Saint Donevaldus and the Nine Maidens

and the Nine Maidens

Picture Of A Part Of A Stained Glass Window Showing The Nine Maidens A Celtic saint called Donevaldus or Donevald, who was a contemporary of St. Fergus Cruithneach of Glamis, lived in or near Glen Ogilvy, one of the glens to the north of the Sidlaws between Glamis and Dundee.

Not very much is known about him, no strong evidence exists of where he came from or where he had been.

Donevald was reputed to have nine daughters, although history credits him with only seven.

The names of three of his daughters have been noted in Strathmore and as far north as Aberdeen.

Fincana was abbreviated to become St. Fink near Blairgowrie, Fyndocha in Findo Gask near Perth and Mazota was shortened to St. Maik, and to a well at Drumoak, Aberdeen.

They were said to be devout Christians and lived a very strict and austere life, living on barley bread and water. The maidens worked hard at tilling the soil all the while in constant prayer and singing praises to God.

After their father died, they went to Abernethy on the River Earn, near Perth. The King of the Picts, possibly Oengus (Angus), Muredach (Mordacus) or Sealbhach (Solvathius) granted them a home, a chapel and land near to the Celtic monastery that had links with St. Bridget.

When the maidens died, they were buried where an oak tree marked their graves.

Local girls used to go on pilgrimage to make their devotions at this tree, until the Glamis Kirk Session issued an ordinance, a decree, in the seventeenth century that was supposed to stop the practice.

Their feast day used to be celebrated on the 15th of June.

The legend of "The Nine Maidens" appears in many districts of Scotland and in many other countries, many cultures, and spanning thousands of years.

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