Thursday, August 22, 2013


St. Modan

Feast Day: February 4
Died: 6th century

Abbot and son of an Irish chieftain. He labored in Scotland, preaching at Stirling and Falkirk, until elected against his will as abbot of a monastery. Eventually, he resigned and became a hermit, dying near Dumbarton.

 About 522, Modan, son of an Irish chieftain, professed himself at Dryburgh Abbey near Mailros, Scotland. Being persuaded that a Christian grows in holiness only by spending time with God, he gave six or seven hours daily to prayer and meditation and seasoned all his other activities with more prayer. A spirit of prayer is founded in the purity of the affections, the fruit of self-denial, humility, and obedience. Therefore, Modan
practiced austerity to crucify his flesh and senses.

He practiced humility by subjecting his will so swiftly and cheerfully to that of his superiors that they unanimously declared they never saw any one so perfectly divested of all self-will as was Modan.  He became abbot of Dryburgh and proved the maxim that no man can govern others well unless his masters the art of obedience himself. He was inflexible in maintaining discipline, but did so with winning sweetness and charity. His prudence in providing instruction or reproof gave pleasure, gained hearts, inspired love, and communicated the spirit of every duty.

 He also preached the faith at Stirling and other places near Forth, especially, Falkirk, but frequently interrupted his apostolic employments to retire among the craggy mountains of Dumbarton, where he usually spent 30-40 days at once in contemplation. He died at Alcluid (later called Dunbritton, now Dumbarton) where he is venerated.