Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Conran, Bishop of Orkney, Confessor


The Isles of Orkney are twenty-six in number, besides the lesser, called Holmes, which are uninhabited, and serve only for pasture. The faith was planted here by Saint Palladius, and Saint Sylvester, one of his fellow-labourers, who was appointed by him the first pastor of this church, and was honoured in it on the 5th of February. In these islands formerly stood a great number of holy monasteries, the chief of which was Kirkwall. This place was the bishop’s residence, and is at this day the only remarkable town in these islands. It is situated in the largest of them, which is thirty miles long, called anciently Pomonia, now Mainland. This church is much indebted to Saint Conran, who was bishop here in the seventh century, and whose name, for the austerity of his life, zeal, and eminent sanctity, was no less famous in those parts, so long as the Catholic religion flourished there, than those of Saint Palladius and of Saint Kentigern. The cathedral of Orkney was dedicated under the invocation of Saint Magnus, king of Norway.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Conran, Bishop of Orkney, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 February 2013. Web. 26 January 2022. <>