Western Saints of the Orthodox Church <br class="clearfix">—<br class="clearfix"> 20th November
AMPELUS and GAIUS, martyrs at Messina in Sicily circa 302 during the Diocletianic Persecution.
AUTBODUS, an Irishman who evangelised in Hainault (present-day Belgium), Artois and Picardy (present-day France). St. Autbodus spent the last years of his life as a hermit near Laon, reposing 690.
BENIGNUS, little is known of this saint's life, save that he was consecrated the 21st Archbishop of Milan in 465 and served until his repose circa 477.
BERNWARD (BERWARD), fourteenth Bishop of Hildesheim (Lower Saxony) from 993 until his repose in 1022. St. Bernward was noted for his skill in mathematics, painting, architecture, and particularly in the manufacture of ecclesiastical vessels, as well as his piety. He spent his early years as chaplain at the imperial court, and even served as tutor to Otto III. St. Bernward reposed 1022.
EDMUND, the first patron saint of England, and a king of the East Angles who was martyred whilst defending his kingdom from Danish invaders. Nothing certain is known of his lineage and early years, though many spurious legends arose which were held to be valid by many. Unfortunately, since the Viking sack of East Anglia seems to have destroyed most of the records extant at the time, there is no contemporary East Anglian documentation of King St. Edmund’s life or reign. King St. Edmund was martyred when he refused to subjugate himself to the pagan Vikings who then had him beaten, scourged, and finally beheaded. A group of Christians buried King St. Edmund at the place now known as Bury St. Edmund, and a simple chapel was built over his grave. Later a substantial church was built in his honour, and when translating his relics to this church, they were found to be not only incorrupt, but his skin was still soft and fresh, and his head reattached with only a thin line around his neck where he had been decapitated. King St. Edmund’s shrine rapidly became one of the most frequented pilgrimage sites in England, and was richly endowed by various kings of England over the centuries. Thus, by the end of the twelfth century the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds had become one of the wealthiest, and most advantaged monasteries in England. In 1539, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England and Wales (1536–1540) by Henry VIII, King of England and Ireland, (r. 1509–1547), King St. Edmund’s shrine was sacked, the Abbot and monks expelled, and the abbey dissolved. Though originally the patron saint of England, King St. Edmund was replaced by St. George the Trophy-bearer (23rd April) by King Edward III (r. 1327 – 1377) when King Edward took St. George as patron of the Order of the Garter. In addition to his feast on 20th November, the Moscow Patriarchate’s calendar lists the translation of his relics on 30th March.
EUDO (EUDON, EUDES ODO), a monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Lérins, and Abbot-founder of Corméry-en-Velay Abbey (later called Saint-Chaffre). St. Eudo reposed circa 760.
EVAL (UVOL, URFOL), (Sixth Century), a bishop in Cornwall for whom the civil parish and hamlet in north Cornwall, England is named. Nothing certain is known of his life, but he is believed to have lived at the end of the sixth century.
LEO of NONANTULA, an Abbot of Nonantula Abbey near Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of present-day Italy, who reposed in 1000.
MAXENTIA, (Date Unknown), an Irish (or Scottish) woman who fled to the Continent to escape marriage to a pagan chieftain. Once there she became an anchoress near Senlis in Picardy. Unfortunately, the chieftain eventually located St. Maxentia and beheaded her at Pont-Sainte-Maxence in present-day Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie.
OCTAVIUS, SOLUTOR, and ADVENTOR, members of the Theban Legion who were amongst those who managed to escape the initial slaughter ordered by Maximian Herculeus. SS. Octavius, Solutor, and Adventor managed to reach Turin before being captured and executed (297). SS. Octavius, Solutor, and Adventor are the patron saints of Turin.
SILVESTER, Bishop of Châlons-sur-Saône from circa 484 until his repose circa 525. He was described as 'the glory of confessors' by St. Gregory of Tours (17th November).
SIMPLICIUS of VERONA, traditionally purported to have been a Bishop of Verona, though there is a lack of verifiable information on his life, and he has been deleted from recent martyrologies. St. Simplicius is believed to have reposed circa 535.
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”.