Orthodox Saints of the Pre-Schism See of Rome
BYRNSTAN (BIRSTAN, BEORNSTAN, BIRNSTAN), a disciple of St. Grimbald (8th July) and successor of St. Frithestan (10th September) in the See of Winchester in England. St. Byrnstan served as its twenty-first Bishop from 931 until his repose in 934. St. Byrnstan is best remembered for his devotion to praying for the reposed; each night he would spend hours in the cathedral’s graveyard chanting psalms for the souls of the reposed. A tradition tells of one night his "requiescunt in pace" (may they rest in peace) at the end of his chanting was met with a mighty “Amen” from the tombs. St. Byrnstan was also known for washing the feet of the poor daily and would spend hours in prayer once he had finished. St. Byrnstan reposed in prayer following his daily foot washing. His cultus developed about thirty years after his death, when St. Byrnstan appeared to the then Bishop of Winchester, St. Æthelwold of Winchester (1st August), in a vision accompanied by two other figures whom he said were SS. Birinus of Dorchester (3rd December) and Swithun (2nd July). St. Byrnstan then informed St. Æthelwold that he was held in equal reverence with these saints in heaven and claimed a right for equal treatment on earth. Following this he was commemorated with the other saints of Winchester, though in time popular devotion to St. Swithun eclipsed both St. Byrnstan and St. Birinus.
CLARUS the HERMIT, a nobleman from Rochester England. Following ordination to the priesthood, St. Clarus travelled to Normandy (north-western France), where he lived as a hermit at what is today Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, south-east of Rouen. St. Clarus was murdered at his hermitage, unfortunately the date is impossible to fix. The Menology of England and Wales (the English Menology), places his martyrdom as taking place sometime in the seventh to ninth century.
EMERIC of HUNGARY, the son of St. Stephen of Hungary (16th August), the first Christian King of Hungary, and a disciple of St. Gerard Sagredo of Czanad (24th September). St. Emeric was to succeed his father as King of Hungary, but he was killed by a boar whilst hunting at the age of 24. Following his repose many miracles and conversions were said to have occurred at his tomb, leading to his canonisation in 1083
GREGORY of BURTSCHEID, a Greek monk from Calabria (south-western Italy), he is generally described as a Benedictine 'Basilian'. Whilst fleeing the Saracen invasion of the south, St. Gregory stopped in Rome, where he met and was befriended by Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor (r. 996–1002). Otto offered St. Gregory sanctuary in Germany and built a monastery for him at Burtscheid near Aachen in the present-day German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. St. Gregory reposed in 999.
MODESTA of TRIER, St. Modesta was the niece of St. Modoald of Trier (12th May), and a first cousin of St. Gertrude of Nivelle (17th March). St. Modesta was the first Abbess of Oehren in Trier in the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, which was founded by her uncle, St. Modoald, who was Bishop of Trier at the time. St. Modesta reposed circa 680.
PHILOLOGUS and PATROBAS, (First Century), Christians in Rome greeted by the Apostle Paul (29th June) in his letter to the Romans (16:14-18). A pious tradition is that the two saints were later consecrated bishops, with their Sees most likely in southern Italy.
PROCULUS of AUTUN, a martyred Bishop of Autun in Burgundy (east-central France), of whom nothing is known beyond his listing in various martyrologies. In the Roman Martyrology St. Proculus is recorded thus: "At Autun, St. Proculus, martyr"; whilst other martyrologies simply list "Proculus, a Bishop". Most sources place his martyrdom as circa 717.
VITALIS and AGRICOLA, Martyrs of Bologna (northern Italy), St. Vitalis was St. Agricola's slave and through whom St. Vitalis came to Christ. During the Diocletianic Persecution (303–313) St. Vitalis was arrested, subjected to various tortures, and finally executed. St. Agricola was so taken by the courage and faith with which St. Vitalis faced martyrdom, that St. Agricola proclaimed his faith and was also martyred.
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”.