Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Saint Ninian

Saint Ninian (360-432) , born on the north-west coast of Britain, was called to Christian ministry from an early age, and consequently studied in Rome. Following his studies, he travelled to Gaul, visiting Saint Martin (a great missionary and monastic of the region). Following his example, Saint Ninian returned to Scotland in 394, establishing missionary activities around the Whithorn Peninsula (present day Dumfries and Galloway). As a Hierarch of the Church, he preached the Apostolic Faith, converting many to Christ in the area. His continuing fruitful work led to him founding a church and monastery, dedicated to Saint Martin - eventually becoming a well known missionary and monastic centre. This centre, along with Iona and Lindisfarne, played a very important role in the development of Christian Orthodoxy in Scotland and the North of England.

St Bede
The Whithorn Monastery was renowned for its severity, the ascetic life, and its monks keenness to study, write and share the Christian faith. Today, numerous parish churches across the west of Scotland are dedicated to the Saint, and many of them are more than 1000 years old (some of them founded by St Ninian himself, or his disciples who spread the Gospel to the north, west, and elsewhere).

Saint Bede (673),  an English monk and teacher, writes that Saint Ninian had indeed been instructed in Rome, and his episcopal see was named after Saint Martin of Tours.

Saint Ninian's fruitful work, preaching and evangelisation throughout much of Scotland, should be an example to us all. An example of dedication, evangelisation, and of the ascetic, self-sacrificial Christian Life.

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