought throughout the nation. She is also known to have mixed her blood with the blood of a horse in order to produce a healing blood bath for women, to reinstate their childbearing vigour and cure their muteness. She also performed abortions on ‘fallen’ women. Symbols associated with Saint Brigit include woven crosses. St. Brigid’s Cross was chosen as the logo for RTÉ (Irish television) when it first came on the air in the 1960s.
Conclusions: Biological sampling of the phalanges shows favourable health, pointing to the relative youth of the owner. The size of the mummified specimen shows a shoe size of approximately 7 (US), unusually large for a human female of the 5th and 6th centuries. This fact attests to the following: either the lack of legitimacy of the actual relic or an extraordinarily tall and powerful 5th-6th c. young woman. Further scientific (DNA) testing, which is outside the scope of this research, could verify the actual age of the specimen.
Provincial political and corporate interest have prevented the relic from being reinterred. The relic, believed to have originated from the collection at Sainte-Brigide de Kildare Church, appears to not have been reported missing, and incomplete records due to flooding in the basement archives of the church leave no conclusive traces of the relic as church property, through anecdotal evidence does exist. The architectural and historical value of the church has recently been under considerable scrutiny, following the sale of the building and property for development purposes, the plans of which preserve only a few fragments of the original building. Actual legitimacy of the specimen notwithstanding, a religious altar devoid of the presence of a relic bears far less claim to cultural importance than those with. Activism by Héritage Montréal is aimed towards safeguarding the heritage identity of the metropolis and its neighbourhoods through preservation of this historical site.
Scientific implications of the relic specimen: TBD
OBJECT MISSING. Last seen: 45°30’30.6″N 73°33’12.6″W on April 9, 2014.