Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: Peace, Hebrews 5:7-9 , John 19:25-27, Feast Day of Our Lady Of Sorrows, Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows, Saint Mirin, Paisley Scotland

Saturday, September 15, 2012 - Litany Lane Blog: 
Peace, Hebrews 5:7-9 , John 19:25-27, Feast Day of Our Lady Of Sorrows, Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows, Saint Mirin, Paisley Scotland

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  peace  peace  [peece]

Origin:  1605–15;  < Latin reciprocātus  past participle of reciprocāre  to move back and forth. See reciprocal, -ate1

1. the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
2. ( often initial capital letter ) an agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, groups, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism: the Peace of Ryswick.
3. a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations: Try to live in peace with your neighbors.
4. the normal freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; public order and security: He was arrested for being drunk and disturbing the peace.
5. cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension.

1. at peace, 
a. in a state or relationship of nonbelligerence or concord; not at war.
b. untroubled; tranquil; content.
c. deceased.
2. hold / keep one's peace, to refrain from or cease speaking; keep silent: He told her to hold her peace until he had finished.
3. keep the peace, to maintain order; cause to refrain from creating a disturbance: Several officers of the law were on hand to keep the peace.
4. make one's peace with, to become reconciled with: He repaired the fence he had broken and made his peace with the neighbor on whose property it stood.
5. make peace, to ask for or arrange a cessation of hostilities or antagonism.

Today's Old Testament Reading -  Hebrews 5:7-9

7 During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence,
8 he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings;
9 when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation


Today's Gospel Reading John 19:25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

• Today, feast of Our Sorrowful Mother, the Gospel of the day presents the passage in which Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Beloved Disciple, meet at Calvary before the Cross. The Mother of Jesus appears two times in the Gospel of John: at the beginning at the wedding feast in Cana (Jn 2, 1-5), and at the end, at the foot of the Cross (Jn 19, 25-27). These two episodes, only present in John’s Gospel, have a very profound value. The Gospel of John compared to the other three Gospels, is like an X-Ray of the other three, while the other three are only a photograph of what has taken place. The X rays of faith help to discover in the events dimensions which the human eye does not succeed to perceive. The Gospel of John, besides describing the facts, reveals the symbolical dimension which exists in them. Thus, in both cases, at Cana and at the foot of the Cross, the Mother of Jesus represents symbolically the Old Testament waiting for the New Testament to arrive, and in the two cases, she contributes to the arrival of the New Testament. Mary appears like the step between what existed before and that which will arrive afterwards. At Cana she symbolizes the Old Testament; she perceives the limits of the Old Testament and takes the initiative so that the New one arrives. She tells her Son: “They have no wine!” (Jn 2, 3). And in Calvary? Let us see:

• John 19, 25: The women and the Beloved Disciple, together at the foot of the Cross. This is what the Gospel says: “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala”. The “photograph” shows the mother together with the Son, standing up. A strong woman, who does not allow herself to be discouraged. “Stabat Mater Dolorosa!” Hers is a silent presence which supports the Son in his gift of self up until death, and the death on the cross (Ph 2, 8). But the “X-Ray” of faith shows how the passage from the Old Testament to the New Testament takes place. Like it happened in Cana, the Mother of Jesus represents the Old Testament, the new humanity which is formed beginning from the lived experience of the Gospel of the Kingdom. At the end of the first century, some Christians thought that the Old Testament was no longer necessary. In fact, at the beginning of the second century, Marciones rejected all the Old Testament and remained with only a part of the New Testament. This is why many wanted to know which was the will of Jesus regarding this.

• John 19, 26-28: The Testament or the Will of Jesus. The words of Jesus are significant. Seeing his Mother, and at her side the beloved Disciple, Jesus says: “Woman, this is your son”. Then he says to the disciple: “This is your mother”. The Old and the New Testament must walk together. The request of Jesus, the beloved Disciple, the son, the New Testament, receives the mother in his house. In the house of the Beloved Disciple, in the Christian community, the full sense of the Old Testament is discovered. The New Testament cannot be understood without the Old one, neither is the Old one complete without the New one. Saint Agustin said: “Novum in vetere latet, Vetus in Novo patet”. (The New one is hidden in the Old one. The Old one blooms in the New one). The New one without the Old one would be a building without a foundation. And the Old one without the New one would be like a fruit tree which could not bear fruit.

• Mary in the New Testament. The New Testament speaks very little about Mary and she says even less. Mary is the Mother of silence. The Bible only keeps seven words of Mary. Each one of those is like a window which allows one to see inside Mary’s house and to discover how her relationship with God was. The key to understand all this is given by Luke: “Blessed are those who receive the word of God and put it into practice” (Lk 11, 27-28).
1st Word: “How can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?” (Lk 1, 34).
2nd Word: “You see before you the Lord’s servant; let it happen to me as you have said”. (Lk 1, 38).
3rd Word: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour (Lk 1, 46-55).
4th Word: “My child why have you done this to us? Your father and I were worried looking for you” (Lk 2, 48).
5th Word: “They have no wine!” (Jn 2, 3.)
6th Word: “Do whatever he tells you!” (Jn 2, 5).
7th Word: The silence at the foot of the Cross, more eloquent than one thousand words! (Jn 19, 25-27).

• Mary at the foot of the Cross. A strong and silent woman. How is my devotion to Mary, the Mother of Jesus?
• In the Pieta of Michelangelo, Mary seems to be very young, younger than the crucified Son, and she must have been about fifty years old. Asked why he had sculptured the face of Mary as a young girl, Michelangelo replied: the persons who are passionate for God never age!” Passionate for God! Is that passion for God in me?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Today's Feast Day:  Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Latin: Beata Maria Virgo Perdolens), the Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows (Latin: Mater Dolorosa, at times just Dolorosa), and Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows or Our Lady of the Seven Dolours are names by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is referred to in relation to sorrows in her life. As Mater Dolorosa, it is also a key subject for Marian art in the Catholic Church.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are a popular Roman Catholic devotion. There are devotional prayers which consist of meditation on her Seven Sorrows. Examples include the Servite rosary, or the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. Also, there is a corresponding devotion to the Seven Joys of Mary. The term "Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary" refers to the combined devotion of both the Immaculate Heart and the Seven Sorrows of Mary as first used by the Franciscan Tertiary Berthe Petit.

THE SERVITE ORDER: Toward the middle of the thirteenth century seven Florentine merchants formed a penitential community just outside Florence. Aware of their unworthiness before God, they dedicated themselves as Servants of the Holy Virgin so that she might be with them as they stood before their Lord. To escape the distractions of urban life and civil discord they withdrew to Mount Senario, some twelve miles distant. In its solitude they laid the foundation of the Order Of Servants of Mary. Their example attracted many followers and soon foundations were made in Italy and Germany, and later in many other countries. These Seven whom our Lady guided to found an Order dedicated to her service were canonized in 1888 as the Seven Holy Founders. 

From this example of prayerfulness joined to an active ministry spread a movement which includes eleven canonized saints, many blessed whose cult is approved by Rome, and innumerable holy men and women of many countries and times. While the devotion of Servites has always been directed to the Mother of their Lord in all the aspects of her life, in time it began to be focused more specifically on the sorrows she experienced in her life. The black habit of the Servites was itself looked upon as a sign of the sorrow Mary suffered at the Cross of her Son. 

At the present time Servites are present on all continents: priests and brothers, cloistered nuns and active sisters, members of the Servite Secular Institute, Servite Third Order, and Confraternity of Our Lady of Sorrows. In the United States the Servites are best known for their Marian shrines of Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago where the Novena to Our Sorrowful Mother began in 1937 and the Shrine of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland, Oregon. 

THE ROSARY OF THE SEVEN SORROWS: During the Middle Ages, when the ordinary Catholic no longer knew the language of the official prayer of the Church, many other prayer forms or devotions developed to fill the prayer vacuum that resulted. One of these was the rosary. And one of the adaptations of this prayer-form was the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. 

Like all rosaries, the Servite Rosary is a meditation on the mystery-events of God's love for us as reflected in the life of Jesus and Mary. Specifically, it invites us to meditate on those times in the life of Mary when she experienced the pain and suffering that tested her faith and invited her to a full sharing of the mystery of God's salvation in her Son, Jesus. 

By this reflection, in the context of verbal prayers of Our Fathers and Hail Marys, we open our hearts to the power of this mystery, and so allow His Word to enter and change our lives.
This Servite Rosary consist of Seven Mysteries of Sorrows. Each mystery is introduced by a meditation to guide our reflection as we pray the Our Fathers and seven Hail Marys. The Rosary is concluded with three Hail Marys, as added petition for true sorrow and a desire to model our lives on the example of the life and faith of Mary. For more than 740 years, the members of the Servite Order have been know as "The Servants of Mary." Their work for Jesus and Mary is world-wide

Seven Sorrows

The Seven Sorrows (or Dolors) are events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary which are a popular devotion and are frequently depicted in art.
It is a common devotion for Catholics to say daily one Our Father and seven Hail Marys for each.
  1. The Prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34-35) or the Circumcision of Christ
  2. The Flight into Egypt. (Matthew 2:13)
  3. The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:43-45)
  4. Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary.
  5. Jesus Dies on the Cross. (John 19:25)
  6. Mary Receives the Body of Jesus in Her Arms. (Matthew 27:57-59)
  7. The Body of Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb. (John 19:40-42)
These Seven Sorrows should not be confused with the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary.

Chaplet of Our Lady of Sorrows  (The Servite Chaplet)

Our Lady of Sorrows, Servite Chaplet
Opening Meditation
In the Sorrows of the Virgin Mary we see a reflection of the suffering and bitter anguish of the human Christ. Just as Mary accepted the total mystery of Christ into her life, so may we see in our sorrow, our fear, and humiliation, a dim, but real participation in His passion and death, recalling that if we wish to follow Him, we must "take up our cross" each day. Let us pray that we may accept Christ's call, and become co-sufferers of His passion. 

The Prophecy Of Simeon
Many of us are parents. We know that only by sharing life with God is life fulfilled. That is why we also sense a fear about the future of our loved ones. Simeon's prophecy was a blessing for all mankind, but foretold grief for you, Mary. Your first sorrow was much more than a parent's fear.
(One Our Father .... Seven Hail Marys)

The Flight Into Egypt
What can a mother do when the life of her child is threatened? When Herod decreed death for all those innocent children, God warned Joseph. With no time for packing or goodbyes, you escaped into the night. Homeless and tired, with an uncertain future before you, you were secure in nothing but the love of those who needed you.
(One Our Father .... Seven Hail Marys)
The Loss Of Jesus In The Temple
A child is lost. What panic grips the hearts of parents at such a time! They wonder, "Is he safe?" "Will I ever see him again?" And then they imagine things too terrible to express. It was the same for you and Joseph. Mary, for three days you sought Jesus. It took faith to continue the search in the pain of separation.
(One Our Father .... Seven Hail Marys)
Mary Meets Jesus On the Way To Calvary
What mother called suddenly to the hospital to see her sick or injured child has not wished: "If only I could suffer instead of you!" But she remains only a spectator. Mary, you saw Jesus beaten and bloody. You felt powerless to help Him, and yet through your love you shared His pain.
(One Our Father .... Seven Hail Marys)
Jesus Dies On The Cross
It has often been said, "To lose a child is the worst death for a parent to endure." Mary, in those long hours, at the cross, perhaps your thoughts returned to earlier days. How horrible now to face the reality of death! His breath grew labored. The time had come. Yet He spoke to you and consoled you. In dying he gave life to others and made you mother of all mankind.
(One Our Father .... Seven Hail Marys)

Mary Receives The Dead Body of Jesus
He is dead . . . and it hardly seems real. How many of us have paused before the body of a loved one and wondered: "Can this be happening to me?" Death is real, all too real! As you held Jesus in your arms, Mary, you probably wondered as we have, "Is this the end of everything?"
(One Our Father .... Seven Hail Marys)
Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb
The garden and the bomb . . . there is something strangely consoling about the burial of Jesus, Mary. Perhaps a flower or blade of grass reminded you of his words "Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it cannot produce new life." It is always difficult to see death and life together, but you continued to believe, hope, and love. His words filled your heart. 
(One Our Father .... Seven Hail Marys)

Closing Prayer
Lord God, our Father, from the passion and death of Jesus, shared by the compassion of his Mother, you brought healing to fallen man. Grant that we, your people, may experience this healing and rise from the power of sin to a wholeness of life promised by Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, AMEN. (Three Hail Marys)

Seven Promises: According to St. Bridget of Sweden, seven promises were made to those who meditate on Our Lady's Tears and Sorrows. The Blessed Virgin grants seven graces to the souls who honour her daily by saying seven Hail Marys while meditating on her Tears and Sorrows. 

These are:
1. I will grant peace to their families.
2. They will be enlightened about the Divine Mysteries.
3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death - they will see the face of their mother.
7. I have obtained this grace from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and Sorrows will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.



Saint of the Day:  Saint Mirin

Feast Day: September 15
Patron Saint: Paisley, Scotland

Saint Mirin or Mirren, an Irish monk and missionary (born circa 565; died circa 620), is also known as Mirren of Benchor (now called Bangor), Merinus, Merryn and Meadhrán. The patron saint of the town and Roman Catholic diocese of Paisley, Scotland, he was the founder of a religious community which grew to become Paisley Abbey. The shrine of this saint in the abbey became a centre of pilgrimage.

A contemporary of the better known Saint Columba of Iona and disciple of Saint Comgall, he was prior of Bangor Abbey in County Down, Ireland before making his missionary voyage to Scotland. He is venerated in both Ireland and Scotland and in the Orthodox tradition.

History and Legend

The history of St Mirin has grown dim and much of what is known about the saint is difficult to separate from fable. However, it is believed that Mirin was of noble birth. While still a young boy, his mother took him to the monastery of Bangor Abbey in County Down in the north east of Northern Ireland, where he was placed under the care of St. Comgall. St Mirin later took oversight of the monastery and thus became the prior of Bangor Abbey, where he accepted visitors and sojourners.

Later on, St Mirin travelled to the camp of the High King of Ireland with the purpose of spreading the Christian faith. Having heard of Mirin's arrival, the king refused to allow the saint to enter the camp. Mirin, thus slighted, was said to have prayed to God that the king might feel his wife's labour pangs, her time being near. The legend continues that, just as St Mirin had prayed, the king fell ill and roared in pain for three days and nights. In desperation the king sought out Mirin and granted him all he wished, including the right to go out and preach the Gospel to the men of his camp. In response to these concessions St Mirin prayed on his behalf and he was freed from his pain.

When St Regulus had established himself at St. Andrews, he appointed many pious men to go out and bring the Gospel to Scotland. One of these missionaries was St Mirin. He was appointed to the west and, after a long and difficult journey, arrived where the town of Paisley now stands. The area had recently been abandoned by the Romans and was in the possession of a powerful local chieftain. This chief took a liking to Mirin and the saint was alloted a small field near the river in the southern part of town. This plot was called St Mirin's Croft until it was later developed.

In various charters and Papal Bulls Mirin is referred to as The glorious confessor, Saint Mirin. His image was engraved on the seal of the Abbey, depicting him in the vestments of a bishop. Around the seal was inscribed the prayer O Mirin, pray for your servants. In King James IV's Charter of 1488 raising Paisley to the status of burgh of barony, one of the reasons cited was "the singular respect we have for the glorious confessor, Saint Mirin".

Mirin in modern Scotland

There is a chapel within Paisley Abbey, dedicated to Mirin containing a sculptured stone frieze depicting the life of the saint. The Roman Catholic St Mirin's Cathedral is also named in his honour. St. Mirren F.C., a football club from Paisley, is named after him. The St Mirin Burn flows into the White Cart Water close to the town centre. He is also commemorated by St Mirren Street which links Paisley Cross to Causeyside Street. Since the closure of St Mirin's High School in 2001, there has been no school in the town dedicated to the saint. However, there is a St. Mirin's Primary School in the Croftfoot area of the neighbouring city of Glasgow.

Elsewhere in Scotland, the island of Inchmurrin (i.e. Mirin's Island) in Loch Lomond and a farm called Knockmurran (i.e. Mirin's Hill) near Coylton in Ayrshire are named after him. There is a St Mirin's Well near Kilsyth in Stirlingshire.


A pedestal of blond sandstone, designed by landscape architect Daniel McKendry, bearing the inscription taken from the Aberdeen Breviary At Length Full of Sanctity and Miracles, Mirin Slept in the Lord at Paisley was erected in 2003 opposite St Mirin's Cathedral at the junction of Incle Street, Gauze Street and Glasgow Road in Paisley. A bronze statue of the saint [6] by Norman Galbraith was mounted on the pedestal and was unveiled on the saint's day 15 September 2007 by the Provost of Renfrewshire Councillor Celia Lawson in the presence of the Bishop of Paisley the Rt Rev Philip Tartaglia, the Minister of Paisley Abbey the Rt Rev Alan Birss, the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Jim Sheridan MP, Hugh Henry MSP, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire James Wardrop and the sculptor Norman Galbraith. The erection and unveiling of the statue were co-ordinated by Daniel McKendry on behalf of the Mirin Project.

Cathedral Church of Saint Mirin
The Cathedral Church of Saint Mirin in Paisley, dedicated to Saint Mirin the patron saint of Paisley, is the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Paisley and is the seat of the Bishop of Paisley.

The former parish church of St Mirin, it is situated in Incle Street, Paisley at the junction with Glasgow Road and was completed in 1931 close to the site of the original church of the same name which dated from 1808. The original building was the first stone built Catholic church in post-Reformation Scotland.

The present building was raised to cathedral status in 1948 following the erection of the diocese in 1947.

Diamond Jubilee

On the 15 September 2008, the feast day of its patron saint, the Diocese of Paisley celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. To mark the occasion a mass concelebrated by His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio to the Court of St. James the Most Rev Faustino Sainz Muñoz, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh His Eminence Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the Archbishop of Glasgow the Most Rev Mario Conti, the Bishop of Motherwell the Rt Rev Joseph Devine, the Bishop of Aberdeen the Rt Rev Peter Moran, the Bishop of Galloway the Rt Rev John Cunningham, the Emeritus Bishop of Paisley the Rt Rev John Mone, the Bishop of Paisley the Rt Rev Philip Tartaglia and many priests of the diocese took place in the cathedral. Present at the mass were a large number of civic dignitaries and representatives of other churches in Paisley. Representing Her Majesty the Queen were the Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire Mr Guy Clark and his deputy Mr James Wardrop.


  • "Saint Nicomedes". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Saint Nicomedes". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.


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Today's Snippet I:  Paisley, Scotland

Paisley, Scotland
Paisley (Scottish Gaelic: Pàislig) is the largest town in the historic county of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland and serves as the administrative centre for the Renfrewshire council area. The town is situated on the northern edge of the Gleniffer Braes, straddling the banks of the White Cart Water, a tributary of the River Clyde.

The town, a former burgh, forms part of a contiguous urban area with Glasgow, Glasgow City Centre being 6.9 miles (11.1 km) to the east. The town came to prominence with the establishment of Paisley Abbey in the 12th century, an important religious hub in mediaeval Scotland which formerly had control over the other churches in the local area.

By the 19th century, Paisley had established itself as a centre of the weaving industry, giving its name to the Paisley Shawl and the Paisley Pattern. The town's associations with political Radicalism were highlighted by its involvement in the Radical War of 1820, with striking weavers being instrumental in the protests.


Formerly and variously known as Paislay, Passelet, Passeleth, and Passelay the burgh's name is of uncertain origin; some sources suggest a derivation either from the Brythonic word, pasgill, "pasture", or more likely, passeleg, "basilica", (i.e. major church), itself derived from the Greek βασιλική basilika. However, some Scottish place-name books suggest "Pæssa's wood/clearing", from the Old English personal name Pæssa, "clearing", and leāh, "wood". Pasilege (1182) and Paslie (1214) are recorded previous spellings of the name. The Gaelic spelling is Pàislig.

Paisley has monastic origins. A chapel is said to have been established by the 6th/7th century Irish monk, Saint Mirin at a site near a waterfall on the White Cart Water known as the Hammils. Though Paisley lacks contemporary documentation it may have been, along with Glasgow and Govan, a major religious centre of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. A priory was established in 1163 from the Cluniac priory at Wenlock in Shropshire, England at the behest of Walter Fitzalan (d. 1177) High Steward of Scotland. In 1245 this was raised to the status of an Abbey. The restored Abbey and adjacent 'Place' (palace), constructed out of part of the medieval claustral buildings, survive as a Church of Scotland parish church. One of Scotland's major religious houses, Paisley Abbey was much favoured by the Bruce and Stewart royal families. It is generally accepted that William Wallace was educated here. King Robert III (1390–1406) was buried in the Abbey. His tomb has not survived, but that of Princess Marjorie Bruce (1296–1316), ancestor of the Stewarts, is one of Scotland's few royal monuments to survive the Reformation.

Paisley coalesced under James II's wish that the lands should become a single regality and, as a result, markets, trading and commerce began to flourish. In 1488 the town's status was raised by James IV to Burgh of barony.

Many trades sprang up and the first school was established in 1577 by the Town Council. By the mid-nineteenth century weaving had become the town's principal industry. The Paisley weaver's most famous product were the shawls, which bore the Paisley Pattern made fashionable after being worn by a young Queen Victoria. Despite being of a Kashmiri design and manufactured in other parts of Europe, the teardrop-like pattern soon became known by Paisley's name across the western world. Although the shawls dropped out of fashion in the 1870s, the Paisley pattern remains an important symbol of the town: the Paisley Museum maintains a significant collection of the original shawls in this design and it has been used, for example, in the modern logo of Renfrewshire Council, the local authority.

Through its weaving fraternity, Paisley gained note as being a literate and somewhat radical town. By this time there was a real mixture of religious opinions and healthy drink-fuelled debate raged at night amongst the weavers, poets, merchants, masons and others. The perceived radical nature of the inhabitants prompted the Tory Prime Minister Disraeli to comment "Keep your eye on Paisley". The poet Robert Tannahill lived in this setting, working as a weaver. The weavers of Paisley were also active in the Radical War of 1820. Paisley's annual Sma' Shot Day celebrations held on the first Saturday of July were initiated in 1856 to commemorate a 19th century dispute between weavers and employers over payment for "sma' shot" – a small cotton thread which, although unseen, was necessary in holding together garments.


Paisley sits primarily on an expanse of low ground around 40 ft above sea level surrounding the White Cart Water, which runs through the town centre. There are a number of elevated hills and ridges which have been absorbed as the town has expanded. The settlement is historically centred on Oakshaw, an area surrounding a hill to the north of the current High Street. Oakshaw is a conservation area and on the high ground many of Paisley's significant buildings can be found, such as the High Kirk, the Coats Observatory and the former John Neilson Institution, which was once a school and is now converted into residential flats.

Around the centre there are a large number of older residential buildings. The town centre, Williamsburgh and Charleston areas contain many examples of Scottish tenement flats. Three to four stories tall, with shops on the ground floor and constructed of local blond and red sandstone, these tenement flats have been extensively restored and modernised over the last two decades.

Paisley expanded steadily, particularly in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, creating many suburbs around the centre of the town. Castlehead is a wooded conservation area primarily made up of Victorian villas where many of the town's leading industrialists made their homes in the late 19th century. Thornly Park, another conservation area, is located to the south of the town. It contains a variety of architecture ranging from mock Tudor to Art Deco. Many of the houses were designed by W D McLennan, who also designed several local churches such as Saint Matthew's.

Particularly following the Housing Act 1946, modern Paisley grew into the surrounding countryside and several large residential areas were created in the post-war period. These include portions of Glenburn (south), Foxbar (south west), Ferguslie Park (north west), Gallowhill (North East) and Hunterhill (South East). Gockston in the far north of the town has many terraced houses and, after regeneration has many detached and semi-detached houses as well as several blocks of flats. Dykebar, situated to the south east of the centre of the town, is a residential area which is also the site of a secure psychiatric hospital.
On the outskirts of the town are a number of settlements such as Ralston, a residential area in the far east bordering the city of Glasgow. Ralston was outside the Paisley burgh boundary when constructed in the 1930s but, as a result of local authority re-organisation in the 1990s, it is now generally regarded as a suburb of Paisley.


Paisley Patterns
Paisley, as with other areas in Renfrewshire, was at one time famous for its weaving and textile industries. As a consequence, the Paisley pattern has long symbolic associations with the town. Until the Jacquard loom was introduced in the 1820s, weaving was a cottage industry. This innovation led to the industrialisation of the process and many larger mills were created in the town. Also as a consequence of greater mechanisation, many weavers lost their livelihoods and left for Canada and Australia. Paisley was for many years a centre for the manufacture of cotton sewing thread. At the heyday of Paisley thread manufacture in the 1930s, there were 28,000 people employed in the huge Anchor and Ferguslie mills of J & P Coats Ltd, said to be the largest of their kind in the world at that time. In the 1950s, the mills diversified into the production of synthetic threads but production diminished rapidly as a result of less expensive imports from overseas and the establishment of mills in India and Brazil by J & P Coats. By the end of the 1980s, there was no thread being produced in Paisley. Both industries have left a permanent mark on the town in the form of the many places with textile related names, for example, Dyer's Wynd, Cotton Street, Thread Street, Shuttle Street, Lawn Street, Silk Street, Mill Street, Gauze Street and Incle Street.

The town also supported a number of engineering works some of which relied on the textile industry, others on shipbuilding. Paisley once had five shipyards including John Fullerton and Company (1866–1928), Bow, McLachlan and Company (1872–1932) and Fleming and Ferguson (1877–1969). These have declined in the area, with engineering firms such as Fullerton, Hodgart and Barclay and Whites Engineering closing in the mid-1970s.

A number of food manufacture companies have existed in Paisley. The preserve manufacturer Robertsons which was founded in Paisley in the 1860s was taken over by Rank Hovis McDougall who closed its Stevenson Street factory and transferred production to Bristol, Manchester and London in the 1970s. Brown & Polson commenced producing starch and cornflour in Paisley in the 1860s. It later became CPC Foods Ltd, a subsidiary of Unilever, which produced Hellmann's mayonnaise, Gerber baby foods and Knorr soups. The company ceased production in Paisley in 2002.

A number of industries remained in the area until recent times. In 1981 Peugeot Talbot, formerly Chrysler and before that Rootes, announced that its Linwood factory just outside of Paisley would cease production. This led to the loss of almost 5,000 jobs. Since the 1980s, a number of other employers have closed such as the British Gas distribution and service centre, Cadbury's distribution centre and William Grant & Sons the Scotch whisky producer which moved production to Strathclyde Business Park near Bellshill in Lanarkshire.

Some of the businesses remaining in the town are Scotch whisky blenders and bottlers Chivas Brothers now a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, Stellar a global contact centre provider and the pigment manufactory of the Swiss company Ciba Geigy. Both companies employ considerably fewer people than in the past. The public sector is now a significant employer in Paisley, with the headquarters of Renfrewshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland, Reid Kerr College, the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a divisional headquarters of Strathclyde Police all located in the town. Glasgow International Airport, located on the edge of Paisley, is also a significant employer and part of the area's transport infrastructure. The airline Loganair's registered office is located within the airport complex. At one time M&Co. (Mackeys) had its head office in the Caledonia House in Paisley.


The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mirin
Paisley is home to a number of religious denominations and an important historical centre for the Christian faith in Scotland. The town's historic patron saint is Saint Mirin (or Mirren); according to legendary accounts, Mirin settled in Paisley as a missionary sent from Ireland in the 6th century and was instrumental in bringing the relics of St Andrew to Scotland. Paisley Abbey, one of the towns most significant landmarks, was constructed in the 12th century and raised to abbey status in the 13th. It served as an ecclesiatical centre for a wide area surrounding the county of Renfrewshire for centuries until the Reformation where such religious centres were reduced to the status of parish churches. For the established Church of Scotland, Paisley forms part of the Presbytery of Greenock and Paisley in the Synod of Clydesdale (see: Church of Scotland synods and presbyteries).

Other Christian communities have a number of churches in Paisley, many of which were the result of the Industrial Revolution where people from around the British Isles came to Paisley for work. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Paisley, created in 1947, is centred upon the town's St Mirin's Cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of Paisley. Paisley also forms part of the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway with the its main facilities being contained at the Holy Trinity and St Barnabas Church in the town centre, a congregation which united in 2004. The Coats Memorial Baptist Church, one of the town's major landmarks and the largest Baptist church building in Europe, is the centre of Paisley's Baptist congregation and was constructed in 1894.

Other smaller religious groups exist in the town. The Methodist Church of Great Britain has a church and central hall opposite Paisley Abbey which forms part of the Ayrshire and Renfrewshire Circuit. The Christadelphians meet in a hall on Alice Street. There is a small Islamic centre on Paisley Road in nearby Renfrew and a larger mosque in Glasgow.

Religious sites

Most noticeable among the buildings of Paisley is its medieval Abbey in the centre of the town dating from the 12th century. The earliest surviving architecture is the south-east doorway in the nave from the cloister, which has a round arched doorway typical of Romanesque or Norman architecture which was the prevalent architectural style before the adoption of Gothic. The choir (east end) and tower date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and are examples of Gothic Revival architecture. They were reconstructed in three main phases of restorations with the tower and choir conforming to the designs of Dr Peter MacGregor Chalmers. The roof in the nave is the most recent of restorations with the plaster ceiling by Rev Dr Boog which was added in the 1790s being replaced by a timber roof in 1981.

Coats Memorial Baptist Church or Thomas Coats Memorial Church is an example of Gothic Revival architecture. It dominates the town's skyline with its crown spire more than 60 metres (197 ft) high. Opened in 1894 and designed by Hippolyte Jean Blanc it is the largest Baptist church in Europe. The exterior is made of old red sandstone. Inside, the church is decorated with wood carvings, mosaic floors and marble fonts. The church also contains a 3040 pipe Hill Organ.

The Cathedral Church of Saint Mirin (St Mirin's Cathedral) in Incle Street is the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Paisley. The church was completed in 1931 to replace an earlier building, in nearby East Buchanan Street, which dated from 1808. The original St Mirin's church was the first Catholic church to be built in Scotland since the Reformation. With the erection of the Diocese of Paisley in 1947 the church was raised to cathedral status. St Matthew's Church (Church of the Nazarene) at the junction of Gordon Street and Johnston Street is Art Nouveau in style. Designed by local architect William Daniel McLennan, a contemporary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it was built in 1906.

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey
Paisley Abbey is a former Cluniac monastery, and current Church of Scotland parish kirk, located on the east bank of the White Cart Water in the centre of the town of Paisley, Renfrewshire, in west central Scotland

It is believed that Saint Mirin (or Saint Mirren) founded a community on this site in 7th century. Some time after his death a shrine to the Saint was established becoming a popular site of pilgrimage and veneration. The name Paisley may derive from the Brythonic Passeleg, 'basilica' (derived from the Greek), i.e. 'major church', recalling an early, though undocumented, ecclesiastical importance.

In 1163 Walter FitzAlan, the first High Steward of Scotland issued a charter for a priory to be set up on land owned by him in Paisley. Dedicated to SS. Mary, James, Mirin and Milburga .Around 13 monks came from the Cluniac priory at Much Wenlock in Shropshire to found the community. Paisley grew so rapidly that it was raised to the status of abbey in 1219?. In 1307, Edward I of England had the abbey burned down. However, it was rebuilt later in the 14th century. William Wallace, born in nearby Elderslie is widely believed to have been educated for some time when he was a boy in the abbey.

In 1316 Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I of Scotland and wife of Walter Stewart, the sixth High Steward of Scotland, was out riding near the abbey. Heavily pregnant at the time, she fell from her horse and was taken to Paisley Abbey where she gave birth to King Robert II. However, Marjorie Bruce died and is buried at the Abbey. In the abbey itself there are signs which indicate that Marjorie's baby was cut out of her womb, a caesarean delivery long before anaesthesia was available. A cairn, at the junction of Dundonald Road and Renfrew Road, approximately one mile to the north of the Abbey, marks the spot where she reputedly fell from her horse.

A succession of fires and the collapse of the tower in the 15th and 16th centuries left the building in a partially ruined state. Although the western section was still used for worship, the eastern section was widely plundered for its stone. From 1858 to 1928 the north porch and the eastern choir were reconstructed on the remains of the ruined walls by the architect Macgregor Chalmers. After his death, work on the choir was completed by Sir Robert Lorimer. Monks from Paisley founded Crossraguel Abbey in Carrick, Ayrshire, in 1244.

Points of Interest

Paisley Abbey is the burial place of all six High Stewards of Scotland, Marjorie Bruce who was the mother of Robert II and the wives of Robert II and King Robert III. The Celtic Barochan Cross, once sited near the village of Houston, Renfrewshire, is now located inside the abbey itself. The cross is thought to date from the 10th century. In the abbey's nave, the Wallace Memorial Window, which depicts the image of Samson, was donated in 1873. In the early 1990s an ancient vaulted drain of extremely fine construction, probably 13th century in date, was rediscovered running from the abbey to the White Cart. This was excavated and many items discovered. Some of these are now on display in the abbey. These include a slate with music marked on it - which is believed to the oldest example of polyphonic music found in Scotland.

A tomb in the choir incorporating a much restored female effigy is widely believed to be that of Marjorie Bruce. Although there is no evidence that she is buried at exactly that location, her remains are thought to be within the abbey. The tomb is reconstructed from fragments of different origin - the base, is likely to have originally formed part of the pulpitum of the Abbey (a stone screen separating nave and choir), such as survives at Glasgow Cathedral.

The Abbey organ is reputedly one of the finest in Scotland and was originally built by the French organ builder Cavaillé-Coll of Paris in 1872. Since then it has been rebuilt and extended four times. The organ as rebuilt by Walkers in 1968 has 4 manuals, 65 stops and 5448 pipes.(National Pipe Organ Register; "The Organ at Paisley Abbey", booklet pub. Paisley Abbey) In 2009 the instrument underwent a major restoration by Harrison and Harrison of Durham. The work included major cleaning and servicing, the provision of a new wind system and the addition of a 32ft contre bombarde. The latter was part of the 1968 scheme by Ralph Downes but not included in the work actually undertaken.


  • Malden, John. (Edr), (2000). The Monastery & Abbey of Paisley: Lectures from the Renfrewshire Local History Forum's Conference 11 / 12 September 1999, with additional papers. Renfrewshire: Renfrewshire Local History Forum. ISBN 0-9529195-7-5.
  •  "Paisley Online". 
  •  "Historical perspective for Paisley". 
  • "Saint Mirin – Our Patron Saint | Paisley Scotland".