Mysteries and Miracles

A tale of time travel, mysteries and miracles....

Thus begins my summation of The Blue Bells Chronicles saga.

In researching tonight--searching for events of 1318 to 1319 which might involve the Bruce sending Niall on a mission--I stumbled across a miracle I had never heard of.

As a side note on historical research, I have learned over the years that simply putting in terms that you think relate directly to what you're looking for isn't always the winning answer.  My first impulse was to search for Scotland 1319 or Scotland Bruce 1319.  But the world really wasn't such a small place in 1319 as we may imagine.  People traveled a great deal between Norway, Scotland, England, Italy, France, and more.  Diplomatic missions and messages were constantly moving between nations, from the British Isles to the continent to the Scandinavian countries.

There were deep ties between Scotland and Norway, for example.  Bruce's sister Isabel was queen of Norway--married to King Eric.  She was his second Scottish wife.  (What was this, the Scottish Mail Order Brides for Kings catalogue??)  His first wife was the daughter of Alexander III, and his own daughter, The Maid of Norway, had been sent to Scotland to take the Scottish throne after Alexander's death.

Nobility chose spouses from other nobility.  Therefore, envoys were routinely being sent out scouting to other countries' noble sons and daughters.

The political impact of the popes mattered greatly in 1319.  Therefore, Niall might have been sent to speak with John XXII, who resided at the time in Avignon. terms broaden.  Bruce Norway 1319.  Bruce Pope John XXII.  John XXII 1319.  And many more.

The fun of such research is that I often stumble across things I wasn't looking for...but things that are fascinating.  Tonight, it was a purported miracle.

st. fillan, saints' relics, bannockburn
The miracle the night before the Battle of Bannockburn is fairly well known.  Maurice, the abbot of Inchaffray, had decided to leave the actual relics of St. Fillan at home, lest the English win the day and the great saint's relics be lost.  He brought only the reliquary.  The night before battle, as the Bruce prayed, there was a crack of sound and light (or just a click according to some sources) and the saint's arm bone appeared in the reliquary where it had not been.

Tonight, in searching for other things, I found a miracle I had never heard of.  Click here to read more background.  But the miracle--purported miracle if you prefer--concerns an abbot receiving two visitors, the night before the battle of Bannockburn, who informed he they were on their way to help the Scots.  The abbot entertained them well, but the next morning, found no sign of them, and their beds untouched.  It was concluded they were angels.

There is also a story of a knight in glittering armor riding the day after victory--perhaps St. Magnus.

King Robert, the Bruce, apparently believed enough that this was saintly assistance that he endowed the church of Orkney with five pounds annually.  Magnus, Earl of Caithness and Orkney, later signed the Declaration of Arbroath.


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