After the Kingdom of Alba was created, Columba was surpassed as Scotland’s premier saint. St Andrew was in a different league from Columba: not only did he appear in the Bible, but he was an apostle of Jesus.
His relics appeared in Scotland under mysterious circumstances, and were placed in a Pictish monastery at Kinrymont (the church of the King’s Muir) probably founded by the Pictish warrior-king, Unust, in the mid eighth century.
In the 11th century, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded across Scotland, St Andrew’s popularity with royal patrons increased. St Andrew was a useful unifying symbol for a kingdom of diverse devotions to different saints and was free of any taint of unorthodoxy. Kings like Malcolm Canmore and his queen, Margaret, actively promoted the town of St Andrews, as Kilrymont is now known, as a major centre for pilgrimage and the home of the Scottish Church.