St Mun's, Ballachulish

St Mun's Church serves the villages of Glencoe, Ballachulish, North Ballachulish, Onich, Kentallan, Duror and Appin - so it is very spread out! Despite the distance people have to travel we have a great sense of community and close friendship.

The church was built in 1836, and is seemingly unchanged today, apart from the addition of the later Priests House to the side which is still not shown on the 1898 map. The original priests house is the rear part of the main church building but that is now only used for storage.

We love to see visitors and a warm welcome awaits!

About St Mun

St Mun, abbot, A.D. 635

Other names: Mund or Munda or Fintan-Munnu

He was born in Ireland, and was a contemporary of St. Columba. He bears the character of being the most austere of all the Irish saints, and suffered grievously from bodily infirmities with the greatest resignation. Crossing over to Scotland, he dwelt for a time upon an Island of Loch Leven, (Ballachulish) still called after him by the title of Eileanmunde.

A more important foundation was afterwards made by this saint at Kilmun, north of the Firth of Clyde, in Argyllshire (Dunoon). An old burial ground still marks the site of the monastery founded by St. Mun; the hills and wooded glens which surround the spot make a scene of striking beauty. A small bay in the vicinity is called "Holy Loch. " It is a matter of dispute whether the title came from its proximity to St. Mun's foundation or from a shipload of earth from the Holy Land, destined to form part of the foundation of a church in Glasgow, and reputed to have been sunk in a storm near that spot.

It is said that St. Mun made application to Baithen, St. Columba's successor at Iona, to be received as a monk of that monastery, but that Baithen advised the saint to return to Ireland and found a monastery there. The holy abbot gave this advice on account of a prophecy of St. Columba, who had foreseen St. Mun's desire, and had declared that God willed that saint to become abbot over others and not the disciple of Baithen.

It was owing to this advice that St. Mun returned to his native land and founded TeachMun (Tagmon) in Wexford, which became famous under his rule.

Mediaeval documents mention the saints pastoral staff as preserved in Argyllshire; its hereditary custodian held a small croft at Kilmun; it may have been in honour of this saint that a fair was held at that place for eight days during April as alluded to in records of 1490. No trace of the above relic now remains. In Ireland this saint is also known as St. Fintan-Munnu; but Mundus or Mund/Mun is the title which appears in Scottish records.

Feast Day: October 21st.

(Taken from the "Calendar of Scottish Saints " by Dom Michael Barrett, O.S.B, Fort Augustus Abbey 1919)

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