Posted by: anna | May 4, 2011

St Maelrubha of Applecross

icon from WSIP
Today (21 April) in the calendar of early British saints, we commemorate St Maelrubha of Applecross (Apurcrossan) and Knapdale. From Baring-Gould:
S. MAELRUBHA, MK. M. (a.d. 722.)
[Irish Martyrologies on April 21 ; Scottish on Aug. 27. Authorities : —  Aberdeen Breviary, &c., see “S. Maelrubha, his History and Churches,” by W. Reeves, D.D. Edinb. 1861, in Proceed. Soc. Antiq. Scot., iii. p. 258. For a curious account of heathen sacrifices offered to this saint, and of the feelings of the clergy on the subject in the 17th cent., see Dr. Mitchell’s paper, ‘ ‘ On Various Superstitions in the North-west Highlands and Islands,” ibid., iv. p. 251.]
S. Maelrubha was bom in 642, of an ancient Irish royal family ; he was descended on his father’s side in a direct line from Niall of the Nine Hostages, and at an early age he became a member of the monastic community of S. Comgal, his mother’s relative, at Banchor in Ireland.
In A.D. 671, when he was aged twenty-nine, he went to Alba, and after two years he founded Apurcrossan in Mearns, where he resided for fifty-one years. He also founded a church on an island in Loch-maree, which takes its name from him. According to Irish accounts he died a natural death, at the age of eighty, at Apurcrossan, but the Scottish accounts are more likely to be correct, which say that he was killed by the Northmen. He lay for three days wounded before he expired, and then a wooden church was built over the spot, which afterwards was made the parochial church, and is now called Urquard. His body was translated to his monastery at Apurcrossan.
The name of this saint, made up of consonants apt to be liquefied, occurs in many transmutations, such as Mulruby, Mulrew, Melriga, Marow, Murruy, Arrow, Errew, Olron, Ro, Rufus, and, taking in his title, Summaruff, Samarevis, and Summereve.

about the locality of Knapdale/Applecross
more local history from Applecross
Holy Father Maelrubha, pray to God for us.

5 years ago



  1. Applecross – that's where my MacRaes are from!

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