Died c. 610.
Two of those who accompanied Kentigern on his return from Cwymru (Wales) to
Strathclyde were St Nidan and St Finan. Nidan is still remembered in Wales,
having had his name attached to the parish of Llanidan on the Menai Strait
Nidan was the grandson of Pasgen, son of Urien Rheged, and was thus a cousin
of St Kentigern who was the son of Owain, another of Urien's sons. This
might suggest that he may have been one of Mungo's companions when he
journeyed to Wales to escape from the dangers which threatened his safety in
the kingdom of Strathclyde. It is also said that Nidan followed his master
as ab of the Andat (parent community) of Kynor near Huntly.
The two churches bearing Nidan's name, at Strathdon and Midmar, are
certainly of ancient origin. Both, interestingly, lie near to, or as part
of, a motte of Norman origin. There was a chapel within the walls of the
Norman motte and bailey at Invernochty which is known to have served as the
parish church for many years. However, the mound is known as the Doune of
Invernochty - doune, from the Celtic word dun, a fort, tells us that this
was a seat of power for the Picts long before the Anglo.Norman infiltration
of Alba. It is entirely probable then that this dun would have been an
irresistible magnet to the missionaries who came with Kentigern and who
looked to found their churches at important Pictish settlements. At Midmar,
the church lies a little to the east of a mound known as the Cunningar which
served as the centre of administration for that part of the Pictish province
of Mar known as Midmar.
Somewhat to the north of this site there is a very ancient druidic stone
circle with its recumbent stone. Obviously, this was an important centre of
population for the local Pictish tribes and would have been a natural focus
for the missionary work of Nidan. In the same way, Nidan's colleague St
Finan established a church at another of the important administration
centres of the province at Migvie, from which Cromar was governed.
For a map and some photographs please see
Troparion of St Midan
Amongst Angelsey's adornment of Saints,
thy virtuous life shines forth to illumine these islands, O Father Midan.
We pray thee to intercede with Christ our God
that His mercy, and not our weakness, will prevail
that our souls may be saved.
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Page last updated: 8 October 2008
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