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St Ita of Kileedy

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St. Ita (also spelled Ite, Ida, Eeda, and other ways) is often considered to be the second holiest person to ever live in Ireland - second only to  St. Brigid . She also was foster parent to a number of boys who became saints, including St. Brendan the Navigator , and she was visited by St. Columba for guidance. Lifetime:  480 to 570 Region:  County Limerick, Ireland Patronages:  Limerick, Ireland Iconograpy:  Holding an Irish church; Rosary; Brown cloak Feast Day:  January 15 Ita was originally called Dierdre, but her name was eventually changed, as Ita means "thirst for holiness". Dierdre was born to noble parents who wished her to marry, a common background among saints. However, Rather than defying her Christian parents, Dierdre eventually persuaded them by fasting and praying for three days, at the end of which her father received a vision from God instructing him to allow his daughter to establish a monastery. And so, at the age of 16, Dierdre became a nun and changed

St. Aelred of Rievaulx

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St. Aelred is most well known for his writing, especially the book that introduced me to him, On Spiritual Friendship. Beyond his spiritual writings, Aelred was also a historian and an advisor to kings and religious alike. Lifetime:  1110 to 1167 Region:  Rievaulx, England Patronages:  Bladder and kidney disease; Spiritual friendship Iconograpy:  Book or long scroll; White Cistercian habit Feast Day:  January 12 Aelred was the son of a married priest and spent part of his upbringing in the court of King David I of Scotland. By age 24, Aelred had advanced to the Master of the Household, a position that allowed him to advise the king. He would later go on to write the king’s biography, and even as a monk his influence on royalty would remain. Three of the history books he wrote during his time in the monastery were addressed to King Henry II of England and advised him on how to be a good king. He even helped the king to decide to support the elected pope rather than the antipope during a