The St. Gobnait in Seraphina was inspired by a real Irish saint, whose church and sacred spring we visited years ago. Today (Feb. 11) is her holy day in Baile Bhuirne (Ballyvourney). Here’s an article mentioning Gobnait and some other ancient holy wells in Ireland. The Diocese of Kerry page has fewer pictures but is more informative. The last several paragraphs are in Irish, and are (according to my husband, my resident translator) a description of how to do the devotional tour. I will just bring your attention to a bit of Irish I understood, however:
If you do drink water at the well you take responsibility for your own well being!….. tá creideamh agus creideamh ann!
That is to say: there’s belief, and there’s belief! The well, as I recall, is at the bottom of a hillside full of cows. It was pouring rain when we were there. We didn’t sample it ourselves.
Beannachtaí Lá Gobnatan daoibh!
4 thoughts on “The real St. Gobnait”
Today is also the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (and my birthday, which is why I know this sort of thing) and so I suppose a banner day for holy water! Are there sacred springs in Goredd?
Absolutely! And no one understands germ theory yet! Whee!
So in other words, you’re not just taking responsibility for your own well being. You’re adopting teeming millions of “well beings” into your digestive tract. A “saint’s burden”, indeed.
AHAHAHAHAHA! Not fair, punning me upside the head like that when I least expect it!