13 Jan 2018

January 14th 2018 - Who was St Ita of Kileedy?

On this weeks programme Michael Keating joins with John for our annual pilgrimage to one of diocesan patrons St Ita of Kileedy whose feast day is on January 15th. We have our regular reflection on this Sunday's gospel as well as a run through some liturgical odds and ends as well as the saints of the week.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE on our new podcast page or if you wish, you can access the podcast via Dropbox here.

Who was St Ita of Kileedy?

A number of years ago, the Irish bishops petitioned Rome to make a number of amendments to the national liturgical calendar which included the extension of the liturgical celebration of St Ita of Kileedy from Limerick diocese to the whole country. But who was St Ita of Kileedy?

On this weeks programme John is joined by Michael Keating who is SS120fm's resident guru on all things related to Kileedy and St Ita to reflect with us about St Ita of Kileedy. It is not an easy task as Michael has done this task for SS102fm for quite a number of years and after all there are only some many ways you can tell the same story but some how each year he manages to reflect on a different point aside from the biographical happenings of the saint as we know them.

St Ita also known as the Brigid of Munster is associated with the parish of Killeedy and is one of the co-patrons of the diocese of Limerick. 

"St Ita, the patron saint of Killeedy, was born before 484AD in County Waterford, in the Tramore area. Her father was Cennfoelad or Confhaola and her mother was Necta. Cennfoelad was descended from Felim the lawgiver. Ita's name was originally Dorothea or Deirdre. She was a member of the Déisí tribe. 

Ita refused her father's wish that she should marry a local chieftain, as she believed that she had a calling from God and wanted to become a nun. To convince her father to change his mind, she fasted for three days and three nights. On the third night, God gave out to her father in his sleep. The next morning, Cennfoelad agreed that Ita could do as she wished. At the age of sixteen, Ita set off on her journey. Bishop (St.) Declan of Ardmore conferred the veil on her. 

St Ita of Kileedy
by Richard King
Legend has it that Ita was lead to Killeedy by three heavenly lights. The first was at the top of the Galtee mountains, the second on the Mullaghareirk mountains and the third at Cluain Creadhail, which is nowadays Killeedy. 

Her sister Fiona also went to Killeedy with her and became a member of the community. Ita was welcomed to Killeedy by the local chieftain of the Ui Conaill Gabhra tribe. The chieftain wanted to give Ita a large trait of land but she only wanted a few acres as a garden for her community." 

It is said that St. Ita used to say that the Lord loves three things in a Christian most of all: faith in God with a pure heart, a spiritual Christian life with simplicity, and generous love; but the Lord especially dislikes in us the following things: a gloomy face (according to another variant: hatred in our hearts), persistence in sin and excessive reliance on money.

An Irish lullaby for the Infant Jesus is attributed to Saint Ita' - The Vision of St Ita - and hears her sing: 

Jesukin lives my little cell within;What were wealth of cleric high All is lie but Jesukin.

You can listen to the discussion with Michael excerpted from the main programme HERE on our new podcast page or if you wish, you can access it via Dropbox here.

Previous programmes and podcasts are here.

Gospel - John 1:35-42


The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire

English Dominicans
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 2, 2nd week of Ordinary time

Saints of the Week

January 15th - St Ita of Kileedy
January 16th - St Fursa
January 17th - St Anthony the Abbot
January 18th -  Bl Maria Teresa Fasce
January 19th - St Liberata of Como
January 20th - St Sebastian

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