Discover Scotland's Saints, some are well known, but most of the rest will not be. Piecing together the lives of these early Catholics in Scotland is not easy and is beset by legend, poor translations and often quite scant information. However, there is much to learn, not least it tells us something about the people who venerated these men and women.
St Columba AD 600
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St Baithen, AD600
A companion of Columba and was held with great affection by him, he was made Abbot of Tiree then at Columba's death ruled Iona for 4 years up onto his death. He spent his time reading, in prayer or in works of charity. There is a nice touch in his story that states that when he gave out meals he would repeat a line from the psalms calling on Gods assistance. He was buried in St Orans Chapel on Iona with his bell eventually finding itself in Donegal.
St Ternan, 5th Century
St Ternan was a Mearns man (Kincardineshire) who had a rather illustrious association with St Pallidius, who had been led to the young man by an angel. St Palladius baptized him and then raised him as a Christian. As a young man St Ternan went to Rome and gained instruction and training under Pope Gregory who eventually consecrated him a Bishop. After seven years St Ternan returned to his homeland with the mission to share the gospel with his fellow Picts. There are a number of stories surrounding the Pictish Saint including a Bell called the Ronecht which after being presented by Pope Gregory to St Ternan followed him all the way back to Scotland. Another one relates to when St Machar asked St Ternan for some corn seed. St Ternan did not have any but instead filled sacks with sand and sent them. Rather than be offended St Machar saw it as a sign of faith and planted the sand which created a bumper harvest! After his death and for a thousand years, it is said, his head was held in a gold and silver embossed box and on the place on his skull where he had been consecrated, the skin was still attached. He was also known for his Gospel of St Mathew, a cumdach or book shrine, which was decorated in in the same way as the Book of Kells and others like it. He was buried in Banchory-Ternan, just West of Aberdeen. His Ronecht may well be the same Bell as the one hanging in Banchory Ternan East Church.
St Moluag | 592 AD
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