Saint Ita was born in about the year 475, in Waterford, Ireland.  Her baptismal name was Deirdre.  She later changed her name to Ita, or Ida.

From the time she was young, her virtue shown forth; She abounded in kindness, generosity, gentleness, and good sense.  Her purity showed not only in her behavior, but also in how she spoke.

The Saint chose to give her life to God as a nun rather than to marry the man her father had selected for her.  She wanted to consecrate herself entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ.

She started a monastery for women and spent the rest of her life there.  The nuns had a school for small boys.  One of Saint Ita’s students was Saint Brendan the Navigator.  He was with her until he was six years old, but visited his beloved teacher a number of times later in life.

Once Saint Brendan asked Saint Ita what are the three things God most hates.  She replied, “A scowling face, love of evil and trust in the power of money.”  When he asked her what are the three things most pleasing to God, she answered, “True faith with a pure heart; a simple, spiritual life; and generous acts of charity.”

Saint Ita died in about the year 570, perhaps of cancer.

We commemorate this Holy Virgin on January 15.

The Celtic name Ita means “thirst (for Divine Love).”


O Holy Virgin Ita, help our words to be full of purity and love at all times and may our hearts be ever thirsty for Divine Love.  Amen.

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