Although the Aberdeen Diocesan Calendar includes Saint Fergus, it is somewhat surprising that there is no parish dedicated to this saint whom some scholars consider as one of the earliest and foremost evangelisers of North East Scotland. Fergus is a Pictish name, and surprisingly the areas covered by dedications to him seem to coincide almost exactly where the great Pictish stones are located. This saint was obviously held in high esteem, and the number of dedications to him in this area and beyond may indicate that his primary mission territory stretched from the Tay to Caithness. Could this be the same Fergus who evangelised the Buchan area that shows indications of the cult of three other Pictish saints – Drostan, Medan and Colm – who were known collectively as ‘Drostan and his Three’; an early sixth century missionary group to the Northern Picts?
Several writers comment that the account of these saints in the Book of Deer is probably one of many mediaeval attempts to elevate Iona, Columba, and the Gaelic influence on parts of Scotland that by race and culture were most certainly Pictish, and had received the Gospel in the first wave of Christian evangelisation several generations beforehand.
Another story is that, although a Pict by nationality, Fergus was a bishop in Ireland for many years, who wanted to evangelise his own land, settling in Strathearn where he founded three churches that he dedicated to Saint Patrick. He then evangelised Caithness (and was recognised as the patron of Wick), and after some time he travelled to Buchan, where he built a church at Lungley, a place afterwards known as Saint Fergus. He finally moved to Glamis where he founded another church, where he subsequently died and was buried.
Some authors think that during his time in Ireland, Fergus is the same person as ‘a Pictish Bishop of Ireland’ who attended the church council at Rome in 721 called by Pope Gregory II. Macquarrie, however, opines that this may be another case of a Pict being ‘Hibernicised’, like a number of certainly or probably Pictish saints in the Aberdeen Breviary.
Several dedications to this saint were found in the northern and eastern parts of Scotland. The churches at Wick and Halkirk, in Caithness; Dyce and Saint Fergus, in Aberdeenshire; dedications at Dyce and Dalarossie, a parish on the upper Findhorn; and his well, called ‘Fergan Well’ located at Kirkmichael, in Banffshire (famous for its miraculous cures of skin diseases) - all these bear witness to the devotion borne towards Saint Fergus in a bygone era.
There were also annual fairs held at Glamis on his feast-day (known as ‘Fergusmas’) that continued for five days, and another fair at Wick – sadly our country now has very few fairs dedicated to our saints. In addition, all traces of relics belonging to Saint Fergus have been ‘lost’. His head was venerated in the Abbey of Scone, where James IV provided a silver reliquary for it; his arm was preserved at the old cathedral in Aberdeen; his pastoral staff (said to calm storms on that coast) was long treasured at Saint Fergus in Buchan, has also ‘disappeared’.
Barrett also tells of an ancient image of Saint Fergus that existed at Wick until 1613, when a local minister, who was subsequently drowned by the indignant town inhabitants for his action, destroyed it.
In 1898, Pope Leo XIII restored the feast of Saint Fergus on 18th November, which is celebrated as an optional diocesan memorial and a solemnity at Wick.
 E.S. Towill, The Saints of Scotland (Edinburgh: St Andrew Press, 1983), pp.86-87
 Macquarrie, Legends, p.358
 M. Barrett, A Calendar of Scottish Saints (Fort Augustus: Abbey Press, 1919), p.171
 Macquarrie, Legends, p.358
 Barrett, Calendar of Scots Saints, p.171