Yes, it’s St Patrick’s Day…….. but, it’s also the Feast Day of St Gertrude of Nevelles, who is the patron Saint of cats (as well as of gardeners and travellers)
She was born around 626, the daughter of a powerful Frankish nobleman – Pippen of Landen – in what’s now Belgium.
When her father died, her mother and Gertrude established the monastery of Nivelles and retired to a religious life – Gertrude being renowned for her hospitality to pilgrims.
She died in 659 – worn out in her early thirties, says the Cambridge Medieval History, “because of too much abstinence and keeping of vigils”. A visiting Irish monk, whose brother Gertrude had sheltered, predicted she would die on St Patrick’s Day. And so it was.