Dr. John (Ellsworth) Hutchison-Hall

Eastern Orthodox Christian theologian, historian, philosopher, and cultural commentator.


Orthodox Saints of the Pre-Schism See of Rome

AGATHO and TRIPHINA of SICILY, martyrs in Sicily during the Diocletianic Persecution (303–313). The date of their martyrdoms is placed as circa 306, no further information is extant.

EDANA (ETAOIN) of WEST IRELAND, (Date Unknown), St. Edana received tonsure from St. Patrick of Ireland (17th March), she lived for some time at the junction of the Rivers Shannon and Boyle, and is the patron of several parishes in the west of Ireland. St. Edana later travelled to Scotland where she founded a convent. There is a tradition that the city of Edinburgh in Scotland is named for her; “Dùn Édana”, meaning “Edana’s castle” or “Edana’s fortress”. She is also thought by some to be the same saint as St. Modwenna of Whitby (vide infra) though there is no documentation to support either of these assertions.

ERFYL (EURFYL), (Date Unknown), a Welsh holy virgin, St. Erfyl founded, and is the titular saint of, a church at Llanerfyl, Powys, Wales. According to local tradition, she is buried beneath an inscribed stone in the churchyard, and her holy well once stood nearby.

FRAGAN and GWEN (BLANCHE), (Fifth Century), the parents of SS. Winwalöe of Landévennec (3rd March), Jacut and Guithern (6th February). SS. Fragan and Gwen fled the chaos in Britain following the departure of the Romans. They settled in Brittany (northern France), where there are several churches dedicated to them.

MODWENNA of BURTON, a possibly apocryphal seventh or ninth century saint. St. Modwenna has been credited with founding an abbey at Burton-on Trent, Staffordshire, England as well as having trained St. Edith of Polesworth (15th July), and raised St. Osgyth (7th October). Unfortunately, the lives of the three St. Modwennas commemorated today have become so intertwined to the point that it is impossible to definitively state with any accuracy specific details.

MODWENNA of POLESWORTH, this St. Modwenna, who flourished in the seventh century, is believed to have been an anchoress, and later Abbess of Polesworth in Warwickshire, England. The recorded details of St. Modwenna’s life have become impossibly muddled with those of St. Modwenna of Whitby (vide supra), and in some menologies with that of St. Edana of West Ireland (vide supra) that it is impossible to state beyond doubt, anything but the most basic particulars.

MODWENNA of WHITBY, the successor of St. Hilda of Whitby (17th November) as Abbess of Whitby in England. Other details of her life are hopelessly intertwined with those of St. Modwenna of Polesworth (vide infra), and in some menologies with those of St. Edana of West Ireland (vide supra). St. Modwenna reposed circa 695.

NUMERIAN (MEMORIAN) of TREVES, the son of a wealthy man in Trier in the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and disciple of St. Arnulf of Metz (18th July). St. Numerian received monastic tonsure at Remiremont Abbey (abbaye de Remiremont), and later spent time at the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Luxeuil (abbaye Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Luxeuil). In 645 St. Numerian was consecrated Bishop of Trier serving as ordinary until his repose circa 666.

PHILOMENA of SAN SEVERINO, a saint venerated in San Severino near Ancona in the Italian Marches. The only information extant on St. Philomena is an inscription on a tomb, discovered in the thirteenth century, which gives her name and that she must have flourished prior to 500.

PROBUS and GRACE, (Date Unknown), Cornish Saints who are traditionally thought to have been husband and wife. The village of Probus in Cornwall, England, takes its name from St. Probus, and the village church, St. Probus and St. Grace, is dedicated to them.

STEPHEN of REGGIO, (First Century), traditionally believed to have been consecrated the first Bishop of Reggio (present-day Diocese of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla in northern Italy) by the Apostle Paul (29th June) and martyred in the persecutions during the reign of the Emperor Nero (r. 54–68).

TRIPHINA of BRITTANY, (Sixth Century), the mother of St. Tremorus of Brittany (7th November), the infant-martyr. After her son’s martyrdom, St. Triphina spent the rest of her life in a monastery in Brittany.

ZÖE (ZOA) of ROME, the wife of a high-ranking official in the imperial court in Rome. St. Zöe was arrested, tortured, and finally martyred for her faith circa 286.

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”.

Details of British Saints excerpted from Orthodox Saints of the British Isles.
Details of continental saints from these sources.

In many cases there are several spelling versions of the names of saints from the British Isles. I use the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography version as the primary version with the more prevalent version in parenthesis e.g. Ceadda (Chad) of Lichfield.