|St. Brigid's Cross|
Today is St. Brigid's Day. St. Brigid is one of the patron saints of Ireland (the other two are St. Patrick and St. Columba) but she is, perhaps, best known to many American Catholics through the particular style of cross that you're describing. Many Catholics of Irish ancestry have a St. Brigid's cross hanging somewhere in their house. This is the story of where it comes from.
|St. Brigid died in AD 524.|
It is customary to make a St. Brigid cross from reeds or rushes on her feast day, and then to have the cross blessed by a priest. The blessed cross is then hung on or near the front door of a home and remains there all year, until it is replaced on the next St. Brigid's Day with a new cross. If you'd like to make your very own St. Brigid's Cross, you can find instructions here.
Like any sacramental, the purpose of this cross is to remind us of our Catholic faith and, in turn, to increase our faith and devotion to Christ and his Church. Happy St. Brigid's Day!