Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Nathalan, Bishop of Aberdeen, Confessor


He possessed a large estate, which he distributed among the poor: and seeing that agriculture is an employment best suiting a life of contemplation, he made this an exercise of penance, joining with the same, assiduous prayer. He was a proficient in profane and sacred learning, and being made bishop, (to which dignity he was raised by the pope, in a journey of devotion which he made to Rome,) he continued to employ his revenues in charities as before, living himself in great austerity by the labour of his hands, and at the same time preaching the gospel to the people. By his means Scotland was preserved from the Pelagian heresy. He was one of the apostles of that country, and died in 452. He resided at Tullicht, now in the diocess of Aberdeen, and built the churches of Tullicht Bothelim, and of the Hill; in the former of these he was buried, and it long continued to be famous for miracles wrought by his relics, which were preserved there till the change of religion. See King, the Chronicles of Dumferling, and the lessons of the Aberdeen Breviary on this day. The see of Aberdeen was not then regularly established; it was first erected at Murthlac by Saint Bean, in the beginning of the eleventh century, and translated thence to Aberdeen by Nectan, the fourth bishop, in the reign of king David.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Nathalan, Bishop of Aberdeen, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 January 2013. Web. 1 December 2020. <>