Barrett/Scottish Saints/St. Baldred

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Dom Michael Barrett

March 6 – St. Baldred, Hermit, A.D. 608.

This saint, according to a popular tradition, was a disciple of the great St. Kentigern. He has often been styled the Apostle of East Lothian. After his master's death St. Baldred took up his residence upon the Bass Rock, near North Berwick, and there he devoted himself to penance and prayer, his favourite subject of meditation being the Passion of Christ Our Lord. From time to time he would pay missionary visits to the mainland. He died at Aldhame in Haddington, a village which has now disappeared; St. Baldred's Cave is on the sea-shore near its former site. Tyningham Church, in the same county, and also that of Prestonkirk, were dedicated to him. The former was burnt by the Danes in 941. The old parishes of Aldhame and Tyningham are now united under the designation of Whitekirk. At Prestonkirk there is a well which bears the saint's name, whose water, as a Protestant writer notes, is excellent for making tea! An eddy in the Tyne is called St. Baldred's Whirl. A century ago Prestonkirk churchyard possessed an ancient statue of St. Baldred. The ruins of a chapel dedicated to the saint are still discernible on the Bass Rock.

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