Saint of the Day – 10 August – St Blane (Died 590) Bishop and Confessor – born on the Isle of Bute, date unknown and died in 590.
Late medieval Scottish texts relate that his mother was Irish and that St Cathan was his brother. It was Cathan who saw to Blane’s education in Ireland under Saints Comgall and Kenneth. Blane became a monk, went to Scotland and was eventually bishop among the Picts. Several miracles are related of him, among them the restoration of a dead boy to life.
The Aberdeen Breviary gives these and other details of the saint’s life. There can be no doubt that devotion to St Blane was, from early times, popular in Scotland. There was a church of St Blane in Dumfries and another at Kilblane. In Greenock, the place name Kilblain is thought to refer to a cell or chapel of St Blane.
There is a well in the strath, or valley, called Blane’s Well and also a place in the neighbourhood called Garcattoun, which might be named after his brother, St Cathan.
His name is recorded on the Scottish landscape at Strathblane in the central lowlands from Loch Lomond to Dunblane. The highest authorities say the saint died 590.
The ruins of his church at Kingarth, Bute, where his remains were buried, are still standing and form an object of great interest to antiquarians, St Blane’s Chapel is picturesquely situated about 800 metres from Dunagoil Bay.
The bell of his monastery is believed to be preserved at Dunblane. Dunblane Cathedral was founded on the site first used by St Blane.
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