Concordia Theological Monthly

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st. ninian, missionary, columba, missionaries, scotland, ireland, celts, pictland, rome, candida, celtic, cornwall, st. patrick

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


As Thomas Maclaughlin made clear almost a century ago the word "saint" in the early Gaelic language meant "missionary" and nothing more. The Celts were not in communion with Rome, and canonization was then unknown. St. Ninian, therefore, is not a man who has been canonized, but the Celts gave him that title to denote the fact that he was a missionary. Few men have been treated so shabbily by historians. Ninian was the great evangelical pioneer in the North of Europe, and certainly he was as great a man as St. Columba or St. Patrick; yet our leading reference books give columns to Columba or St. Patrick, while Ninian rates but a few lines, and these are garbled beyond recognition.


History of Christianity

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars