Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

January 15 | Teachers

St. Ita

A.D. 475–January 15, 570

Teachers change our lives. Teachers draw us out of our own tiny little worlds, and give us a broader worldview. They open our hearts and minds to new possibilities.

Everyone has a story about a teacher who has a huge impact on his or her life. And people wish they could reconnect with that teacher and thank him or her.

At the heart of the gift we call teaching is the dream that every student becomes the best-version-of-themselves. In fact, teachers often want this more for their students than their students want it for themselves.

It was this dream that animated much of Saint Ita’s life. Ita was born and raised in a well-established family in Ireland in the sixth century. After rejecting marriage as a young woman, she moved to county Limerick and founded a small community of women dedicated solely to God. There, she also founded a boy’s school and became a beloved teacher.

The most famous of her students would come to be known as Saint Brendan the Navigator. Brendan was an abbot, explorer, and a very holy man. His biography notes that Saint Ita was a source of inspiration in his life. How many other students whose names we don’t know did Saint Ita inspire?

Teachers play an enormous role in society, and yet they are often underappreciated. Children don’t fully realize the impact their teachers have had on their lives until decades later. In other words, teaching is an act of faith. 

Perhaps you are a teacher, a parent, a coach, or a mentor. Take heart in the example of Saint Ida, whose time and effort inspired Saint Brendan, and likely many others, to become the best-versions-of-themselves. And don’t forget to take a moment today to thank someone who has taught you!

Has anyone ever believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself? What teacher in my life would I like to thank today?

I will make the most of my opportunities to help others become the best-version-of-themselves.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

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