Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
17th June (NS) — 4th June (OS)

by | 17 Jun, 2017 | Orthodox Western Saints

4th June O.S.


ALDEGRIN (ADALGRIN, ALDEGRIN), after retiring from a life as a knight, St. Aldegrin received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Baume-les-Messieurs in the Jura, where he was a spiritual child of St. Odo of Cluny (18th November). St. Aldegrin spent his last years as a hermit not far from the Abbey. He reposed A.D. 939.

ALEXANDER, there is no contemporaneous information on St. Alexander extant. However, it is known he was a Bishop of Verona, most likely the twenty-first, and it seems he flourished in the early part of the eighth century A.D.

BREACA, the limited amount of information extant on St. Breaca is pious legend based upon a now lost mediaeval hagiography. It appears she was a native of Ireland and probably a disciple of either (or both) SS. Brigid (1st February) or Patrick (17th March). She crossed over to Cornwall with several companions and lived in solitude and great sanctity. Several of the group are said to have been martyred by the local ruler Tewder or Theodoric. St. Breaca reposed circa late fifth or early sixth century A.D.

BURIANA, St. Buriana was one of many Irish saints who migrated to Cornwall to spread the Gospel, and, as is the case with many of her contemporaries, little in the way of reliable information on her life is still extant. She is said to have lived as an anchoress at the place now known as St. Buryan, near Penzance, during the sixth century A.D.

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”.

CLATEUS, a very early Bishop of Brescia, martyred circa A.D. 64, in the persecutions of Christians during the reign of Nero (r. A.D. 54 – 68). No further information is extant.

CROIDAN, MEDAN, and DEGAN, (Sixth Century), these saints were disciples of St. Petroc (vide infra), at his monastery in Bodmin in Cornwall. Nothing else is known of their lives.

EADFRITH, St. Eadfrith succeeded St. Edbert (6th May) as eighth Bishop of Lindisfarne, and is generally believed to have been the scribe and artist responsible for the Lindisfarne Gospels. He reposed in A.D. 721.

ELSIAR, a monk at the Abbey of Saint-Savin-en-Lavedan, on the Spanish/French border. St. Elsiar reposed circa A.D. 1050.

NENNOC (NENNOCHA, NINNOC), one of the many daughters of St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April) and a nun in Britain. St. Nennoc accompanied St. Germanus of Auxerre (31st July) on his return to Gaul, and it is believed St. Nennoc served as Abbess of one or more monasteries in Brittany. St. Nennoc reposed circa A.D. 467.

OPTATUS of MILEVIS, a late fourth century A.D. Bishop of Milevis, Numidia (present-day Algeria), and survivor of the Diocletianic Persecution, as well as Julian the Apostate’s persecution of Christians. A fervent foe of Donatist heresy, St. Optatus’ work Against the Donatistswas praised by his contemporaries, and an important resource for theologians to this day. St. Optatus reposed circa A.D. 387.

PETROC (PETROCK, PEDROG, PERREUX), St. Petroc has been called ‘The Captain of Cornish Saints’ by Anglican Historian Thomas Fuller, and is one of Britain’s most illustrious saints. A native of Wales, he went to Ireland where he is believed to have studied under St. Kevin (3rd June). St. Petroc then went to Cornwall where he founded a monastery at the place now known as Padstow (Petrocstow), and a second one at Bodmin. He reposed there circa A.D. 594; later some of his relics were translated to Brittany where he is known as St. Perreux.

QUIRINUS, a Bishop of Sisak, in present-day central Croatia. Who was tortured and then martyred towards the end of the Diocletianic Persecution circa A.D. 308. Whilst imprisoned, St. Quirinus converted his gaoler. The authentic Acts of his martyrdom are contained in T. Ruinart’s Acta primorum martyrum sincera et selecta, as is a hymn composed in his honour by Prudentius.

QUIRINUS, (Date Unknown), martyred at Tivoli near Rome. No further information is extant.

RUTILUS and COMPANIONS, (Date Unknown), an unknown number of martyrs at Savaria Pannonia, present-day Szombathely, Hungary. Aside from St Rutilus’ name, and the location of their martyrdom there is no information extant.

SATURNINA, (Date Unknown), according to pious tradition, which is of questionable veracity, St. Saturnina was a German maiden who was murdered whilst defending her virtue, near Arras in Gaul.

N.S.

AGRIPPINUS, an early seventh century A.D. Bishop of Como. St.Agrippinus reposed A.D. 615.

ANTIDIUS (ANTIDE ANTEL, ANTIBLE, TUDE), a Bishop of Besançon, who was murdered by Vandals at the village of Ruffey-le-Château in present-day Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France. There is some question to when St. Antidius flourished, and dates from the third to fifth century A.D. have been given. Most sources say he was a disciple of St. Ferreolus of Besançon (16th June), whom he succeeded as Bishop of Besançon, which would place him in the mid-third century A.D. However, if the fifth century date is correct, he could not have been St. Ferreolus’ disciple and successor.

AVITUS (AVY), a monk at an abbey in Menat in Auvergne, who succeeded St. Maximin (15th December) as Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Mesmin de Micy. In the last years of his life, St. Avitus left Micy to live as a hermit in a forest in the province of Perche, just south of Normandy. As is often the case disciples began to gather round the saint’s hermitage, eventually the number of disciples grew to the point that St. Avitus was forced to build a monastery for them and serve as their abbot. St. Avitus reposed circa A.D. 530.

BOTULF and ADULF (BOTOLPH and ADOLPH), SS. Botulf and Adulf were brothers from England who entered a monastery in Belgium. St. Adulf went on to be consecrated Bishop of Utrecht and nothing further is known of him. St. Botulf returned to England, where, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, he founded and was first Abbot of a monastery at Iken in Suffolk, which was destroyed by the Danes in the ninth century. St. Botulf reposed circa A.D. 700. There are over seventy churches (including four at the gates of the City of London) dedicated to him.

BRIAVEL, (Sixth Century), there is no record of her life extant, however it is generally believed St. Briavel was a hermit in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire England where the village and civil parish of St. Briavels commemorate her.

GUNDULPHUS, a sixth century bishop in France who is believed to have reposed in Bourges. No further information, including the diocese of which he was bishop, is extant.

HERVEUS (HERVÉ), a native of Wales who was taken when very young to Brittany. St. Herveus was blind from birth, and in his teenage years lived as a hermit and bard for a while. He entered, and served as abbot at one point, of a monastery in Plouvien. Though later St. Herveus and some of his monks moved to the Abbey of Saint-Guénolé de Landévennec. The year of St. Herveus’s repose has been given as somewhere between circa A.D. 556 and 575. He was buried at Landévennec Abbey.

HIMERIUS, (Date Uncertain), a hermit, then monk, renowned for his acsetism who was chosen by the people of Ameila in Umbria to be their bishop. The years St. Himerius flourished are unknown, though there has been speculation it was in the sixth century A.D. It is said after his repose there were many miracles reported at his tomb. The relics of St. Himerius were translated to Cremona in Lombardy (circa A.D. 995), and interred in a church that was later destroyed.

MARTYRS of ROME, (Date Uncertain), a group of two hundred and sixty-two Christians martyred at Rome. The Bollandists place their martyrdom during the Diocletianic Persecution (A.D. 303 – 313), though many authorities place it later.

MOLLING (MOLING, MYLLIN, MOLIGNUS, DAIRCHILLA), St. Molling received monastic tonsure at Glendalough, and went on to succeed St. Áedan (31st January) in the Bishopric of Ferns. He later resigned that See and founded an abbey at Achad Cainigh, which became Teghmollin, or Tech Molin, St. Mullins, Co. Carlow where he reposed A.D. 697 and was buried.

MONTANUS, a Christian soldier originally believed to have been martyred during the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117 -138). However, now the prevailing opinion is that he suffered during the Diocletianic Persecution (A.D. 303 – 313). After an unspecified length of imprisonment, St. Montanus was taken to the Island of Ponza off the coast of Lazio. There he had a heavy stone tied around his neck and then was thrown into the Tyrrhenian Sea. His body was later recovered and enshrined at Gaeta.

Icon of St. Nectan of Hartland

Icon of St. Nectan of Hartland

NECTAN, (Sixth Century), St. Nectan was the eldest of St. Brychan of Brycheiniog’s (6th April) twenty-four children. Whilst still a young man he was inspired to imitate the example of St. Anthony the Great and the other great ascetics. To that end he and several companions left Wales by boat landing on the northern coast of Devonshire at Hartland.

One day St. Nectan found a stray pig, and returned it to its owner. In gratitude, the owner gave St. Nectan two cows, which were soon stolen from him. He found the robbers and attempted to teach them about Christ, however this enraged the robbers and one of them beheaded St. Nectan. The saint then picked up his head and carried it about one kilometre back to his cell and laid it down near a spring. Seeing this caused the robber who cut St. Nectan’s head off to go mad, but the other robber buried the saint. Since then the site of his tomb has been a place of many miracles.

St. Nectan is the patron of Hartland, Devonshire, and there is an Orthodox house chapel (Moscow Patriarchate) dedicated to St. Simeon and St. Anna at Combe Martin, North Devon where St. Nectan is venerated.

Troparion of St. Nectan — Tone IV

O holy Father Nectan

you followed the bidding of the Lord

and left your father and mother for His sake to embrace the hermit’s life.

Faithful follower of Christ unto death

pray that He may save our souls.


RAMBOLD (RAMNOLD), a monk at the Abbey of St. Maximin in Trier, and later Abbot of St. Emmeram’s Abbey in Regensburg. St. Rambold reposed A.D. 1001 at the age of one hundred.

Dr. John (Ellsworth) Hutchison-Hall

Dr. John (Ell­s­worth) Hutchis­on-Hall is an East­ern Ortho­dox Chris­ti­an theo­lo­gian, philo­sopher, his­tor­i­an, and cul­tur­al com­ment­at­or.  Author of the acclaimed Ortho­dox Saints of the Brit­ish Isles series, Dr. Hutchis­on-Hall has also com­piled sev­er­al ser­vice books.  He served as a Field Edu­ca­tion Super­visor for sem­in­ari­ans and as both a dis­aster respon­se and hos­pit­al chap­lain.  Dr. Hutchis­on-Hall has lec­tured widely and writ­ten on pas­tor­al care in dis­aster respon­se.  In addi­tion to provid­ing pas­tor­al coun­selling, Dr. Hutchis­on-Hall runs sup­port groups for people with men­tal ill­ness.
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