Sunday, September 16, 2007

St Ninian

Today is the feast of St Ninian in the Scottish ecclesiastical calendar. He was the first apostle to Scotland and built the first Christian church in Scotland, the Candida Casa. The picture at the left (the original of which you can find here) shows the ruins of the Premonstratensian Priory that was built on the ruins of the Candida Casa some 600 years after St Ninian's time. The only "almost contemporaneous" account of St Ninian consists of two lines in Bede the Venerable's history: "The southern Picts received the true faith by the preaching of Bishop Ninias, a most reverend and holy man of the British nation, who bad been regularly instructed at Rome in the faith and mysteries of the truth; whose episcopal see, named after St. Martin the Bishop, and famous for a church dedicated to him (wherein Ninias himself and many other saints rest in the body), is now in the possession of the English nation. The place belongs to the province of the Bernicians and is commonly called the White House [Candida Casa], because he there built a church of stone, which was not usual amongst the Britons".

O God, Who through the teaching of Thy holy Confessor and Bishop Ninian didst bring the peoples of the Picts and Britons to the knowledge of Thy faith: mercifully grant that we, who by his teaching are illumined with the light of Thy truth, may through his intercession attain unto the joys of heavenly life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.