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The Patron Saint of Metal Workers

by on June 19, 2013

It is not a surprise that metal workers would be revered.Working with metal and fire where the solid becomes like a fluid sun would be magical.

When “a committee of the leading men of Ballyvourney” raised the funds in 1950 to commission a statue of St. Gobnait near the traditional site of her sixth-century convent, their work was interrupted after significant archaeological objects were discovered during the site preparation. The small circular early medieval enclosure called St. Gobnait’s House was found to sit upon the remains of some 137 forges, perhaps dating to as early as the first few centuries. Thus long before St. Gobnait’s time at Ballyvourney, the landscape would have been filled with the smoke and the din of an early industrial site where objects of iron and bronze were manufactured.

Gobnait and her convent continued the practice of working with metals.

Gobnait was the patron saint of iron and bronze workers. The pet name of Gobnait –Gobba come from Gabha which means smith.  Goibniu was the Celtic God of fire and metalwork. It could be that Gobnait got her name from this God .

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