Happy Saint Gobnait’s Day – the patron saint of bees and beekeepers!
Saint Gobnait was an Irish saint who lived in the 5th or 6th century and February 11th is her feast day – the day when her life is celebrated.
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 of Ballyvourney from the plague.
One of Gobnait’s attributed miracles has her rousting her bees from their hives in order to chase off evil-doers, including a band of cattle rustlers and a rich man who wanted to build a castle on Gobnait’s farm. Some accounts go even further, with the bees miraculously changing into soldiers and their hives transformed into bronze helmets.
Go on Gobnait, get your bees and whoop those brigrands! I’ll eat some honey in your honour.