Today we remember Ninian, British bishop and apostle in Whithorn and Galloway in the 5th century. The facts of his life are difficult to ascertain due to the many legends which arose after his death. He is said to have been born in Roman Britain and was educated in Rome. He visited southern Gaul where he was influenced by the work of Saint Martin of Tours. He returned home to Britain with a burning desire to take the Gospel north of Hadrian’s Wall into the pagan land of the Picts. In order to do so Ninian had to overcome the cultural prejudice which classified the people of southern Scotland as being unworthy of receiving the Gospel. At Whithorn he established a monastery and built a stone church which he painted white and dedicated in honour of his friend St. Martin. By the time Ninian died on this day in 430 AD he had been blessed by God with significant success in bringing many of the fierce Picts into Christ’s fold.
We give thanks to God for Ninian’s willingness to live and witness to God’s love for all people. May we follow his example and challenge the prejudices which we encounter day by day.
Bible Reading: Matthew 28: 16-20, Romans 10: 14-17