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Died at Lothian (Lestalryk), 4th or 8th century. Saint Triduana is connected with the mission of Saint Regulus (f.d. March 30) to carry the relics of Saint Andrew (f.d. November 30) to Scotland. She is said to have been an abbess and to have lived with two companions at Roscoby (Forfarshire).

Her shrine at Restalrig near Edinburgh was an important pilgrimage centre until it was completely destroyed on December 21, 1560, by Scottish Deformers. The site of her well here has been excavated. It reveals the former positions of a two story building, a chapel, and piscina built over the well itself. A portion of the 1487 collegiate church, which was endowed by at least three kings, remains. There is a second shrine beside Saint Tredwell's Loch at Papa Westray in the Orkneys.

She is invoked for cures of eye diseases because of a belief that she plucked out her beautiful eyes and gave them to a local prince who was attracted to her because of them. Triduana is the patroness of Caithness (Kintradwell). Aberdeen claims some of Triduana's relics (Benedictines, Farmer).


More on the Saint:

ST. TRIDUANA devoted herself to God in a solitary life at Rescobie in Angus (now Forfarshire). While dwelling there, a prince of the country having conceived an unlawful passion for her is said to have pursued her with his unwelcome attentions. To rid herself of his importunities, as a legend relates, Triduana bravely plucked out her beautiful eyes, her chief attraction, and sent them to her admirer. Her heroism, it is said, procured for her the power of curing diseases of the eyes. Many instances are related of such miracles worked after her death.

St. Triduana died at Restalrig in Lothian, and her tomb became a favourite place of pilgrimage. Before the Reformation it was the most important of the holy shrines near Edinburgh. On account of this prominence her church was the very first to fall a victim to the fanatical zeal of the Puritans. After being honoured for a thousand years her relics were desecrated by the destruction of her shrine. The General Assembly, decreed on December 21, 1560, that "the Kirk of Restalrig, as a monument of idolatrie, be raysit and utterlie castin downe and destroyed." An interesting discovery was made in 1907 in connection with this church, which had long been used as a Presbyterian place of worship after restoration. An octagonal building, standing near, was thought to have been a Chapter House in Catholic times ; it was filled with earth and rubbish, after having served as a burial place, and a mound of earth surmounted it on the outside on which trees had rooted. The Earl of Moray, superior of the village, offered to restore the church to its original state, and, when examined by competent authorities, the supposed Chapter House was found to be a beautiful little Gothic chapel with groined roof supported by a central pillar, similar to the building which once covered St. Margaret's well at Restalrig.

Further explorations proved that the little octagonal building had evidently been raised over the miraculous well of St. Triduana, so much scoffed at by Reformation satirists. Steps led down to the water, thus covered in, and a chapel, which must have formed an upper story above the well, is thought to have been the " Triduana's Aisle" alluded to in ancient documents. The building has now been thoroughly restored after its original form and is regarded as a valuable monument of antiquity. Thus do more enlightened ages condemn the foolish fanaticism of bygone days !

This saint was honoured in various parts of Scotland, and her name has undergone so many changes in the different districts as to be often unrecognisable. It occurs under the various forms of Traddles, Tredwell, Tradwell, Trallew, Trallen, etc.

Among these dedications are Kintradwell in Caithness and Tradlines in Forfarshire. Near the island of Papa Westray in the Orkneys is St. Tredwell s Loch, and on the east side of the loch is a small peninsula containing the ruins of a little building measuring 20 feet in length and 22 feet in breadth, known as St. Tredwell's Chapel. At Rescobie a fair used to be held on her feast-day, but in the beginning of last century it was transferred to Forfar. It was known as "St. Trodlin's Fair." Relics of this saint were honoured in Aberdeen Cathedral in Catholic ages. Devotion to St. Triduana has been revived in the modern Catholic church at Restalrig.

Source: Dom Michael Barrett, O.S.B. A Calendar of Scottish Saints (Fort Augustus, 1919), 142-145

*Some online sources for St Triduana*

An account of the excavated wellhouse of St Triduana:

Some pictures of the site today:

An article on The Legend and Shrine of St Triduana from the British Journal of Ophthalmology:

Another article on St Triduana in Caithness:

Troparion of St Keyne Tone 8
Having turned serpents to stone, thou didst give thy name to Keynsham, O
holy Keyne,/ and after thy life, resplendent with miracles,/ our Father
Cadoc ministered to thee at thy repose./ By thy prayers, O Virgin, may
we be granted great mercy.

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