Decree on the Veneration of Ancient Saints of the West
Decree No. 223, 23rd April, 1953.
Archbishop St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco
Sojourning in the diaspora in countries where, in olden times, holy God-pleasers laboured and were celebrated for their suffering or other ascetic struggles and have been revered by the Orthodox Christian Church from ancient times, it is fitting for us to honour and turn to them, without at the same time growing cold towards those holy God-pleasers to whom we have previously turned in prayer. In various places of ancient Gaul (today’s France) and other countries of Western Europe, the sacred remains of martyrs from the first centuries and following who were confessors of the Orthodox faith have been preserved to the present. We call on clergy to commemorate at divine services – at the litiya and in other prayers – those God-pleasers who are the patrons of the place or country where the service is taking place and are especially revered, as well as at the dismissal. In particular, in Paris Hieromartyr Dionysius, Venerable Genevieve, and Venerable Clodoald should be commemorated; in Lyon, Hieromartyr Irenaeus; in Marseille, Martyr Victor and Venerable [John] Cassian; in Toulouse, Hieromartyr Saturninus, Bishop of Toulouse; in Tours, Holy Hierarch Martin. In cases of uncertainty or confusion, we advise you turn to us for clarification and guidance. The flock is likewise called upon to honour these God-pleasers.