Orthodox Saints of the Pre-Schism See of Rome
ÆLFRYTH (ETHELDRITHA, ALFREDA) of CROYLAND, a daughter of Offa, King of the Mercians (r. 757–796), she was betrothed to St. Æthelberht (20th May), King of East Anglia in England (r. c. 779–794). However, Mercian royal intrigue connived to have King St. Æthelberht assassinated, and his body secretly buried. Following the martyrdom of King St. Æthelberht, St. Ælfryth entered the monastery of St. Guthlac (11th April) at Croyland (Lincolnshire, England). She lived there as an anchoress in a cell in the south part of the church opposite the high altar for forty years until her repose circa 835.
AUSPICIUS of APT, (Date Uncertain), there is no reliable information on St. Auspicius extant, however he is generally considered to have been the first Bishop of Apt in southeast France.
BETHARIUS, (BOETHARIUS, BÉTHAIRE) of CHARTRES, served as the twentieth Bishop of Chartres (north-central France) from circa 594 until his repose circa 623. Prior to his elevation to the episcopate, St. Boetharius served as chaplain to Clotaire II, King of the Franks (r. 613–629).
EUSEBIUS of VERCELLI, consecrated the first Bishop of Vercelli in Piedmont (north-western Italy) in 340. He was exiled for refusing to condemn St. Athanasius the Great, first to Scythopolis in Syria, then Cappadocia, and finally to the Thebaid, in Upper Egypt. Freed in 362, St. Eusebius returned to his See, serving as Bishop until his repose 371.
MAXIMUS of PADUA, (Second Century), the second Bishop of Padua (Northern Italy), he succeeded St. Prosdocimus of Padua (7th November).
PLEGMUND of CANTERBURY, little is known of St. Plegmund’s early life. As an adult, he developed a reputation as a scholar which caught the attention of St. Alfred the Great (26th October), King of Wessex (r. 871–886) and King of the Anglo-Saxons (r. 886–899), who summoned St. Plegmund to Court to help in the King’s undertaking to revive scholarship in his realm. Later, in 890, King St. Alfred selected him to be the twentieth Archbishop of Canterbury. During St. Plegmund’s episcopate he worked to restore the English church in general, and the authority of the See of Canterbury in particular, which had been weakened by the Viking invasions. St. Plegmund reorganised the Diocese of Winchester, creating four new Sees (Crediton, Ramsbury, Sherborne and Wells), and worked with other scholars in translating religious works. St. Plegmund reposed in 914.
Troparion of St. Plegmund - Tone V
The solitary life of stillness and contemplation didst thou leave
behind in Cheshire when thou wast called by God and king to
become the primate of the Church in Canterbury, O blessed one; yet
thou hast left us thy most sacred well as a token of the Mystery of
Holy Baptism and a surety of thine abiding care. O holy bishop
Plegmund, never cease to pray that our souls be saved.
RUTILIUS, according to early Christian theologian and apologist Tertullian (†c. 240), St. Rutilius was a native of North Africa who, during the Decian persecution, spent his time fleeing from place to place, and even bribing officials. However, he was eventually caught and martyred for his faith in 250.
SERENUS of MARSEILLE, the tenth Bishop of Marseilles (southern France), circa 595 until his repose circa 600. St. Serenus had iconoclastic leanings, but Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) helped him understand the important role icons have and brought St. Serenus back to the orthodox understanding of icons.
SIDWELL (SATIVOLA), (Date Uncertain), believed to have lived in the west of England; St. Sidwell was most likely of British, rather than Anglo-Saxon ancestry. There are several churches dedicated to her in the Exeter area. Unfortunately, there is no historical record of St. Sidwell's life, nor any information about her martyrdom, though one legend claims St. Sidwell was beheaded by reapers incited by her stepmother.
STEPHEN I, bishop-martyr Stephen I was the Bishop of Rome from 254 until his martyrdom in 257. During his pontificate he strenuously argued again the heresy of Novatus, and brought many pagans to Christ. Tradition has it that Pope St. Stephen was beheaded whilst celebrating the Mass, however, modern scholars dispute this due to the lack of reliable evidence to support this legend.
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”.