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Date: 15 January 2012 00:00 to 17 January 2012 00:00
Feast Day of St. Ita- Patron Saint of the Diocese of Limerick
Details:

St. Ita is patron saint of the diocese of Limerick.  Her feast day is January 15th.

St. Ita or Íde was born of noble Christian parents in 480 A.D. in Co. Waterford. She was first known as Deirdre, before adopting the name "Ita" as a punning reference to her "hunger for Divine Love".

She had no brothers, that we are aware of, but history tells us the names of two of her sisters- Fiona and Nessa. Ita refused her father’s wish that she should marry a local chieftain, as she believed she had a calling from God and wanted to become a nun. An angel appeared to her father in a dream and persuaded him to allow her do as she wished. She set off from her home and established her monastery in what is now called Killeedy (Ita's Church) in Co. Limerick. Her sister Fiona accompanied her on the journey.  Many women flocked to her community and put themselves under her guidance. Soon she had a religious community. She was offered some land by a local chieftain; however, she accepted only four acres, which she converted into a vegetable garden.

 Ita and her community spent their time praying, teaching the young and caring for the sick, the poor and the elderly. She was endowed with miraculous powers of healing, as when she restored the power of speech to a local wise man. She also cured a blind man.  She is sometimes called the “ Brigid of Munster”. She was also known as the “Foster Mother of the Saints of Ireland.” St. Brendan spent 5 years in Killeedy under the care of St. Ita.  There is a shrine within the ruins of Killeedy church, which is believed to mark the site of Ita's grave.

For further details see: www.limerickdiocese.org/heritage