January 29th - St. Voloc (Walloch) of Scotland, Bishop
- From: "Traudel" <richarra@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:41:29 -0600
January 29th - St. Voloc (Walloch) of Scotland, Bishop
Died c. 724. Saint Voloc (Walloch) was an Irish missionary bishop who
in Scotland (Benedictines).
The higher reaches of the Don valley have been inhabited since Bronze Age
as far west as Corgarff. Lower down, an offshoot of the Don, the waters of
Buchat, have created a fine and fertile glen to the north of the ancient
mountain of Strathdon-Ben Newe.
Saint Walloch was a celtic missionary whose principal church was at
amongst the pictish settlements of what became known as Cro-mar. Far to the
north of Glenbuchat we see a solitary glimpse of the presence of the Celtic
church at Kilvalauche, somewhere in the forest of Badeneoin (NJ 333190),
is mentioned in a charter of 1507.(1) This name can hardly mean anything
than the church of St. Walloch. From the same document we learn that
Culbalauche, St. Walloch's retreat, was in the neighbourhood. Prior to 1473
Chapel of Glenbuchat was a dependancy of Logie-Mar, the link with St.
thus being given the strongest argument conceivable in its favour.
confirmation seems to be obtained from a statement (2) that St. Walloch, in
addition to his other church foundations, at Dunmeth in Glass and at
had a church site in Strathdon.
We have no trustworthy guidance as to the date of St. Walloch's labours. The
Aberdeen Breviary places him in the fifth century, while Camerarius fixes
death in the year 733. In the Breviary we are given an interesting account
St. Walloch's mode of life, coupled with a highly unflattering picture of
folk he strove to convert:
"He preferred a poor little house, woven together of reeds and wattles, to a
royal palace. In this he led a life of poverty and humility, on all sides
shunning the dignities of the world, that he might achieve to himself a
reward in heaven. But the race whom he preferred to convert to the faith of
Christ, and whom actually by his preaching and exhortation he did convert,
one would hesitate to describe as fierce, untamed, void of decency of
and virtue, and incapable of easily listening to the word of truth, and
conversation was rather that of the brutes that perish than of men."
St. Walloch is said to have been among the last of the missionaries to be
to the north-east from St. Ninian's centre at Whithorn (Candida Cassa).
familiarly called "Walloch the foreigner", his origin and nationality are
actually unknown. At his foundation at Logie-in-Mar there stands, at the
and just outside the churchyard, a rough monolith about 5' 6" tall, known as
Walloch's Stone. "Walloch's Fair" was a popular event in the district and
held on his Feast Day-29th January.
One source (3) gives us a very different history saying that the saint whose
name appears in a corrupted form as Wolok, latinised Volocus, is believed to
Faelchu, 13th abbot of Hy (Iona) from 716 till 724. He sprang from the race
Conall Gulban, the ancestor of the famous lineage of Cenel Conaill and
of the saints of Ireland including St. Columba himself. Born in 664, Faelchu
seventy-three when, on Saturday, 29th August, he was called to the chair
occupied by St. Columba. Indeed, it has been thought that Fedlimid, 14th
of Hy (722-?), was an assistant abbot appointed to take care of business
of Faelchu's great age.
Walla Kirk (Walloch's Church), as the church of Dunmeth in Glass was called,
stood in its burying-ground on the bank of the Deveron, but is now
only by some mounds. It was held in superstitious regard even in
post-reformation times for in 1648 the ministers of Strathbogie "ordanit to
censure all superstitione at Wallak Kirk". About a hundred yards east of the
church once flowed St. Wallach's Well. On its margin lay a stone with a
in it, into which pins were dropped by health-seekers as offerings to the
As the result of agricultural improvements the spring has been drained, and
water gushes out further down the bank, where the stone now lies unheeded.
the neighbourhood of the graveyard, where a foot-bridge spans the Deveron,
Wallach Pot, a pool in the river said to be about fourteen feet deep. Fully
quarter of a mile further along the river bank is a long, trough-like hollow
the rock, known as St. Wallach's Bath. Sickly children used to be dipped in
water. Pieces of their clothing and also coins were thrown into the bath as
offerings. If there is any truth in the tradition that St. Wallach's
stood on a neighbouring mound, he must, it is to be presumed, have arrived a
number of years before he became abbot of Hy.
1. Registrum Magni Sigilli, 1424-1513, No. 3159.
2. David Camerarius, De Scotorum Fortitudine (1631) p.94
3. Mackinlay, Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland, (1914) p. 143
These Lives are archived at:
St. Fulgentius was so enamored of perfection that whatever he did towards it
always seemed to him little, and he was always desiring to do better.
St. Vincent de Paul every day saw, more of his own faults, yet he
applied anew all his zeal to amend and perfect himself.
St. Ignatius constantly compared one day with another, and the gain on one
with the gain on another. Thus he advanced daily and entertained a constant
desire of advancing still more, that he might reach the summit of perfection
which God called him.
St. James the Apostle received great praise because he went on advancing
in the divine service.
(Taken from the book "A Year with the Saints". January - Perfection)
A prayer of Pere Leonce de Grandmaison, SJ, for the heart of a child:
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
preserve in me the heart of a child,
pure and transparent as a spring.
Obtain for me a simple heart
That does not brood over sorrows;
A heart generous in giving itself,
Quick to feel compassion;
A faithful, generous heart
that forgets no favor
and holds no grudge.
Give me a humble, gentle heart
Loving without asking any return;
A great indomitable heart
That no ingratitude can close,
No indifference can weary;
A heart tortured by its desire
for the glory of Jesus Christ:
Pierced by His love
With a wound that will heal
only in Heaven.