Spirituality for Today – Winter 2017/2018 – Volume 22, Issue 2

Saint for January
St. Ita of Killeedy – January 15

Ita was born into a prominent Irish family in County Waterford. Her given name was Deirdre. Only later was she called Ita, which means "thurst for holiness." Although she wanted to take a vow of lifelong virginity, her father wanted her to marry a wealthy suitor. After fasting and praying for three days, her father finally gave his consent and Ita traveled to County Limerick, where she established a monastery for women.

Considerate and conservative, Ita accepted only four acres of land on which to grow food for her convent, though she was offered larger pieces. She lived an austere life, fasting and praying and had a special devotion to the Holy Trinity. The remainder of her time was spent serving the sick and any who sought her advice.

Ita also established a training school for boys, many of whom went on to become saints. The most famous was Brendan, the abbot of Clonfert and missionary to Ireland. Asked by him which three works please God most Ita answered, "True faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a grateful spirt and generosity inspired by charity."

Numerous miracles have bene associated with Ita, from bringing a man who had been beheaded back to life, to living only on food from heaven. Endowed with the gift of prophecy, she was greatly admired and respected by her contemporaries. Ita may be the most famous female saint in Ireland after St. Brigid, and she is sometimes called "Brigid of Munster."

Glory to You, Lord.
Amazed at the hope You have bestowed upon us,
we thank You for Your mercy.
Glory be to You, Lord,
Inspired by the love You have offered us,
we rejoice in Your comfort.
Glory be to You, Lord.
Always and forever we praise Your name in thanks.

For Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary People.