Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
15th June (NS) — 2nd June (OS)
2nd June O.S.
ADALGIS (ADELGIS, ALGIS), a disciple of St. Fursey (16th January) originally from Ireland who worked to enlighten the areas of Arras and Laon in Picardy. St. Adalgis also founded a small monastery where the village of Saint Algis is today. St. Adalgis reposed circa A.D. 686.
BODFAN (BOBOUAN), (Seventh Century), St. Bodfan is the patron saint of Abern (present-day Abergwyngregyn in Gwynedd) Wales, believed to have lived at some point in the seventh century. There are no particulars of his life extant, aside from the tradition that he, along with his father and other members of his family, were impelled to embrace monastic life following the great flood that created Beaumaris Bay.
ERASMUS (ELMO, ERARMO, ERMO), a Bishop of Formiae in Campania who was martyred by disembowelment during the Diocletianic Persecution circa A.D. 303. According to one legend, St. Erasmus continued preaching when a bolt of lightning struck the ground beside him. Sailors took to asking for his intervention during electrical storms, leading to electrical discharges over the sea being called ‘St Elmo’s fire’.
Prior to the Schism the Patriarchate of Rome was Orthodox, and fully in communion with the Orthodox Church. As Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco +1966 said “The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable Liturgy is far older than any of her heresies”.
EUGENE, seventy-fifth Pope of Rome A.D. 655 — 657. St. Eugene acted as Vicar for his predecessor, Pope St. Martin I (13th April), during St. Martin’s exile. When word of St. Martin’s martyrdom reached Rome, St. Eugene was quickly chosen to succeed him. St. Eugene is best remembered for his pastoral care and charity, especially for those most in need. He also skilfully and courageously fought the Monothelite heresy. St. Eugene reposed A.D. 657.
MARCELLINUS and PETER, a priest and exorcist respectively, martyred Diocletianic Persecution just outside of Rome. A.D. 304 is recorded as the year of their martyrdom.
MARTYRS of LYONS and VIENNE, a group of forty-eight Christians martyred around Lyon, Vienne, and environs. During the persecutions under Marcus Aurelius (r. A.D. 161 – 180), pagan mobs set upon them, and brought them to the authorities to be tried for their faith. All were convicted and sentenced to die is various ways over the year of A.D. 177. Most of the names of these martyrs have been lost to time, though these few have survived: Alexander, Attalus, Biblis (Biblides), Blandina, Epagathus, Maturus, Photinus (Pothinus), Ponticus, Sanctius (Sanctus), Vetius.
NICHOLAS PEREGRINUS (the PILGRIM), while still a teenager, St. Nicholas moved from Greece to Apulia Italy. There he roamed the streets carrying a cross, and crying ‘Kyrie eleison’. As he wandered many followed and chanting along with him, especially children, though most people looked upon him as being mentally ill, not realising he was in fact a Fool-for-Christ. Following his repose (A.D. 1094), at only nineteen years of age, countless miracles took place at his grave, and even the most sceptical realised he was indeed a saint.
ODA (ODO) the GOOD, St. Oda the Good was born in East Anglia to Danish pagan parents. At some point, he embraced Christianity and received monastic tonsure at Fluery Abbey in the Loire in Gaul. After returning to England he was consecrated Bishop of Ramsbury (A.D. 927), and in A.D. 942 was made the 22nd Archbishop of Canterbury. As Archbishop, he played a prominent role under Kings Edmund and Edgar. St. Oda was very active in restoring the cathedral buildings and in raising the morals and discipline of the clergy. He was also a staunch defender of the privileges of the Church, thus paving the way for monastic restoration under SS. Dunstan (19th May), Oswald (28th February, St. Oda’s nephew) and Ethelwold (1st August). All of this earned him the title “The Good”. St. Oda reposed 2nd June A.D. 959, which is the common Feast date on the Orthodox calendar, though on many older Western calendars it is listed as 4th July.
15th June N.S.
ABRAHAM, St. Abraham was captured by a group of outlaws in Egypt and enslaved by them for five years before he was able to escape. He made his way to Europe, and settled as a hermit near Clermont in Gaul. At some point St. Abraham was ordained to the priesthood, and later made Abbot of the Abbey of Cyrgnes in present-day Saint-Gilles France, just west of Arles. St. Abraham reposed circa A.D. 480.
BENILDIS, one of the Martyrs of Córdoba, St. Benildis was so moved by the martyrdom of St. Athanasius (14th June) the previous day that she publicly proclaimed Christ, and was burnt at the stake the following day. Following her martyrdom, St. Benildis’ ashes were thrown into the Guadalquivir as was the case with many of her fellow martyrs.
CONSTANTINE, a monk at the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Jumièges in Normandy, and disciple of its founder, St. Philibert (20th August). St. Constantine was later consecrated Bishop of Beauvais. He reposed circa A.D. 706.
DOMITIAN and HADELIN, fellow monks at the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Lobbes, in present-day Belgium. At Lobbes they were both disciples of St. Landelin of Lobbes (vide infra). Both saints reposed circa A.D. 686.
EDBURGH (EDBURGA) of WINCHESTER, St. Edburgh, the daughter of King Edward the Elder and his third wife Edith of Kent, was placed in the monastery at Winchester. Whilst alive she was revered for the holiness of her life and renowned for her gentleness and humility. It is not known for sure, but she may have served as Abbess of the monastery at some point. St. Edburgh reposed in A.D. 960, and was buried in the Abbey church, and in A.D. 972 some of her relics were translated to Pershore Abbey in Worcestershire, which is dedicated to her.
LANDELIN (LANDELINUS), St. Landelin was a repentant robber who became a hieromonk. He founded several monasteries in present-day France and Belgium, beginning with the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Lobbes where he was the spiritual father of SS. Domitian and Hadelin (vide supra). St. Landelin also founded monasteries at Aulne (Belgium), Walers (France), and Crespin (France). St. Landelin reposed A.D. 686.
MELAN, Bishop of Viviers in the Languedoc from A.D. 519 until his repose A.D. 549. St. Melan was represented at the Council of Orange (A.D. 549) by his Archdeacon, Cautinus.
TRILLO (DRILLO, DREL), St. Trillo the son of a Breton chieftain, went to Wales with St. Cadfan (1st November). He is the founder and patron saint of the churches at Llandrillo in Gwynedd and Rhos-on-Sea (Llandrillo yn Rhos) in Conwy County Borough, Wales. St. Trillo reposed in the early part of the sixth century.
VITUS, MODESTUS, and CRESCENTIA, according to legend of dubious veracity, St. Vitus was the son of a Sicilian senator by the name of Hylas. St Vitus was brought to Christ at the age of twelve by his nurse St. Crescentia and tutor St. Modestus. His conversion so enraged his pagan father that Hylas had SS. Vitus, Modestus, and Crescentia arrested, and scourged. The three saints managed to escape their captivity and flee Sicily, first to Lucania, then Rome. In Rome, they were once again arrested, this time on a charge of sorcery and failure to perform pagan sacrifices. Following torture, the saints were condemned to death. First, they were fed to lions, and when the lions refused to touch them, they were thrown into a vat of boiling oil, circa A.D. 303.
For reasons no longer known, in sixteenth century A.D. Germany it was believed that dancing before a statue of St. Vitus on his feast day would give the dancer a years’ good health. In time, the dancing became so frenzied that onlookers thought the dancers were actually afflicted with the neurological disorder Sydenham’s chorea, which came to be colloquially known as ‘St. Vitus Dance’.
VOUGA (VOUGAR, VEHO, FEOCK, FIECH), a sixth century A.D. bishop of an unknown diocese in Ireland. St. Vouga retired from his See, and went to Brittany and settled near Lesneven where he lived out the rest of his years as a hermit.