Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Saint Kessog's Day

Saint Kessog was an Irish missionary of the mid-sixth century active in the Lennox area and southern Perthshire. Kessog was Scotland's patron saint before Saint Andrew, and his name was used as a battle cry by the Scots. Son of the king of Cashel in Ireland, Kessog is said to have worked miracles, even as a child. He left Ireland and became a missionary bishop in Scotland. Using Monks' Island in Loch Lomond as his headquarters, he evangelized the surrounding area until he was martyred, supposedly at Bandry, where a heap of stones was known as St Kessog's Cairn. Kessog was killed in 520 AD.

The St McKessog's church in Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond is named after Kessog and in the church resides his effigy. Kessog is claimed to have brought Christianity to the area around Luss in 510AD and 1500 years of continuous Christian presence in the area will be celebrated in 2010AD.

Those of us who have Celtic or Scots' ancestry should regard this as a great day. Indeed, as the patron saint of Scotland before Rome saw that he was replaced by St Andrew as evidence of the native church's submission to Rome. It should be especially important to American Anglicans in that we received the apostolic succession from the Catholic remnant of the ancient Church of Scotland.

7 comments:

Rappahannock Rev said...

Interesting! I confess that I've never before heard of St. Kessog -- and have never run across any "St. Kessog's" parish....

Canon Tallis said...

And just why would that be? I think a large part would be our refusal to look to the actual facts of the spread of the faith in the British Isles. We like the Roman myth almost as much as the true papists do. But look at the dates. Kessog died in 520 but Augustine only made it to Kent in 597. And what did he find? A stone church dedicated to St Martin of Tours already in use by the native church. If you haven't read Bede's fine history of the English Church, do so. It is very illuminating if you but seriously reflect on what he is telling you.

Rappahannock Rev said...

It has long been my opinion that, as new Anglican parishes come into being, they should be designedly placed under the patronage of the neglected native saints of the British Isles. Why not a St. Swithun’s? A St. Deiniol’s? A St. Fergus’s

Canon Tallis said...

In that idea I could not more strongly agree. For my own use I have brought together the black letter calendars of the 1662 and 1928 English books, the 1929 book of the Church of Scotland and that of the Church in Wales. I intend to publish bits of their lives and the collects and other parts from those books which could be used to celebrate their feaasts. When it is finished, I think I will make copies for the use of those priests and parishes who would like to celebrate our saints and heritage.

Anonymous said...

Edmund and MacKessog -- memory eternal!

gallery802 said...

Really such a nice blog........

Kitchen Sinks said...

Yeah...good post please update with some more information regarding saint Kessog..thanks