Icon of St. Gobnait (Abigale) - (1GO15)

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Commemorated February 11

Saint Gobnait, also known as Gobnat or Mo Gobnat or Abigail or Deborah, is the name of a medieval, female Irish saint whose church was Móin Mór, later Bairnech, in the village of Ballyvourney (Irish: Baile Bhuirne), County Cork in Ireland. She was associated with the Múscraige and her church and convent lay on the borders between the Múscraige Mittine and Eóganacht Locha Léin.

Gobnait was born in County Clare in the fifth or sixth Century, and is said to have been the sister of Saint Abban. She fled a family feud, taking refuge in Inisheer in the Aran Islands. Here an angel appeared and told her that this was "not the place of her resurrection" and that she should look for a place where she would find nine white deer grazing. She found the deer at the place now known as St. Gobnet's Wood. Saint Abban is said to have worked with her on the foundation of the convent and to have placed Saint Gobnait over it as abbess.

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 at Ballyvourney from the plague.