Dr. John (Ellsworth) Hutchison-Hall

Writings on Orthodox Christian theology and related miscellanea.

Writings on Orthodox Christian theology and related miscellanea.

Western Saints of the Orthodox Church — 31st January

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31st January

ADAMNAN, not to be confused with Adamnán of Iona (23rd September), this saint was a native of Ireland who became a monk at Coldingham in present day Scotland. Though there is no reliable information about this saint extant, he seems to have assisted St. Ebba (25th August) in reforming the discipline of the convent which she founded. St. Adamnan reposed circa A.D. 679.

ÁEDAN (AIDAN, MÁEDÓC), St. Áedan was the founder and first Abbot of a monastery at, and first Bishop of, Ferns, Co. Wexford in Ireland. Born in Co. Cavan to Setna, a tribal chieftain and Eithne, he was also a first cousin of St. Dallán Forgaill (29th January). According to legend when it came time to baptise him there was no boat to take the infant St. Áedan to the mainland, so he is said to have been miraculously floated across the lake on a slab of stone to where St. Kilian (29th July) was waiting to perform the baptism. The holy water font in St. Mogue’s Church in Bawnboy is said to be made from part of that stone.

After studies at the great school of St. Finian (12th December) at Clonard, and in Wales, under St. David (1st March), he returned to Ireland (A.D. 580) and was made first Bishop of the newly created See of Ferns.

St. Áedan founded thirty churches and a number of monasteries. The first of these monasteries was on the island of Inis Breachmhaigh where he was born. He also founded monasteries at Drumlane, near Milltown in Co. Cavan, at Ferns in Co. Wexford, in Wales, at Disert-Nairbre in Co. Waterford and finally in Rossinver in Co. Leitrim where, he reposed on the shore of Lough Melvin on 31st January, A.D. 632. He was buried there in the church that he had founded. A bronze reliquary in which his relics were kept is currently preserved in Dublin.

ATHANASIUS, when the Saracens invaded his native Catana in Sicily, St. Athanasius fled to Greece. He settled in Patras, became a monk, and in time was consecrated a bishop. St. Athanasius reposed circa A.D. 885.

BOBINUS, a monk at Moutier-la-Celle, who served as Bishop of Troyes from circa A.D. 760 until his repose circa A.D. 766.

EUSEBIUS, an Irishman who became a monk at St. Gall, and later lived as a hermit on Mount St. Victor in the Vorarlberg. In A.D. 884, while denouncing godlessness, he was struck with a scythe and killed. Thus, he was venerated as a martyr.

GEMINIAN of MODENA, although there is evidence of his veneration dating back to the fifth century A.D., nothing more seems to be known of his life. According to hagiographies written several hundred years after his repose St. Geminian was a deacon and was consecrated fourth Bishop of Modena in Emilia-Romagna. He is said to have hosted both SS. Athanasius of Alexandria (18th January) and John Chrysostom (13th November) when they passed through the area. St. Geminian is remembered as an ardent foe of Arianism and Jovinianism, is believed to have reposed in the second half of the fourth century A.D. dates recorded range from 348 – 390.

JOHN ANGELUS, a monk at Pomposa Abbey near present-day Ferrera, Italy and disciple of St. Guy of Pomposa (31st March). St. John reposed circa A.D. 1050.

JULIUS of NOVARA, a priest who together with his brother Julian, a deacon, was sent to northern Italy by Emperor Theodosius I to remake pagan temples into churches. St. Julius reposed circa A.D. 390.

MADOES (MADIANUS), (Seventh Century), a saint about whom there is no reliable information extant, aside from being the source of the name for a village in the Carse of Gowrie. According to some authorities he is the same as St. Maedoc (Áedan of Ferns – vide supra), whilst others claim him to have been one of St. Boniface Curitan’s (14th March) fellow missionaries. However, it is impossible to disentangle the facts from the legends of this holy man.

MARCELLA, a young member of the Roman aristocracy who was widowed just months after her wedding. Though she had offers from suitors, St. Marcella turned her mansion into a monastery. There she organised a group of women under the spiritual direction of St. Jerome (30th September). When the Goths invaded Rome (A.D. 410), they tortured St. Marcella, believing she still possessed great wealth. Upon discovering she had given all to the poor, they left St. Marcella to die of her wounds, which she did shortly after.

ULPHIA (WULFIA, OLFE, WULFE), (Eighth Century), a spiritual daughter of St. Domitius (23rd October) of St. Acheul Abbey in Amiens. St. Ulphia lived as an anchoress near the abbey, and when her reputation for sanctity attracted disciple she organised them into a community. St. Ulphia returned to the hermetic life once the community was functioning. She reposed circa A.D. 750.

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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”.

Details of British Saints excerpted from Orthodox Saints of the British Isles.
Details of continental saints from these sources.