of an Irish family that had settled there, John Duns received his early
education in Dumfries.Joining the
Franciscans, he was ordained on St Patrick’s Day, 1291 in Northampton
He continued his studies in Paris and Oxford, lectured in Cambridge
in 1301 and taught at the Sorbonne, Paris the following year where he became
known as Scotus because of his country of origin. The fame of his genius and
learning spread rapidly.
In 1306 in
he championed Mary’s Immaculate Conception, refuting all objections against
this prerogative, though it was not until 1854 that the dogma was solemnly
defined. The Church’s approval of his Christocentric teaching (the primacy of
Christ) was given by the institution of the feast of Christ the King in 1925.
In 1307 Scotus moved to a teaching post in Cologne and soon afterwards he died there.
Known as the Subtle and Marian Doctor, his immemorial cult was confirmed in
1993 by John Paul II.