Cathan

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For the place in the U.S. state of Washington, see Cathan, Washington.

Saint Cathan, also known as Catan, Cattan, etc., was a 6th-century Irish monk revered as a saint in parts of the Scottish Hebrides. He appears in the Aberdeen Breviary, Walter Bower's Scotichronicon, and the Acta Sanctorum, and a number of placenames in western Scotland are associated with him.[1][2] He is said to have been one of the first Irish missionaries to come to the Isle of Bute, then part of the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata. Very little is known of him; he is generally only mentioned in connection with his more famous nephew Saint Blane, who was born on Bute and later proselytized among the Picts. Both saints were strongly associated with Bute and with Kingarth monastery, which became the center of their cults.[3][4]

A number of churches were dedicated to Cathan across Scotland's western islands. Tobar Chattan, or Cathan's Well, at Little Kilchattan on Bute may represent the site of Catan's original church.[3] Other churches, now in ruins, include St Cathan's Chapel on Colonsay, Kilchattan Chapel on Gigha, and Kilchattan Church on Luing.[5][6][7] The Luing church served the historical Kilchattan parish; the modern Kilchattan Church was built at Achafolla in 1936.[8] Cathan is said to have lived for a time at the monastery at Stornoway on the isle of Lewis, and his relics are said to have been housed at a chapel founded by Clan MacLeod on the same island.[9] Cathan's name survives in the various toponyms in the area containing the element Chattan (where the first consonant is lenited), such as Ardchattan ("Cathan's Heights") and the many places called Kilchattan ("Church of Cathan"). Examples include the names of the hill of Suidhe Chattan and of the village of Kilchattan Bay, both on Bute.[3] His name is also connected to Clan Chattan, a unique confederation of Scottish clans.[9] His feast day is May 17.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Innes, p. 210.
  2. ^ Butler, p. 239.
  3. ^ a b c Mackinlay, p. 104.
  4. ^ Innes, pp. 210–211
  5. ^ Mackinlay, pp. 104–105.
  6. ^ "Colonsay, Kilchattan, Old Parish Church And Well". CANMORE. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Kilchattan Chapel". CANMORE. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Luing, Kilchattan Church". CANMORE. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Mackinlay, p. 105.
  10. ^ Orthodox England. Cathan (Catan, Chattan, Cadan) May 17. Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome.

References[edit]