Saint Buite, Irish Bishop

Patron Saint of Inverarity Kirk

Picture Of A Part Of A Stained Glass Window Showing Saint Buite The picture, left, is of a stained glass window depicting St. Buite praying at the dead King Nechtan's bedside and can be seen at the Lowson Memorial Church, Jamieson Road, Forfar.

Saint Buite, Buite mac Bronaig, also known as Saint Boethius or Saint Boyce, was an Irish monk whose lineage is traced to a king of Munster.

He came to Pictland, in 480AD while on his way back to Monasterboice (the Irish name is Mainstir Bhuite, Buite's monastery) from Rome, visiting Nechtan, King of the Picts at a place near what was then, Dun Nechtain, now known as Dunnichen.

He arrived only to be told that the king had just died. Buite prayed by the king's bed and he was restored to life.

Such was Nechtan's gratitude that he gave Buite the place in which the miracle occurred, a place near Dunnichen renamed Caer Buide, and now known as Kirkbuddo. Buite established a monastic cell or church at Kirkbuddo.

King Nechtan Morbet reigned from about 457 to 481. Buite's name is found in Kirkbuddo, some three miles south of Dunnichen, and also in the stream named the Kerbet which runs from the Sidlaws, past Kinnettles Church.

Dunnichen Letham Kirkden Church, near Forfar, Angus, has been "twinned" with Monasterboice which was founded in the 6th century by St. Buite, a follower of St. Patrick.

He received a grant after curing the daughter of the King of Dalriada using it to set up the monastery described, in 964 as the "Sage of Learning of all Leinster" and is one of the most famous religious sites in Ireland.

The ruins of the medieval monastery are within a graveyard north of Drogheda, County Louth in Ireland. The site includes a 95 feet high round tower used by monks for refuge from the marauding Viking hoards which ransacked many of the wealthy Irish monasteries during the 10th and 11th centuries.

Vikings appear to have occupied it for a time until they were attacked by Domhnall, King of Tara, in 968.

One of its most learned monks, Flann, died in 1056 and the tower was burned in 1097 while it contained the monastic library and other treasures. The monastery remained in existence up until 1122.

There are also two small ruined 9th and 13th century churches on the site within the graveyard.

Greatest attractions, however, are two of the most impressive and best preserved 10th century High Crosses in Ireland. High Crosses are distinctive ringed crosses that have become a symbol of Celtic Christianity.

St. Buite is said, while on his death-bed, to have foretold the birth of "a child illustrious before God and men." Columba was of royal blood. Columba's father, Phelim, was of the Ui Neill clan and descended from the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages, while his mother Eithne was descended from a king of Leinster.

St. Buite mac Bronaigh (Bronaig), bishop of Mainster, died on the 7th of December, 521AD, pre-dating St. Fergus of Glamis fame by over 200 years. His feast day is listed as the 7th of December.

Let Buite, the virtuous judge of fame,
come each day to my aid,
The fair hand with the glories of clean deeds,
the good son of Bronach, son of Bolar.

Monks continued his work and the monastery became renowned as a centre for learning in the 9th and 10th centuries. The Boyne River and Valley were also named after St. Buite.

Clearly, St. Buite would have passed through other parts of modern Scotland and, perhaps the UK. He is commemorated in Cumbria along with other places mentioned, as well as being linked with the now ruined abbey at Coupar Angus. He would have travelled along Strathmore preaching in many places as he went.





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