St. Buithe of Monasterboice & Scotland
Died 521. Saint Buithe was a Scot who spent some years in Italy and
elsewhere on the continent before returning to Scotland to evangelize
the Picts. It is said that Buithe raised the son of King Nectan of the
Picts from the dead (or the king himself in some versions). In gratitude
the king gave the saint a church-- Carbuddo ("Castrum Butthi"), which
appears to have taken its name from him (originally Kirkbuddo or the
church of Buithe).
About 500 AD, Buithe founded a school at Monasterboice in County Louth,
which gained dominance in the 9th and 10th centuries when the Viking
raids threatened the great schools of Ireland. This school was known for
its sculpture; the Crosses of Monasterboice are world renowned. They
incorporate representation of Biblical subjects directly on the Crosses,
visual lessons for the faithful and less likely to be destroyed than
were books. Two of these crosses, including the Muireadach Cross dating
from 923, survive at Monasterboice. Fourteen historical poems of its
Abbot Flann (11th century) also survive in old Gaelic books, especially
in the "Book of Leinster"
Troparion of St Buithe
Great wonderworker and ascetic, O Father Buithe, who by the power of thy
prayers didst restore the slain to life,
intercede with Christ our God
that He will grant us life eternal in the realms of the blessed.
Images of the Muireadach Cross, Monasterboice:
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content © 2008, Ambrose Mooney
layout © 2008, Kathleen Hanrahan and Mo! Langdon
Page last updated: 2 January 2009
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