Fillan, St

Fillan, ST.

"Two Scoto-Irish saints of the name of Fillan appear in the Church calendars, and have left their mark on the topography of Scotland and Ireland.

(1.) ST. FILLAN, or Faoaan, surnamed the Leper, had his yearly festival on the 20th of June. His chief church in Scotlaned was at the east end of Loch Enne, in Perthshire, where St. Fillan's Well was long believed to have supernatural powers of healing. A seat in the rock of Dunfillan still keeps thee s-me of 'St. Fillan's Chair;' and two cavities beside it are said to have been hollowed by St. Fillan's knees in prayer. His Irish church is at Ballyheyland (anciently called Killhealan or Kill Feelain), in the barony of Cullenagb, in Queen's County.

(2.) ST. FILLAN, the abbot, the Son of St. Kentigerna of Inchscaileoch, in Loch Lomond, lived in the 8th century, and had his yearly festival on the 7th or 9th of January. His church in Ireland was at Cluain Maosenaain Fartullacb, in the county of Westumeath. His chief church in Scotland was is Perthshire, in the upper part of Glesndoeheart, which takes from him the name of Strathfillan. Here a well-endowed priory, dedicated in his honor, was repaired or rebuilt in the beginning of the 14th century. King Robert Bruce made a grant of money to the work, in gratitude, probably, for the miraculous encouragement which be was said to heave received on the eve of Bannockburn from a relic of the saint-one of his arm bones enclosed in a silver case. Another relic of St. Fillan's the silver head of his crosier or pastoral staff has been preserved to our time. It is called the 'Coygerach' or 'Quigrich,' and appears in record as early same year 1428, when it was in the hereditary keeping one family named Jore or Dewsar, who were believed to leave been its keepers from the time of king Robert Bruce. They bad half a boll of meal yearly from every parishioner of Glendochart who held a merk land, and smaller quantities from smaller tenants; and they were bound, in return, to follow the stolen cattle of -the parishioners wherever their traces could be found within the realm of Scotland. The Quigrich, besides its virtues in the detection of theft, was venerated-also for its miraculous powers of healing. In 1487, the right of keeping it was confirmed to Malice Doire or Dewar by king James III in a charter, which was presented for registration among the public records of Scotland so lately as the year 1734. Sixty years later, the Quigrich still commanded reverence; but its healing virtues were now only tried on cattle, and its once opulent keepers had fallen to the rank of farm-laborers. It was publicly exhibited in Edinburgh in the year 1818, before being carried to Canada, where it now is, in the hands of a descendant of its old custodians, a farmer named Alexander Dewar. He puts such a value on the relic that he has hitherto refused to part with it for less than £400 sterling, or 1000 acres of Canadian land. It has been recently figured and described by Dr. Daniel Wilson in a paper in the Canadian Journal, No. 24:reprinted in a pamphlet, with the title of The Quigrich, or Crosier of St. Fillan (Toronto, 1859); and in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 233, plate xxvi (Edinb. 1861). A linn in the river Fillan or Dochart, in Strathfillan, was long believed to work wonderful cures on insane persons, who were immersed, in the stream at sunset, and left bound hand and foot till sunrise in the ruins of the neighboring church of St. Fillan. A hand-bell, which bore the name of St. Fillan, was also believed to work miracles."

 
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