Welcome to the Orthodox Stitcher! Here you will find original, handcrafted cross stitch designs created with the Orthodox Christian in mind. The Orthodox Stitcher is an extension of Fearn Abbey Needleworks, where you will find more original cross stitch designs coming to you from the beautiful Northern Highlands of Scotland. My hope for The Orthodox Stitcher is that this will be a unique and blessed place for Orthodox Christians ~ and indeed, anyone who feels called to visit and stay awhile ~ to develop their creative side, and to honor God. Glory to God for all things!


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Monday, April 13, 2015

St Duthac

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

St Duthac is the patron saint of Tain, Highlands, Scotland. Thus, our local saint. There is not a lot of information about him, nor are there any images of any sort. It is known that he was a Bishop of Ross. This is my interpretation, and I just finished stitching this design. It is the 5th in my series of Saints. The others are St Columba, St Margaret of Scotland, St Thomas the Apostle, and St Patrick. I have lots more on the drawing board! I love the saints :: best friends helping those of us here still on the journey.

St Duthac has been claimed by both the Scottish and the Irish. Some say he was born in Ireland; some say he was born in Scotland. The Aberdeen Breviary says Scotland. And that the ruined chapel which now stands in the middle of the graveyard in Tain was built upon his place of birth. Since I live here, I'm going with that.

There are a few stories about him, miracles attributed to him, and during the late Middle Ages, his shrine became a major pilgrimage site in Scotland. Of course, the Reformation did away with his relics, so who knows.  That is the story of most of what happened to the shrines and holy places of pre-Reformation Scotland:  John Knox and his ilk came in and vandalized everything. It is so sad. 

Anyway, I feel a strong affinity for St Duthac, and he is a patron saint in our home, as well. I often try to imagine what on earth it was like here when he lived here. It is hard to visualize. Scotland has been deforested many times over. The coastlines have changed. We think the water from the Moray Firth / North Sea must have come much closer to his chapel than what it is now. Farming has changed the landscape drastically. What we do know is that this little region around Tain was a sort of triangle of ecclesiastical places of import, and was also a sanctuary, marked out by four crosses. Unfortunately, heathen and pagan people of this area did not respect that, which is how Robert the Bruce's wife was captured and given over to the hands of the English. Sigh. 

So, this is my little contribution to the ecclesiastical, pre-Reformation, pre-denomination history of Scotland:  my representation of the local saint, who I feel sure would be sad at the fact that although his memory exists in place names, street names, and pub names, does not indicate the presence of living Christianity in Northern Scotland. I am sure this place is as spiritually dark, if not darker, as when St Duthac lived here. Ah well. We love him here in our little Orthodox home!

If you would like to bring St Duthac home to your house, the chart will shortly be available for sale in my Etsy shop!

St Duthac, pray for us!

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