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Saint Curetán
Born7th century
Died8th century
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church

Saint Curetán (Latin: Curitanus, Kiritinus, or Boniface) was a Scoto-Pictish bishop and saint, (fl. between 690 and 710). He is listed as one of the witnesses in the Cáin Adomnáin, where he is called "Curetan epscop". In the Martyrology of Tallaght he is called "of Ross Mand Bairend", and in the Martyrology of O'Gorman he is styled "bishop and abbot of Ross maic Bairend".[1] His bishopric is usually held to have been Ross, the seat of which was at the settlement in the Black Isle called Ros-Maircnidh or Rosemarkie, named after the adjacent promontory

A hagiography of Curetán is found in the sixteenth century manuscript known as the Aberdeen Breviary, where his vita occurs under the name "Boniface".[2] In this hagiography, his Latin name is accompanied by a story of his Hebrew origins, a descendant of the sister of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew, who was first ordained as a priest by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, before travelling to Rome and becoming Pope, later resigning and moving to Pictland. The story is similar to that in the Life of St. Serf, and it has been conjectured that both were the product of the Romanizing faction in the Easter Controversy.[3]

The Breviary also connects Curetán with King Nechtan mac Der-Ilei, also a guarantor of the Cáin Adomnáin. Nechtan consulted Abbot Ceolfrith of Monkwearmouth–Jarrow Abbey regarding the dating of Easter and finding the abbot persuasive adopted the Roman practice. Bede stated that Nechtan placed the churches of the Picts under the protection of St. Peter. Curetán-Boniface is also associated with the churches of Restenneth and Invergowrie, churches which, like Rosemarkie, both have dedications to Saint Peter.[2]

There are place-name commemorations to Saint Curetán along Glen Urquhart, Strathglass, Glen Glass, Loch Ness and the Cromarty Firth.[4] There are also dedications to St Peter and Boniface on Orkney. Barbara Yorke suggests that Curetán was an influential figure in Pictland, and played a significant role role, after the adoption of the "Roman Easter" and tonsure, to help bring the Pictish church into closer contact with other areas of the western church.[5]


His liturgical celebration is 14 March.

There is a clootie well near the village of Munlochy on Black Isle is dedicated to Saint Curetán, whose intercession is believed effective in curing sick children.[6]

The Scottish Episcopal parish in Ardgay is named in honor of St.Curetán.[7]


  1. ^ Watson (2004 [1926]), p. 315.
  2. ^ a b Williams et al. (1991), p. 94.
  3. ^ Williams et al. (1991), p. 95.
  4. ^ Smyth, Alfred (1984). Warlords and Holy Men. Edinburgh. pp. 127–128.
  5. ^ Yorke, Barbara (2014). The Conversion of Britain: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain, 600-800. Routledge. p. 154. ISBN 9781317868316.
  6. ^ Ross, Calum. "Offerings at Clootie Well". Smithsonian.
  7. ^ Scottish Episcopal Church - Dornach, Tain, and Lairg


  • Anderson, Alan Orr, Early Sources of Scottish History: AD 500–1286, 2 Vols, (Edinburgh, 1922), Vol. I.
  • Watson, W.J., The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland, (Edinburgh, 1926) reprinted, with an Introduction, full Watson bibliography and corrigenda by Simon Taylor (Edinburgh, 2004), pp. 315, 441, 496
  • Williams, Anne; Smyth, Alfred P.; Kirby, D.P. (eds.) (1991). "Curetan". A Biographical Dictionary of Dark Age Britain. London. pp. 94–95.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)