Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
26th August (NS) — 13th August (OS)

by | 26 Aug, 2017 | Orthodox Western Saints

13th August O.S.


CASSIAN of IMOLA, a third or fourth century A.D. martyr. St. Cassian was a schoolmaster, who is said to have been martyred by his students who tied him to a stake and stabbed him to death with their styli.

CASSIAN of TODI, a fourth century A.D. Bishop of Todi in central Italy, who was martyred during the persecutions of Christians during the reign of Maximian Herculeus.

CENTOLLA and HELEN, (Date Uncertain), two women, possibly nuns, who, according to tradition were martyred near Burgos in Spain.

HERULPH, St. Herulph received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of St. Gall in present-day St. Gallen, Switzerland). He returned to his native Ellwangen in the Dutchy of Swabia (present-day Baden-Württemberg, Germany) circa A.D. 764 where he founded and was first Abbot of the Abbey of Salvator Mundi and SS. Peter and Paul, the area’s first Benedictine monastery. St. Herulph later served as the thirty-third Bishop of Langres in Gaul, reposing A.D. 785.

HIPPOLYTUS, CONCORDIA, and COMPANIONS, one of the most important theologians of his era, St. Hippolytus is the subject of a variety of legends none of which can be verified. He has been accused of being part of the Novatian Schism, and of setting himself up as an alternative Bishop of Rome, after accusing the incumbent of Sabellianism. However, it seems he repented and was reconciled to the Church before his martyrdom (circa A.D. 235). St. Concordia is said to have been St. Hippolytus’ nurse, and she, along with nineteen other Christians were beheaded outside the Tivoli Gate of Rome.

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”.

JUNIAN, a sixth century A.D. abbot and hermit. St. Junian was the founder of Mairé (Mariacum) Abbey in Poitou, and a friend of St. Radegund (vide infra).

LUDOLF, related to the ducal family of the House of Saxony, and son of the Reeve of Corvey, St. Ludolf served as Abbot of Corbeia Nova (Fürstabtei Corvey) in present-day North Rhine-Westphalia from A.D. 965 until his repose A.D. 983.

MURTAGH (MUREDACH), (Fifth Century), St. Murtagh was a disciple of St. Patrick (17th March), who consecrated him first Bishop of Killala, Co. Mayo, Ireland. The limited information we have on his life is mainly apocryphal. It appears he resigned his See after few years and spent the remainder of his life as a hermit on an island in Donegal Bay, now called Innismurray after him.

PONTIAN, the successor of St. Urban I (25th May) as Pope of Rome. However, three years into his pontificate he was exiled by the Emperor Maximinus Thrax to Sardinia. He reposed, A.D. 235, whilst still in exile. His relics were translated to Rome during the papacy of Fabian (A.D. 236 – 50), and interred in the papal crypt of the Catacomb of Callistus.

RADEGUND, the daughter of a pagan King in Thuringia taken by the Frankish King Clotaire I to be one of his six wives or concubines. In time she left Clotaire, received monastic tonsure, and founded the Monastery Holy Cross at Poitiers in France where she reposed A.D. 587, after more than three decades of monastic life.

WIGBERT, an Anglo-Saxon disciple of St. Egbert (24th April) in Ireland, who spent two tears evangelising the heathen in Friesland. St. Wigbert returned to Ireland where he spent the rest of his life, reposing circa A.D. 690.

26th August N.S.

ALEXANDER, the details of his life are uncertain, though there is a legend that he was a member of the Theban Legion (22nd September) who escaped (several times), spending the last few years of his life in Bergamo, preaching and evangelising, before he was finally arrested and martyred in A.D. 303 at the location where the church of San Alessandro now stands in Colonna.

ELIAS, a Bishop of Syracuse in Sicily, who reposed A.D. 660, and of whom no further information seems to be known.

FELIX of PISTOIA, a ninth century hermit in Pistoia in Tuscany. No other details of his life are extant.

IRENAEUS and ABUNDIUS, martyred in Rome, for the crime of giving proper burials to Christians, they were drowned in the public sewers during the persecution of Valerian, circa A.D. 258.

NINIAN, St. Ninian was a native Briton. According to St. Bede the Venerable (25th May), St. Ninian received his education and Episcopal consecration, at Rome, and was then sent back to his native land as a missionary. St. Ninian founded the Episcopal See of Withern, or “Candida Casa” (so-called because St. Ninian’s Cathedral was built of white stone, the first to be so in Britain), at present-day Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway. This church, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours (11th November), is the first recorded Christian church to have been built in Scotland. From his cathedral, and the monastery attached to it, St. Ninian and his monks enlightened the northern Britons and the Picts, and St. Ninian became known as the Apostle of Cumberland and of the Southern Picts of Scotland. It is generally believed that St. Ninian reposed circa A.D. 432,

Troparion of St. Ninian — Tone I

O Ninian, thou faithful servant of Christ, equal of the apostles,

as a vessel overflowing with the love of Christ thou didst enlighten

the land of the Picts with the Faith; wherefore, we beseech thee most earnestly:

Entreat the life-creating Trinity, that the Scottish land

may regain its ancient piety, that peace be granted to the world,

and salvation to all who honour thy holy memory.

though an eighth century poem, the Miracula Nynie Episcopi, claims he was a contemporary of a local king called Tudwal; a king of that name ruled at Dumbarton circa A.D. 550. St. Ninian was buried at his church. In the Middle Ages his tomb became a place of pilgrimage.

Icon of St. Ninian

Icon of St. Ninian

PANDWYNA, a native of either Scotland or Ireland, St. Pandwyna was forced to flee to England, where it is believed that a relative was Abbess of Eltisley, Cambridgeshire (about 9 km east of St. Neots). There she received monastic tonsure and spent the rest of her life as a nun. St. Pandwyna reposed circa A.D. 904, and was initially buried near St. Pandonia Well in Eltisley. Her relics were later translated to the village church, St. Pandionia & St. John the Baptist.

RUFINUS, a fifth century A.D. Bishop of Capua in present-day Italy. His relics are enshrined in Cattedrale dei SS. Stefano e Agata in Capua.

SECUNDUS, (Third Century), a general of the Theban Legion (22nd September) who was martyred at Ventimiglia in Liguria.

VICTOR (VITORES), a hermit in Spain, who commanded by an angel to preach the Gospel to the Moors besieging his native town of Cereza. Though he had some initial success, St. Victor was ultimately martyred by crucifixion at the hands of the Moors A.D. 950. However, the Moors did abandon their siege.

ZEPHYRINUS, Pope of Rome from A.D. 199 until his repose A.D. 217. In addition to helping his flock to endure the persecutions under the Emperor Septimius Severus (A.D. 193 – 211), he also had to shepherd the Church through the adversities brought upon it by new heresies and apostates, including Marcion, and Montanism.

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