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Modwena and Modwenna redirect here. For the founder of Burton-on-Trent Abbey see Saint Modwen.

Saint Moninne of Killeavy was one of Ireland's early women saints. After instruction in the religious life, she founded a community, initially consisting of eight virgins and a widow with a baby, at Sliabh Gullion, Co. Armagh. They lived an eremitical life, based on that of Elijah and Saint John the Baptist. Moninne died in 517 or 518.

Moninne was born around 432. Her father was Machta King of the territory stretching from Louth to Armagh and her mother was Comwi or Coman daughter of one of the northern kings. It was said that she was baptised and confirmed by Saint Patrick. When he was passing through the lands of Machta he stopped at her parents' house and predicted that Moninne's name would be remembered throughout time. It was said that she was veiled by Saint Patrick also.

There are a couple of versions of the name Moninne, for example Darerca, Blinne or the spelling Moninna which means in Irish "My Ninna" or "My Daughter". She worked with Saint Brigid at Kildare for a while where they became close friends. A legend says that she got the name "Moninna" when she cured a dumb man and the first word he uttered was "Ninna Ninna" it was also said that when she was a baby the first word she said was Ninna.

During the end of her life she retired to Killeavy where she set up a convent for nuns. She died around the year 518. Saint Moninne was buried at Killeavy and a granite slab was placed over her grave. On the slopes of Slieve Gullion there is a holy well called Saint Moninne's Well. It is marked by a large white cross. In 1928 a shrine was placed over the well with a statue Of the Virgin Mary. The inscription on the well reads "Tobhar Naoimh Blathnaidh". In the Killeavy area there is great devotion to Saint Moninne and people still visit her Holy Well and Grave, and the well has been said to cure eye trouble and other sickness. Saint Moninne was a kind caring female Saint who cared for everyone and like Saint Patrick said, her name is still remembered to the present day.

Monnine's feast day is celebrated on July 6 and is marked by pilgrims visiting her well.

Here is the page on the Armagh Archdiocese's website related to St. Moninne's Shrine:


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