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6th century One of the most popular of the saints of Munster, she was born in County Clare but had to flee from enemies and took refuge in the Isle of Aran, where there is a church at Inisheer, Kilgobnet, Gobnat's church. After a time an angel appeared and told her that this was not to be the place of her resurrection but she must make a journey until she came upon nine white deer and this would be the sign for her to settle and build a monastery.

So she set out to search for the spot that God had chosen for her and she founded churches on the way, among them Dunguin in County Kerry and Dungarven in County Waterford. It was in County Cork that she saw three white deer near Cloudrohid; then at Ballymakeera she saw six and going further she arrived at Ballyvourney and found nine grazing near a wood. There she founded her monastery.

Saint Abban of Kilabban, County Meath, Ireland, is said to have worked with her on the foundation of the convent in Ballyvourney, County Cork, on land donated by the O'Herlihy family, and to have placed Saint Gobnat over it as abbess.

St Gobnat had a particular calling to care for the sick and she is credited with saving the people at Ballyvourney from the plague. She is also regarded as the Patroness of bees. Gobnata (meaning "Honey Bee", which is the equivalent of the Hebrew "Deborah") Of course honey is a useful ingredient in many medicines but she is said to have driven off a brigand by sending a swarm of bees after him and making him restore the cattle he had stolen. In fact she seems to have been very able in dealing with brigands. Set in the wall of the ruined church at Ballyvourney there is a round stone, which she is said to have used as a sort of boomerang to prevent the building of a castle by another brigand on the other side of the valley from her monastery. Every time he began building she sent the stone across and knocked down the walls, as fast as he could build, until he gave up in despair.

There is a field near to the village called the Plague Field commemorating the area she marked out as consecrated ground, across which the plague could not pass. The "Tomhas Ghobnata", which is the Gaelic for Gobnat's measure, a length of wool measured against her statue, is still in demand for healing, and in the church a much worn wooden statue of the thirteenth century is preserved and shown on her festival. At Killeen there is Gobnat's Stone, an early cross pillar that has a small figure bearing a crozier on one side.

A well still exists at Ballyvourney that is named after her. As with many Irish saints, there are stories of wondrous interactions with nature.

Her grave in the churchyard at Ballyvourney is decorated with crutches and other evidence of cures obtained through Gobnata's intercession. Among the miracles attributed to her intercession were the staying of a pestilence by marking off the parish as sacred ground. Another tradition relates that she routed an enemy by loosing her bees upon them. Her beehive has remained a precious relic of the O'Herlihys.

The round stone associated with her is still preserved. In art, Saint Gobnata is represented as a beekeeper.

Troparion of St Gobnet
Tone 3
As a spiritual child of the God inspired Abban
thou didst worthily guide many into monastic virtue, most holy Gobnet.
Wherefore we entreat thee to intercede for us
that we may be guided aright
and be found worthy of the great mercy of Christ our God.

Kontakion of St Gobnet
Tone 5
Praise and honour are thy due
O physician of bodies and souls,
most pious Gobnet.
As thou, being blessed with the gift of healing,
didst bring to many the wholeness and peace of Christ,
pray now for us that our tormented souls
may come to know the joy of godly healing.

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