Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
18th April (NS) — 5th April (OS)
5th April O.S.
BECAN (BEGAN), one of the ‘Twelve Apostles of Ireland’. St. Becan is credited with founding a monastery at Kill-Beggan in Co. Westmeath. He also gave his name to the church and parish of Imleach-Becain, Co. Meath. The Félire Óengusso (Martyrology of Ængus) lists him along with SS. Enda (21st March) and Cuan (1st January) as ‘three greatest champions of virtue, and leaders of saints of their era.’
DERFEL-GADARN, (Sixth Century), it is universally accepted that he was a celebrated warrior, and local legend claims St. Derfel was one of seven warriors of King Arthur who survived the Battle of Camlan. St. Derfel-Gadarn entered monastic life, possibly after the Battle of Camlan. He spent a period of time as a hermit at Llanderfel in Gwynedd, Wales. Always held in great veneration by the Welsh, St. Derfel-Gararn reposed in the late sixth century A.D.
MARTYRS of NORTH-WEST AFRICA, an unknown number martyred in A.D. 459 during the Easter liturgy, by order of Genseric the Arian King of the Vandals.
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”.
18th April N.S.
AGIA (AIA, AUSTREGILDIS, AYE), the wife of St. Hidulf of Hainault (23rd June). She and St. Hidulf separated by mutual consent to enter monastic life. St. Agia entered an abbey in Mons where she lived until her repose circa A.D. 714.
APOLLONIUS the APOLOGIST, a Roman senator and scholar who, after studies in pagan philosophy as well as the Scriptures converted to Christianity. Though during the time in which St. Apollonius flourished Christians were relatively free from persecution, when one of his servants denounced St. Apollonius to the authorities. St. Apollonius was then brought before a court which gave him the option of either renouncing Christianity or death, St. Apollonius refused to apostatize and was beheaded circa A.D. 190. Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History, and St. Jerome (30th September) in De Viris Illustribus have written of St. Apollonius and his trial.
BITHEUS and GENOCUS, (Sixth Century), Two British monks, who accompanied St. Finian of Clonard (12th December) to Ireland where they gained reputations for great sanctity and eventually reposed. There is no further information on either saint extant.
CALOCERUS, (Date Uncertain), an officer in the army of the Emperor Hadrian who was martyred in Brescia for converting to Christianity.
COGITOSUS, though little is known of this saint, it appears he was a monk at Kildare, and may very well be the author of Vita Sanctae Brigidae, the oldest extant Life of St. Brigid (1st February). Some sources assert that he may have been related to St. Brigid as well, though there is insufficient evidence to support this opinion.
COREBUS, according to pious legend St. Corebus was a prefect in Messina, Sicily who was converted to Christ by the witness of St. Eleutherius (26th May). He was martyred (A.D. 138) in the persecutions during the reign of Hadrian (r. A.D. 117 – 138).
DEICOLA (DICUL), (Late Seventh Century), A native of Ireland, St. Deicola went to England where he worked to enlighten the people of Norfolk and Sussex. The village of Dickleburgh in South Norfolk may be named after him. He reposed towards the end of the seventh century A.D.
ELEUTHERIUS and ANTHIA, St. Eleutherius, Bishop of Illyria in present-day Croatia, his mother Anthia, and eleven others, whose name are no longer known, were martyred, possibly for their successful evangelisation, in Illyria circa A.D. 138, in the persecutions during the reign of Hadrian (r. A.D. 117 – 138).
LASERIAN (MOLAISSE), A nephew of St. Blane (10th August), St. Laserian is said to have been ordained to the priesthood in Rome by Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September). Upon returning to Ireland he founded the monastery and Bishopric of Leighlin, Co. Carlow, serving as the first Bishop-Abbot. Soon afterwards he was appointed Papal Legate, and, in that role, strenuously advocated for the Roman Practice to prevail, especially with regards to Easter (vide Paschal Controversy). St. Laserian is also venerated as the Patron of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leighlin.
PERFECTUS (PERFECTO), a priest in Cordoba who was martyred by Muslims for expressing the opinion that Jesus was the Son of God and our Saviour, while Mohammed was a false prophet. Following his arrest and conviction for blasphemy, St. Perfectus was executed on Easter Sunday A.D. 851.
WICTERP (WIGBERT, WIHO, WICHO), Abbot of Ellwangen Abbey in Swabia (present-day Ellwangen an der Jagst, Baden-Württemberg). He also founded the pre-eminent monasteries at Füssen, Wessobrunn, and Kempten all in Bavaria. St. Wicterp was consecrated the twelfth Bishop of Augsburg circa A.D. 738, serving until his repose in A.D. 749.