|Saint Bridget began religious life for women in Ireland and founded a monastery for nuns at Kildare, Ireland.
Saint Bridget was born into slavery, but her acts of charity, which included giving away her parents possession, gained her freedom when a Christian king was impressed by her. Saint Bridget founded a school of art that produced illuminated manuscripts. Unable to find any illustrations of Saint Bridget, Mother Mary Cleophas instead instructed Mr. Willet to follow “the description of her appearance in Mrs. Jameson” an apparent reference to Legends of The Monastic Orders as Represented in Fine Art (1900). “The ample road and white veil always given to the Christian converts; in one hand the cross, in the other the lamp, — typical at once of heavenly light … but also her proper attribute as representing “the bright lamp that shone in Kildare’s holy fane/and burn’d through long ages of darkness and storm” At her feet, the school of Kildare, which she founded, is shown surrounded by Oak leaves.
In the predella was initially supposed to depict the many acts of charity Bridget was known to have performed, but instead shows educated Catholic women in the roles of “a nun, a nurse and a mother.”