Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
16th December (NS) — 3rd December (OS)
3rd December O.S.
ABBO, an Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Germain d’Auxerre in Burgundy. St. Abbo was consecrated Bishop of Auxerre in 857, however, after two years he resigned his See to spend the rest of his life as a monk. He reposed circa 860.
AGRICOLA, (Date Unknown), a martyr in Hungary, who although there are no lives extant, he is listed in all the ancient martyrologies.
ATTALIA (ATTALA), one of the three daughters of Adalbert, Duke of Alsace, and a niece of St. Odilia (13th December). St. Attalia was a nun who was appointed first Abbess of the Abbey of St. Stephen in Strasbourg. St. Attalia reposed in 741.
BIRINUS, a native of Lombardy, consecrated Bishop by Asterius Bishop of Genoa, and then sent by Pope Honorius to convert the West Saxons. One of his earliest converts was Cynegils, King of Wessex, at whose baptism King St. Oswald of Northumbria (5th August) served as godfather. St. Birinus founded the Diocese of Dorchester in Oxfordshire where reposed circa 650. His relics were translated to the Church of St. Peter at Winchester by Bishop Hedda in 686. St. Birinus is also known as the Apostle of Wessex.
CASSIAN, a court recorder at the trial of St. Marcellus (30th October) at Tangiers (298). When the sentence of death was handed down, St. Cassian, decrying the court’s decision, and revieled himself to be a Christian. He was rewarded with arrest and soon after martyrdom.
CLAUDIUS, CRISPIN, MAGINA, JOHN, and STEPHEN, (Date Unknown), martyrs in North Africa, of whom nothing is known.
ELOQUE (ELOQUIUS), a disciple of St. Fursey (16th January) and later Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Lagny. St. Eloquius reposed circa 666.
ETHERNAN, (Date Uncertain), a Scot who studied in Ireland where, in time, he was consecrated bishop. He then returned to Scotland where he devoted the rest of his life spreading the Gospel. His Feast and Office were in the Aberdeen Breviary.
LUCIUS, (Second Century), In the Liber Pontificalis’ (c. 6th century) biography of Pope St. Eleutherius (26th May) is the following brief sentence: ‘He received a letter from Lucius, a British king, who wanted to become a Christian on his authority’. From this developed the tradition of King St. Lucius, a British king who requested missionaries from the Pope of Rome. For centuries after, this legend of the “first Christian king of Britain” was widely considered an accurate account of Christianity among the early Britons. And while it has been argued that this is the only explanation for the existence of an organised British church in Roman times, there is no contemporary evidence that King St. Lucius ever lived. Modern scholars generally follow the argument of German theologian and church historian Adolf von Harnack († 1930) who suggested that the statement in the Liber Pontificalis is due to a transcription error. As the Middle Ages progressed the legend of King St. Lucius grew more and more elaborate. According to the Roman Martyrology St. Lucius abdicated his throne, became a missionary, and served as the first Bishop of Chur, in the present-day Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. Various versions of the legend of King St. Lucius appeared in the Historia Brittonum (early 9th century A.D.), William of Malmesbury’s Gesta Pontificum Anglorum (early 12th century A.D.), and the Book of Llandaff (also early 12th century A.D.). However, it was Geoffrey of Monmouth’s early 12th century chronicle, Historia Regum Britanniae, which stands out as the most historically significant account of the life of St. Lucius, in which Geoffrey stresses the saint’s virtues, and provides a detailed, albeit mythical, story of Christianity’s growth in Britain during St. Lucius’ reign. This account remained the exemplar until well into the 20th century A.D., when historians pointed out the unlikeliness of a British king south of Hadrian’s Wall in the second century A.D., and certainly none who would have been in the position to send a delegation to the Pope. King St. Lucius is generally believed reposed circa 156 at Gloucester, though there is said to have been a plaque in the church of St. Peter upon Cornhill in the City of London (destroyed in the Great Fire 1666), crediting St. Lucius with founding of that church in 179. What are said to be St. Lucius’ relics are enshrined in the Cathedral of St. Luzius in Chur, although scholarly consensus is that the See only dates from the early fourth century A.D.
MIROCLES, the seventh Bishop of Milan. St. Mirocles he was Bishop when Emperor Saint Constantine the Great (21st May) issued the Edict of Milan, and is also recorded as being present at the Lateran Council of 313, as well as the Synod of Arles of 314 which condemned Donatism. In addition he helped in the development of the Liturgy and Chant of the Ambrosian Rite. St. Mirocles reposed circa 316, later his life and work were praised by St. Ambrose of Milan (7th December).
SOLA (SOL, SOLUS, SUOLO), an English monk who went to Germany where he became a disciple of St. Boniface (5th June) who later ordained him to the priesthood. St. Sola then lived as a hermit near Fulda in Hesse, then near Eichstätt in Bavaria. At each, St. Sola attracted disciples. The number of disciples at Eichstätt were so great that he founded an abbey at Solnhofen for them where he spent the rest of his life. St. Sola reposed in 794.
16th December N.S.
ADELAIDE (ADELHEID), a Burgundian princess wed to King Lothaire of Italy. Following the death of Lothaire, St. Adelaide married Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, who also predeceased her. As Dowager Empress, she served as regent for the child Otto III, and was of great service to both Church and State. Towards the end of her life St. Adelaide retired to a monastery in Alsace, where she reposed in A.D. 999.
ADO, a Burgundian noble who was educated, then received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Paul of Ferrières, in present-day Ferrières-en-Gâtinais, Loire, France. He was given the obedience of teaching at Prüm Abbey in Lorraine. After leaving Prüm, St. Ado spent several years in Rome and Ravenna, during which time he published a Roman Martyrology. In A.D. 859 St. Ado was consecrated fifty-second Bishop of Vienne, serving that See until he reposed in A.D. 875.
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”.
BEOC (BEANUS, DABEOC, MOBEOC), (Fifth or Sixth Century), information on his life is rather vague, but according to tradition he was a disciple of St. Patrick (17th March) who was placed in charge of St. Patrick’s Purgatory, an ancient pilgrimage site on Station Island in Lough Derg, where he also founded a monastery.
MARTYRS of NORTH-WEST AFRICA, a group of women probably numbering one or two hundred martyred during the persecutions under Hunneric, Arian King of the Vandals in A.D. 482.
MARTYRS of RAVENNA (VALENTINE, CONCORDIUS, NAVALIS and AGRICOLA), (Early Third Century), a group of martyrs at Ravenna, of whom nothing further is known than these four names.