06 ST. ITA OF KILLEEDY

ST. ITA—480-570

St. Ita or Íde was born of Christian parents in 480 A.D. She belonged to the noble tribe of the Decii in County Waterford. She was determined to dedicate herself to God. She was first known as Deirdre, before adopting the name “Ita” as a punning reference to her “hunger for Divine Love”.

All her early biographers describe her as the ‘Brigid of Munster’. She founded a monastery at Killeedy, County Limerick. There she remained all her life. In her life there is an emphasis on austerity.

A strongly individualistic character is glimpsed in the legends of Ita. When she decided to settle in Killeedy, a chieftain offered her a large grant of land to support the convent. But Ita would accept only four acres, which she cultivated intensively.

The convent became known as a training school for little boys, many of whom later became famous churchmen. One of these was St. Brendan, whom Ita accepted in fosterage when he was a year old and kept until he was six. The great Navigator revisited her between his voyages and always deferred to her counsel. He once asked her what where the three things that God loved in a special way and her reply was; True faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a religious spirit, and an open hand inspired by charity. Asked which three things God most detested she replied: ‘A scowling face, obstinacy in wrong-doing, and too great a confidence in the power of money’.

Ita died on January 15th about the year 570, which is now kept as her feast. There is a strong local cult of her in Munster, particularly in Waterford and Limerick, and her name is a popular one for girls.

In the middle of the nineteenth century a new move was made in Ireland for the development of her cult, when Bishop Butler of Limerick obtained from Pope Pius IX a special office and mass for her feast

Ever living God,

We rejoice in the life of Saint Ita of Killeedy.

We give you thanks for her powerful intercession and we implore her continual protection. Inspire us by her example to live with joy our calling in life, give us perseverance to serve you all our days; we make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, world without end. Amen

PRAYER SERVICE

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen

Symbols of Saint Íde are brought to the stage,

Bible,

Lighted Candle,

Map of the Diocese of Limerick.

School Books.

Flowers.

OPENING PRAYER

Let us pray,

To those who love you, Lord, you promise to come with your Son and make your home within them.

Come then with your purifying grace, and, at the intercession of Saint Íde your virgin, make our hearts a place where you can dwell.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen

A reading from the First Book of the Kings.

Be strong and show yourself as grown-up. Observe the injunctions of the Lord your God, following his ways and keeping his laws, his commandments, his customs and his decrees, so that you may be successful in all you do.

This is the word of the Lord.

Psalm 127

Response: Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

1. If the Lord does not build the house,

in vain do the builders labour;

If the Lord does not watch over the city,

In vain does the watchman keep vigil.

2. In vain is your earlier rising,

Your going later to rest,

You who toil for the bread you eat:

When he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

3. Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,

A blessing, the fruit of the womb.

Indeed the sons of youth

Are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

4. O the happiness of the man

Who has filled his quiver with these arrows!

He will have no cause for shame

When he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians.

Because of Christ I have come to consider all these advantages that I had as disadvantages. Not only that, but I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For him, I have accepted the loss of everything, and I look on everything as so much rubbish, if only I can have Christ.

This is the word of the Lord.

 

Alleluia

Alleluia Alleluia,

Saint Íde sang in praise of her Lord,

Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth,

Alleluia.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John.

At the last supper, Jesus said to his disciples.

“Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me;

and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father

and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.

Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him,

and we shall come to him and make a home with him.”

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

God our Father, St. Íde hoped in you, help us, who study under her patronage, to grow in knowledge of you and your creation.

Response: Father we trust in you like Saint Íde our patron.

1.  Father we pray for our leaders guide them and bless them in their work.

Response: Father we trust in you like Saint Íde our patron.

2.  Help the sick to share their sufferings with Christ, May they know his peace and love.

Response: Father we trust in you like Saint Íde our patron.

3.  Your son Jesus had nowhere to lay his head, help us to be conscious of the needs of the homeless today.

Response: Father we trust in you like Saint Íde our patron.

4.  Bless those who work on the land, may we receive the fruits of the earth with thankfulness.

Response: Father we trust in you like Saint Íde our patron.

5.  Father have mercy on those who have died in the peace of Christ, receive them into the home you have prepared for them.

Response: Father we trust in you like Saint Íde our patron.

Our Father

Father in heaven,

Accept our prayer as we recall the life of Saint Íde of Killeedy patroness of the people of Limerick, grant that we may abide in your love and continue to grow in it till the end of our days.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Suggested Participation Plan

Readers (Six in all)

Book of Kings: Reader One.

Psalm 127: Readers Two and Three, alternating the stanzas.

Philippians: Reader Four.

Alleluia:  Reader Five.

Gospel: Reader Six.

Prayers of the Faithful: Readers Seven to Eleven.

Carrying Symbols (Seven in All)

Two carrying flowers,

Two bearing school books, and

One each,

Bible,

Lighted candle and

Map of the Diocese of Limerick.

 

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