Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Vimin, or Vivian, Bishop and Confessor, in Scotland


By the fervent practices of the most perfect monastic discipline in one of the famous abbeys in Fifeshire, he qualified himself to become, by word and example, a guide and director to many chosen souls in the paths of evangelical perfection. This appeared in the fruits of his zealous preaching and labours, when he was raised to the abbatial, and soon after to the episcopal dignity; for at that time, very few bishoprics being erected in Scotland, it was customary for learned and holy abbots of great monasteries to be often consecrated bishops, and to be attended by their monks in performing their functions; as venerable Bede informs us, speaking of Saint Aidan. Saint Vimin, to shun the danger of vain glory, to which the reputation of many miracles which he had wrought exposed him, removed to a more solitary place, and there founded the abbey of Holywood, called in Latin Sacrum-boscum, in succeeding ages famous for many learned men; particularly the great mathematician, John à Sacro-bosco, in the thirteenth century. King places the death of Saint Vimin in 615, but brings no proofs for dating it so high. The noble and very ancient family of Wemse, in Fifeshire, is said in Scotland to be of the same lineage with this saint. The ancient prayer in the Aberdeen Breviary on his festival, and other monuments, bear evidence to the great devotion of the ancient Scottish church to his memory. See Breviarium Aberdonense et Chronicon Skonense.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Vimin, or Vivian, Bishop and Confessor, in Scotland”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 20 January 2013. Web. 17 January 2022. <>