Saint Machar

(St Machar, St Mochumma, St Mochuemna, St Macharius)

6th C. - ?

Irish missionary, credited with founding Aberdeen. Machar (Mochumma, Mochuemna or Macharius) was a son of Fiachna, a Prince of Ulster in Ireland, who was baptised as a young man by St. Colman. He was one of the followers of St. Columba who came with him to Scotland in 561 AD and settled on Iona. At first Machar proselytised on Mull and was then sent to convert the Picts in the East of Scotland, following in the footsteps of St. Ninian's followers, including St. Ternan. It is suggested that Columba instructed Machar to found a church at a place where a river formed the shape of a crosier. Said to have been based near Aboyne on the River Dee, he was to find a suitable site in 580 AD next to the River Don in Old Aberdeen, which is now the site of St. Machar's Cathedral.

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