Saint Ninian

Saint Ninian / Religious Figures

  • Name  : Saint Ninian
  • Born  : c.360
  • Died  : c.432
  • Category  : Religious Figures
  • Finest Moment : Built the first 'White House'

A bishop who is usually credited as being the first Christian missionary to Scotland. He may have been the son of a converted British chieftain. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he was consecrated as a bishop, and travelled through Gaul on his way back to storm-tossed Scotland, befriending St Martin of Tours on the way. Ninian probably acted as the catalyst for the pockets of Christianity begun during the years of Roman occupation. He was certainly the first bishop of Galloway, establishing his see at Whithorn in Galloway. There, in about 397, he probably built a whitewashed stone church (Candida Casa, or Stone White Church, hence Whithorn, or White House. This was a departure from the more usual wooden churches of the Britons, but perhaps Ninian remembered the bright Mediterranean sunshine.By the 6th century, this settlement was a leading Anglo-Saxon monastic centre; it was in residence until Viking trading days, as recent excavations have confirmed. His missionary work prepared the way for the later efforts of Saints Columba and Kentigern. There are many churches dedicated to him in Scotland and northern England.

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