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St Brigit (c. 450—525) patron saint of Kildare

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[ScG, knowledge; cf. OIr. eólas, knowledge].

A charm or white magic cure for an ailment in man or beast. Hundreds of recipes have been recorded, particularly from Scottish Gaelic oral sources, including specific roots and herbs, and with them formulaic phrases should be repeated, e.g. eòlas nan sùl, a spell to banish a mote from the eye. In recent centuries the eòlas has acquired Roman Catholic associations and may invoke certain saints, St Brigid, St Columba[Colum Cille], St Michael [see LUG LÁMFHOTA], and St Peter.

See Alexander Carmichael, Carmina Gadelica (5 vols., Edinburgh and London, 1928).

Subjects: Religion.

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