Thursday, 15 December 2011

St Drostan's Day


A page from the Book of Deer which is a source for the life of St Drostan .

Drostan was a Scottish  (naturally!) abbot who ministered in the misty North about A.D. 600. All we know about him comes from Good (because he founded my alma mater Aberdeen University) Bishop Elphinstone's Aberdeen Breviary and the "Book of Deer", a ninth-century MSS. now in Cambridge University Library  (nicked from us by the Engerlish or their more-French-than-anything-else allies in the Scottish nobility during the Wars of Independence and gifted to Cantab by the Wee Wee German Lairdie aka George I) but the two accounts don't entirely agree. He had links to the royal family of the Scoti - who were Irish, not Scots! When he showed signs of a religious vocation he was handed over to St. Columba, who trained him and professed him as a monk. He went with Columba to Aberdour in Buchan (the real Aberdour is, of course in Fife!) some 45 miles from Aberdeen. The Pictish ruler of the area gave them the site of Deer, fourteen miles away where they established a monastery, and when Columba returned to Iona he left St. Drostan there as abbot of the new monastery. On the death of the Abbot of Holywood a few years later, Drostan was chosen to succeed him. Afterwards, feeling called to a life of greater seclusion, he resigned the abbacy, headed north, and became a hermit at Glenesk. Here his holiness attracted the poor and needy, and many miracles are ascribed to him, including the restoration of sight to a priest named Symon. After his death his relics were transferred to Aberdour and preserved there in a stone coffin.  The monastery of Old Deer, which had fallen into decay, was rebuilt for Cistercian monks in 1213 and continued until the Reformation.

Well, it's either remember him or celebrate the Emperor Nero's birthday so...
take yer pick!

No comments:

Post a Comment