Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
20th May (NS) — 7th May (OS)
7th May O.S.
DOMITIAN, often referred to as the “Apostle of the Meuse Valley” in recognition of his efforts there to bring people to Christ. St. Domitian served as the second Bishop of the Diocese of Maastricht. A great foe of heresy, which he forcefully spoke out against at the Fifth Council of Orléans (A.D. 549). St. Domitian reposed A.D. 560, and his relics were enshrined at relics at Huy in present-day Belgium.
JOHN of BEVERLEY, our father among the saints John of Beverley was a diligent scholar and teacher who was educated at St. Augustine’s monastery at Canterbury under the supervision of St. Theodore of Canterbury (19th September). St. John then went to the double monastery of Whitby under St. Hilda (17th November). At Whitby, his students included St. Bede the Venerable (25th May), whom St. John ordained to the priesthood. St. Bede the Venerable relates in his Historia Ecclesiastica how St. John cured a deaf mute through his blessing. St. John was first consecrated Bishop of Hexham (circa A.D. 687), and was made Bishop of York in A.D. 705. However he resigned that See after eight years, and retired to the abbey at Inderawood which he had founded, and which later became known as Beverley. St. John reposed there after seven years, A.D. 721.
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”.
JUVENAL of BENEVENTO, however improbable, some say he was deacon to Pope Saint Alexander I (3rd May), whilst more likely is the opinion that St. Juvenal was a Bishop of Teramo in the Abruzzo. He is thought to have reposed circa A.D. 132, and his reputed relics are enshrined at Benevento in Campania.
PETER of PAVIA, the twelfth Bishop of Pavia in Lombardy during the reign of his nephew Luitprand, as King of the Lombards. St. Peter reposed circa A.D. 735.
PLACID (PLACIDUS, PLAIT), an abbot of the Abbey of St. Symphorian in Autun, Burgundy. St. Placid reposed circa A.D. 675.
SERENICUS and SERENUS, two noblemen originally from Spoleto in Italy who became hermits near the River Sarthe in Gaul. St Serenicus later served as Abbot of a local monastery, while St. Serenus remained a hermit until his repose. They are believed to have reposed circa A.D. 669.
20th May N.S.
ANASTASIUS, a Bishop of Brescia in Lombardy, who played a significant role in the conversion of the Arian Lombards to Chalcedonian Christianity. St. Anastasius reposed A.D.610.
AUSTREGISILUS (AOUSTRILLE, OUTRILLE), a courtier at King Gontram’s court at Chalon-sur-Saone. St. Austregisilus felt called to monastic life and entered the Abbey of St. Nizier in Lyons, receiving monastic tonsure, and ordination to the priesthood. St. Austregisilus was soon made Abbot of St. Nizier, and in A.D. 612 was consecrated Bishop of Bourges. He served that See until his repose A.D. 624. Mourned by his flock who quickly venerated him as a saint, which received Episcopal approval not long after.
BASILLA (BABILLA), there seems to be a bit of confusion about this (these) saints, some martyrologies list either St. Basilla or Babilla, some both as separate saints, while others posit they are the same saint. The extant Acts are completely unreliable. The majority opinion is that St. Basilla was a niece of Emperor Gallienus (r. A.D. 253 – 268), who secretly converted to Christianity. When discovered, she was given the choice between marrying a pagan patrician (thus renouncing her faith), or martyrdom. St. Basilla chose martyrdom, and was beheaded in Rome, circa A.D. 270 or circa A.D. 304.
BAUDELIUS, (Second or Third Century), a married lay evangelist who indefatigably laboured to spread the faith in Gaul. St. Baudelius was martyred by the Roman authorities either A.D. 187 or 295, depending on the source. There were in excess of four hundred churches dedicated to St. Baudelius in France and northern Spain.
ETHELBERT (ALBERT, ALBRIGHT), St. Ethelbert was King of East Anglia in England. He was treacherously murdered (A.D. 794) by order of King Offa of Mercia who had invited St. Ethelbert to his Court under the pretext of marrying his daughter. He was immediately venerated as a martyr especially in Hereford where his relics were entombed, and in his native East Anglia.
HILARY (HILARIUS, HILAIRE), the third Bishop of Toulouse, from A.D. 358 to A.D. 360.
PLAUTILLA, the mother of Flavia Domitilla (12th May). According to an anonymous, but accepted Life, St. Plautilla was a Roman noblewoman who, as an adult, was baptised by the Apostle Peter (29th June). It is said St. Plautilla reposed circa A.D. 67.
THEODORE of PAVIA, the Bishop of Pavia from A.D. 743 until his repose in A.D. 778. St. Theodore was an unreservedly frank critic of Arianism, which earned the enmity of the Lombard Kings, who, amongst other hardships, repeatedly exiled St. Theodore.