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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

January 8

St. 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. 1 The see of Aberdeen was not then regularly established; it was first erected at Murthlac by St. Bean, in the beginning of the eleventh century, and translated thence to Aberdeen by Nectan, the fourth bishop, in the reign of king David. 2 See Hector Boetius in the lives of the bishops of Aberdeen, 3 and Spotswood, b. 2. p. 101.  1
Note 1. The Aberdeen Breviary resembles that called, of Sarum, and contains the feasts of many French saints. It was printed at Edinburgh, by Walter Chapman, in 1509. [back]
Note 2. Few authentic memoirs of the ancient Scottish church, or history, have been handed down to us, except those of certain noble families. A catalogue of the bishops of Galloway, from St. Ninianus, in 450; of the archbishops of Glasgow, from St. Kentigern; of St. Andrew’s, from the year 840; and of the bishops of the other sees, from the twelfth century; is printed at the end of an old edition of Spotswood, in 1666, and reprinted by bishop Burnet, in an appendix to his memoirs of the house of Hamilton. [back]
Note 3. De vitis episcopor. Aberd. Prælo Afrensiano, anno 1522. [back]