Calendar of Scottish Saints – Saint Kessog or Mackessog, Bishop and Martyr, A.D. 560

Article

10 March. He was a native of Ireland, but devoted himself to missionary labours in Scotland, in the province of Lennox. He used as his retreat Innis a’ Mhanaich (Monk’s Island) in Loch Lomond. Tradition says that he suffered martyrdom near Luss, in Dumbartonshire. Another version is that being martyred in a foreign country, and his body being conveyed to Scotland for burial, the herbs with which it was surrounded took root and grew where he was laid to rest; hence the name Luss (herbs) was given to the spot, and was afterwards extended to the parish. The place of his burial is called “Carnmacheasaig.” The church of Luss had the privilege of sanctuary, which extended for three miles round it, so that no one could be molested within that boundary for any cause; this was granted by King Robert Bruce in 1313. The church of Auchterarder, Perthshire, was dedicated to this saint, and he was also venerated at Callander; at both places, as also at Comrie, Perthshire, fairs were held annually on his feast-day. Near Callander is a conical mound bearing his name. The bell of the saint was preserved up to the seventeenth century. At Inverness is “Kessog Ferry.” The saint’s name was often used by the Scots as a battle-cry, and he is sometimes represented as the patron of soldiers, wearing a kind of military dress.

MLA Citation

  • Father Michael Barrett, OSB. “Saint Kessog or Mackessog, Bishop and Martyr, A.D. 560”. The Calendar of Scottish Saints, 1919. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 February 2014. Web. 21 November 2018. <>