Saints of the Day – Fergus

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(also known as Fergustus, Fergusianus)

Died after 721; feast formerly on November 18. An Irish bishop, possibly of Downpatrick, and surnamed “the Pict,” he went to Scotland as a missionary and preached in Caithness, Buchan (where there is a town called Saint Fergus), and Forfarshire. In Strogeth he founded three churches; in Caithness, two (presumably Wick and Halkirk). He may also have established churches at Inverugy, Banff, and Dyce.

He finally settled at Strathearn, Perthshire, where he exerted a powerful influence in the area between Aberdeen and Wick. Saint Fergus is buried at Glamis, a central location of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and where a cave and well bear his name. During the reign of James IV (1488-1513), the abbot of Scone removed the head of Fergus and built a splendid marble tomb for his body relic at Glamis. Aberdeen had an arm relic.

He may be the same as Fergustus, bishop of the Scots, who signed the Acts of the synod in Rome in 721, which condemned irregular marriages of various kinds, sorcerers, and clerics who grew their hair long.

In the Aberdeen breviary he is called Fergustian. The feast of Saint Fergus, who was highly venerated by the Scottish kings, is kept in the dioceses of Dunkeld and Aberdeen. Although the Reformers attempted to suppress his cultus, Montague states that it is still growing, especially in the area around Paisley in Renfrewshire. A new church has been dedicated to his memory and the nearby town of Ferguslie is reputed to have been named after him (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Montague).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 August 2020. Web. 2 December 2020. <>