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

February 14

St. 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 St. Palladius, and St. 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 St. 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 St. Palladius and of St. Kentigern. The cathedral of Orkney was dedicated under the invocation of St. Magnus, king of Norway. On St. Conran, see Bishop Lesley, Hist. Scot. l. 4. Wion. in addit. c. 3. Ligni Vitæ. King, in Calend.  1