Ninian or Nynian, St

Ninian Or Nynian, St., called in the Roman Martyr. "NINANUS," is the apostle who introduced Christianity among the Southern Picts, SEE SCOTLAND, and flourished in the latter half of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century. He was a Briton, and of noble birth; but had been educated at Rome, and there ordained a bishop. The exact time of his preaching in Scotland is unknown. His labors appear to have commenced in Cumbria, and to have extended over the greater part of the district as far north as the Grampian Hills, his see being fixed at Candida Casa, or Whithorn, in the modern Wigtonshire. His death is placed by the Bollandists in 432; his festival is September 16. Whether Christianity had been introduced among the Picts before the time of Ninian has been a subject of controversy; but although the details of the legendary account are uncertain, it seems, beyond all question, that some Christians were to be found, at least among the Southern Picts, in what is now known as the Lowlands of Scotland, from the end of the 2d century. Nevertheless, either their number was originally very small, or the rising Church had fallen away under adverse circumstances; and it is certain that when Ninian appeared among them the Picts were in the main a pagan people. Bede (Hist. Eccl. 3:4), speaking of the conversion of the Northern Picts, mentions a tradition to the effect that the Southern Picts had been converted by the preaching of bishop Nynian, a Briton, who had been educated at Rome. Yet Bede further states that the Picts only joined the Romish Church in the 8th century, and that the British Christians of the 7th century were in no way connected with Rome. Moreover the name of the church he is said to have founded, that of St. Martin, does not seem to denote in any way a Romish origin. See Inett, Hist. Eng. Ch. vol. i, pt. i, ch. ii, n. 10; 10:11; Stanley, Lect. on Hist. of Ch. of Scotland, p. 28; Soames, Hist. Anglo-Saxon Ch. p. 72.

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