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Ita (?-570) January 15th

Ita was the abbess of a women’s community at Killeedy, County Limerick, in Ireland. She ran a school for boys, where she taught ‘faith in God with purity of heart; simplicity of life with religion; generosity with love.’ Among those she schooled was Brendan (see May 16th), who honoured her as his foster-mother and adviser. Brendan once asked her what were the three works most pleasing to God, and the three works most displeasing to Him. Ita answered, ‘Three things that please God most are true faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a grateful spirit, and generosity inspired by charity. The three things that most displease God are a mouth that hates people, a heart harbouring resentments, and a confidence in wealth.’ Hearing that opinion, Brendan and all who were there glorified God in His chosen one.

I am a scholar in Your school, my Lord. Grant me true faith in You and make my heart pure. Teach me how to live in simplicity and give me a thankful spirit. Show me the way of generosity, that I may be a channel of Your love for others. Amen.