Calendar of Scottish Saints – Saint Modenna, or Medana, Virgin

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A.D. 518. 6 July. This saint was an Irish virgin, who received the monastic habit from Saint Patrick himself, and was a dear friend of Saint Bridget. She took up her abode in Scotland, where she founded many monasteries for women. Some of these foundations were in Strathclyde, but the greatest of them was in Galloway, at the place now styled Kirkmaiden (formerly Kirkmedan), where Saint Medan’s Well and Cave may still be seen.

Saint Modenna is said to have lived to the age of 130 years and to have died at Longforgan, near Dundee, after having made during the course of her long life three pilgrimages to Rome, barefoot and clad in hair-cloth.

Edinburgh probably takes its name from Medana. Her sanctuary, marking, it was said, one of her monastic foundations, and known as “Saint Edana’s,” was a place of pilgrimage long before the time of King Edwin who was once supposed to have given the city its designation. The discovery of the foundations of a much more ancient building under Saint Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh Castle, in 1918, seems to corroborate the statement in an ancient Latin life of this Saint of the erection by her of a church on the top of Edinburgh Rock, while it strengthens the tradition of the origin of the name, Edana’s Burgh. Maiden Castle is really Medan’s (or Medana’s) Castle. A new Catholic church, situated in Saint Meddan’s Street, Troon, was erected in 1911 and dedicated to this saint in conjunction with Our Lady.

MLA Citation

  • Father Michael Barrett, OSB. “Saint Modenna, or Medana, Virgin”. The Calendar of Scottish Saints, 1919. CatholicSaints.Info. 9 June 2014. Web. 17 October 2017. <>