Barrett/Scottish Saints/St. Blaan

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Dom Michael Barrett

August 11 – St. Blaan, Bishop, A.D. 590.

He was born in Ireland of a noble family, and after spending seven years under the direction of St. Comgall and St. Kenneth, passed over to Bute, to St. Cathan, his mother's brother. He is said to have made later a pilgrimage to Rome. The monastery he founded became the site of the well-known Cathedral of Dunblane – a place which derives its name from the saint – where the mediaeval building begun by David I. is still to be seen. Among the many miracles attributed to the saint is the restoration to life of a dead boy. He is also said to have rekindled the extinguished lamps in his church during the night office, on one occasion, by striking fire from his fingers as from a flint; the miracle being vouchsafed by God to clear the saint of any imputation of negligence in his duty.

St. Blaan became eventually a bishop. After his death devotion to him became popular, and many dedications bear witness to his cultus. There was a church of St. Blaan in Dumfries and another at Kilblane in Argyll. The ruins of the saint's church in the parish of Kingarth, Bute, form an object of great interest to antiquarians, and stand amid surroundings of extraordinary beauty and charm. His bell is still preserved at Dunblane. The saint's feast was restored to the Scottish Calendar by Leo XIII. in 1898.

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