Alternative Saint Of The Day

Gobnait (also known as Gobnat or Mo Gobnat or Abigail or Deborah)

Gobnait was born in County Clare, Ireland, in the fifth or sixth century and is said to have been the sister of Saint Abban. She fled a family feud, taking refuge in Inisheer in the Aran Islands. Here an angel appeared and told her that this was "not the place of her resurrection" and that she should look for a place where she would find nine white deer grazing. She found the deer at the place now known as Saint Gobnet's Wood. Saint Abban is said to have worked with her on the foundation of the convent and to have placed Saint Gobnait over it as abbess.

Celtic lore held bees in high esteem, believing the soul left the body as a bee or a butterfly. Gobnait is said to have added beekeeping to her life's work, developing a lifelong affinity with them.

She started a religious order and dedicated her days to helping the sick. It has been speculated that she used honey as a healing aid. She is credited with saving the people at Ballyvourney from the plague.

One story tells of how she drove off a brigand by sending a swarm of bees after him and making him restore the cattle he had stolen.

Saint Gobnait's well, which is now dried up, is situated to the north of Ballyagran in a high field to the left of the road to Castletown. It is said that a white stag can sometimes be seen at the well.

She is a patron saint of ironworkers, beekeepers and bees.


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