The Anglican Communion recognizes all the great and Holy Early Church fathers, just as our Orthodox and Roman Catholic brothers and sisters do. But we do hold a special place in our hearts for St. Ninian, a pioneer in the Christian faith during the fourth century who established a monastery in a remote isle location in Scotland.
I found a little thumbnail on the Internet that I couldn’t seem to enlarge. It was what is left of the Chapel of Ninian at the Isle of Whitby (Whithorn in his native language). Bishop Ninian is considered Scotland’s first Saint (see my Homemaking in Lent post about the very brief history of Christianity in Great Britain to understand how Christianity was pushed into Wales, Scotland and Cornwall).
There is not much known about St. Ninian. It is almost certain that was a Briton and that he traveled to Rome for training – so therefore, he was more tied into the Roman Church of the time than the Celtic Church. His monastery was a center of learning and it was called the Candida Casa, the “white house”. From there, he went out to the Picts and other neighboring tribes and took the news of Christianity with him. Part of the legend around him stipulates that he sowed seeds that grew so fast they became mature plants in a day and that is how the monastery received its food and survived. He planted his ideas and faith in those studying with him, and St. Kentigern, or Mungo as some of you may know him, became one of the most famous. Continue reading