View Record Number 173

View Record Number 173 - Fr. George Rigg

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Name:Fr. George Rigg
DOD:13/08/1897
Age:37
Address:Parish House, St. Peter's Church
Daliburgh
South Uist
Place of death:Daliburgh Hospital
Date of funeral:17/08/1897
Funeral Location:St. Peter's RC Church, Daliburgh
Occupation:Catholic Priest
Additional Info:Fr. Rigg was born in Coll, Stornoway in 1860. He was educated in Douay; then Issy in 1886-1888; St. Sulpice 1888-1891. He was ordained in Paris in 1891. His first parish was Inverie 1891-1894 near Knoydart. From there he was transferred to Daliburgh in 1894. Fr. Rigg died in Daliburgh in August 1897.
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"Fr. Rigg was a most promising young priest who died heroically in the fever epidemic of 1897, having caught the infection while looking after a case - an old woman, one of his parishioners, whose neighbours and relations did not dare to enter the house to help her. This incident affected all Uist deeply, and no one more than Fr Allan MacDonald, parish priest of Eriskay, who commemorated Fr Rigg in a touching poem, still unpublished, of which four verses are quoted here:

Bha am pobull-sa truagh dheth
Fill Moire na Buana,
Gur h-obann a fhuair iad 1ireadh;
Bhuail beum a bha cruaidh iad,
L dh'eug an sr-uasal,
L thrig an deagh-bhuachaill' treud' iad.

Thu shiubhal nad' ige
Chuir buileach gu brn sinn,
Am mullach do threir is t'fheuma;
An sagart glan bidheach,
Ar taic is ar dchas,
Ga fhalach fo'n fhid, b'e m beud e.

Cha tillte le sgrth thu
Bho shaothair do Shlnair,
Is chte gach l nad leum thu
Thoirt slas dha'n fhrdraich
N robh cmhnuidh na plighe,
Tigh brnach gun bhlths, gun chilidh.

Thu d ghaisgeach nad nar,
Gun neach reachadh cmh riut,
Air faiche na trcair s feum air
Gun d'fhuair thu trom-lenadh,
S bs cruaidh mar bu dein leat,
S breith bhuadhach na glir na irig."

(TRANSLATION From Gaelic)

"The congregation was sad for it, on the day of the Assumption (15th August 1897) suddenly they were sorely hurt; a hard blow struck them the day the true noble died, the day the good shepherd of his flock forsook them.

Your death, in your youth, at the height of your strength and capability, made us all sorrowful; the handsome fine priest, our stay and our hope, concealed beneath the sod, it was a disaster.

Fear would not deter you from the work of your Saviour, every day you would be seen active; giving consolation to the household where the plague was dwelling, a cold house without warmth or company.

You were a hero, all alone, without anyone who would go with you on the path of mercy when needed; you were sorely stricken, and earned the martyr's death you desired, and the triumphant judgment of Glory as its recompense."

(Text written by Canon John Angus Galbraith in 2001; prose in Gaelic written by Fr. Allan MacDonald, parish priest of Eriskay in 1897; translated by Canon John Angus Galbraith)
Lair Number:283
Section:8
Gravestone Inscription:Of Your Charity
Pray For The Soul Of the
Rev. George Rigg
Who Died at Dalabrog
13th August 1897
In the 37th Year Of His Age
And the 7th Of His Priesthood
Of a Fever Contracted in a Heroic
Discharge of His Duty
"Requiescat in Pace"
Erected in Loving Memory by His Sorrowing Flocks of
Dalibrog and Knoydart and By Many Other Friends
Additional Grave Info:The inscription at the top of the headstone reads:
"Bheir am buachaill math a bheatha air son a chaorath. Eoin X II."
When literally translated from Gaelic, means
"The Good Shepherd would give his life for his sheep - John 10.11"

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