Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
21st May (NS) — 8th May (OS)
8th May O.S.
BENEDICT II, eighty-first Pope of Rome, during his education, St. Benedict excelled at singing, and was a noted Bible scholar. Elected in 683, St. Benedict’s enthronement took place almost a year later, as the election of Popes required Imperial confirmation. During his papacy, St. Benedict fought against Monothelitism, helped bishops in Spain restore orthodoxy in their diocese, and was able to secure Emperor Constantine Pogonatus’ consent to do away with the requirement of Imperial confirmation of his successors. St. Benedict reposed 685, and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
BONIFACE IV, a student of St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September), monk at the Abbey of St. Sebastian in Rome, and deacon to St. Gregory the Dialogist, St. Boniface became the sixty-seventh Pope of Rome on 25th August, 608. As Pope, he oversaw the first conversion in Rome of a pagan temple into a church, supported the evangelisation of England, and promoted reforms amongst the clergy coupled with improved living and working conditions. Towards the end of his life, St. Boniface converted his home into a monastery, where he then lived balancing his time between papal responsibilities, and monastic life. St. Boniface reposed 8th May, 615 and was at Old St. Peter’s Basilica.
DESIDERATUS (DÉSIRÉ), the twenty-third Bishop of Bourges in Aquitaine. A courtier to Clotaire I King of the Franks (r. 551 – 558), who fought against both simony and Nestorianism, and though his desire was to retire to monastic life, St. Desideratus was chosen to serve as Bishop of Bourges 541. During his time as Bishop he attended both the fifth Council of Orleans (549). St. Desideratus reposed 550.
DIONYSIUS (DENIS), (Second Century), the sixth Bishop of Vienne in the Dauphiné. According to St. Ado (16th December) a ninth century Bishop of Vienne and noted martyrologist, St. Dionysius was one of the ten missionaries who accompanied St Peregrinus (16th May) to evangelise Gaul.
GIBRIAN, an Irishman who, along with his five brothers and three sisters, went to Reims, where he was blessed by St. Remigius to live as a hermit at a location that is now called Saint-Gibrian after him. St. Gibrian reposed circa 515.
HELLADIUS of AUXERRE, the third Bishop of Auxerre, St. Helladius served that See for thirty years. He reposed 387, and was succeeded by St. Amator (1st May), whom St. Helladius brought to Christ.
IDA (ITA, IDUBERGA) of NIVELLES, following the repose of her husband, St. Pepin of Landen (21st February), St. Ida built the double monastery at Nivelles that later was known as the Abbey of St. Gertrude, after St. Ida’s daughter and first Abbess. St. Ida spent the rest of her at Nivelles Abbey, reposing 652.
ODRIAN, (Date Unknown), an early Bishop of Waterford, and patron saint of Waterford as well. No further information, including the dates he lived, about this saint exists.
VICTOR the MOOR (MAURUS), a soldier in the Roman Praetorian Guard originally from Roman Mauretania, and a Christian from youth. St. Victor managed to live to an old age before being persecuted for his faith. St. Victor was arrested, circa 303, tortured by being basted in molten lead, and then beheaded.
WIRO, PLECHELM and OTGER, St. Waro was the second Bishop of Utrecht in Frisia. St. Wiro, with two companions, SS. Plechelm and Otger founded a monastery at on a hill above present-day Sint Odiliënberg in the Netherlands. St. Wiro reposed circa 753.
21st May N.S.
AGERANUS (AYRAN, AYRMAN) and COMPANIONS, a monk at the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Bèze in Burgundy. In 888, invading Normans came to sack the Abbey. Most of the community escaped, with the exception of St. Ageranus and four monks SS. Genesius, Bernard, Sifiard, and Rodron, plus the priest-monk St. Ansuinus, all of whom stayed behind to protect the Altar and other sacred items. The Normans slaughtered all six as they sacked the Abbey.
BARRFOIN (BAIRRFHIONN, BARRINDUS), according to tradition St. Barrfoin was placed in charge of the church founded by St. Columba (9th June) at Drum Cullen, Co. Offaly in Ireland; and later lived in Killbarron Co. Donegal. St. Barrfoin is said to have undertaken several missions by sea and to have reached North America, informing his friend St. Brendan the Voyager (16th May) of his discovery. It is believed St. Barrfoin reposed towards the end of the sixth century, and some Irish calendars style him a bishop.
GOLLEN (COLLEN, COLAN), St. Gollen is the saint for whom Llangollen in Denbighshire Wales is named. Believed to have lived during the seventh century, there are several legends connecting St. Gollen with Glastonbury and Rome. However, nothing certain is known of his life. It is safe to deduce from the existence of a church in Brittany dedicated to him, that he may have lived there for some time.
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”.
HOSPITIUS, a hermit at what is today Pointe-de-Saint-Hospice in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Rivera. St. Hospitius lived in the remains of an old tower, in chains, on a diet limited to bread and dates. In addition to these great feats of asceticism, St. Hospitus had the gift of clairvoyance, and was known for his wonderworking Whilst a group of Lombard soldiers were pillaging the area, they came across St. Hospitus, and seeing him chained assumed him to be a criminal. He said, indeed he was a most grievous sinner. As one of the soldiers raised his sword to dispatch St. Hospitus, his arm became paralysed, and would not move until the saint made the sign of the cross over it. The soldier converted on the spot, and they departed leaving St. Hospitus unmolested. Foreseeing the hour of his repose, St. Hospitus spent his last hours in prayer, removed his chains, and breathed is last circa 580.
ISBERGA (ITISBERGA), a sister of Charlemagne and nun at a monastery in Aire in the present-day Artois region of France. St Isberga reposed circa 800.
SECUNDINUS, martyred in Cordoba during the Diocletianic Persecution, circa 306.
THEOBALD (THIBAUD) of VIENNE, consecrated the forty-second Archbishop of Vienne 970. St. Theobald served the See until his repose 1001.
TIMOTHY, POLIUS and EUTYCHIUS, (Date Uncertain), three deacons martyred in Mauretania Caesariensis (present-day Algeria) during the Diocletianic Persecution (303 – 311).
VALENS and COMPANIONS, (Date Uncertain), St. Valens is believed to have been a bishop, though the See is not known. He, along with three youths whose names are unknown, was martyred in Auxerre.