Western Saints of the Orthodox Church 17th December
BEGGA, daughter of SS. Pepin of Landen (21st February) and Ida of Nivelles (8th May), sister of St. Gertrude of Nivelles (17th March), and grandmother of Charles Martel, wife of Angisilus (Ansegis), son of St. Arnulf of Metz (18th July). Following her husband's untimely death in a hunting accident in 691, St. Begga received monastic tonsure, founded seven churches, and a monastery in Andenne on the Meuse in present-day Namur, Belgium, where she served as first Abbess until her repose in 698.
BRIARCH, a member of the Irish nobility who received monastic tonsure in Wales, where he became friends with St. Tudwal (30th November). St. Briarch accompanied St. Tudwal to Brittany where he was Founding-Abbot of a monastery in Guingamp. St Briarch reposed in Boubriac, Brittany circa 627.
JUDICÄEL, a brother of St. Judocus (13th December) and much loved king of Domnonia, a minor kingdom in Brittany. St. Judicäel abdicated to live out the rest of his life as monk at a monastery in Gäel near Vannes, where he reposed in 658.
MAXENTIOLUS (MEZENCEUL), (Fifth Century), a disciple of St. Martin of Tours (11th November), and founding-Abbot of the monastery of Notre-Dame de Cunault, near the Loire River about 12 km (7 miles) North-West of Saumur.
STURM (STURMI), following an education under the direction of St. Boniface (5th June) at the Abbey of St. Peter in Fritzlar (present-day northern Hesse), St. Sturm was ordained to the priesthood, and spent three years as a missionary in Westphalia. Then as a hermit in Hersfeld, where he attempted to establish a monastery (742), unsuccessfully as he had to flee the Saxon marauders. In 744, at the direction of St. Boniface, St. Sturm founded Fulda Abbey. Serving as first Abbot, St. Sturm’s guided the growth of the Abbey, which soon became an important centre of scholarship and spirituality. St. Sturm reposed 779.
TYDECHO, (Sixth Century), it is believed that St. Tydecho and his sister, whose name is lost to us, came from Cornwall to Gwynedd where they settled in what is now Mallwyd. There he founded the church which is now dedicated to him. St. Tydecho was also a brother of St. Cadfan (1st November). Nothing further is known of his life or that of his sister.
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”.