Western Saints of the Orthodox Church <br class="clearfix">—<br class="clearfix"> 8th May
BENEDICT II, eighty-first Pope of Rome. Even during his education, St. Benedict excelled at singing, and was a noted Bible scholar. Elected in 683, St. Benedict’s enthronement took place almost a year later, as at that time the election of Popes required Imperial confirmation. During his papacy, St. Benedict fought against Monothelitism, helped bishops in Spain restore orthodoxy in their dioceses, and was able to secure the consent of Emperor Constantine IV (r. 668–685) to eliminate the requirement of Imperial confirmation of his successors. St. Benedict reposed in 685, and is buried in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
BONIFACE IV, a student of St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September). Then a monk at the Abbey of St. Sebastian in Rome, and deacon to St. Gregory the Dialogist, St. Boniface became the sixty-seventh Pope of Rome on 25th August, 608. As Pope, he oversaw the first conversion in Rome of a pagan temple into a church, supported the evangelisation of England, and promoted reforms amongst the clergy coupled with improved living and working conditions. Towards the end of his life, St. Boniface converted his home into a monastery, where he then lived balancing his time between papal responsibilities, and monastic life. St. Boniface reposed 8th May, 615, and was buried at Old St. Peter’s Basilica. His relics were translated to St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome in 1603.
DESIDERATUS (DÉSIRÉ) of BOURGES, a courtier to Clotaire I, King of the Franks (r. 551–558), who fought against both simony and Nestorianism. Although it was St. Desideratus’ desire was to retire to monastic life, he was instead in 541 chosen to serve as the twenty-third Bishop of Bourges in Aquitaine (France). During his time as Bishop St. Desideratus continued his fight against heresy, and also attended both the Fifth Council of Orléans and the Second Council of Auvergne (Clermont) both of which took place in 549. St. Desideratus reposed in 550.
DIONYSIUS (DENIS) of VIENNE, the sixth Bishop of Vienne in the Dauphiné (south-eastern France). According to St. Ado (16th December), a ninth century Bishop of Vienne and noted martyrologist, St. Dionysius was one of the ten missionaries who accompanied St. Peregrinus (16th May) from Rome to evangelise Gaul. St. Dionysius reposed circa 193.
GIBRIAN, an Irishman who, along with his five brothers and three sisters, went to Reims (north-eastern France), where he was blessed by St. Remigius of Reims (1st October) to live as a hermit at a location that is now called Saint-Gibrian after him. St. Gibrian reposed circa 515.
HELLADIUS of AUXERRE, the third Bishop of Auxerre (Burgundy, France), St. Helladius served that See for thirty years. He reposed in 387, and was succeeded by St. Amator (1st May), whom St. Helladius had brought to Christ.
IDA (ITA, IDUBERGA) of NIVELLES, following the repose of her husband, St. Pepin of Landen (21st February), St. Ida built the double monastery at Nivelles, in present-day Belgium, that later was known as the Abbey of St. Gertrude, after St. Ida’s daughter and first Abbess, St. Gertrude of Nivelles (17th March). St. Ida spent the rest of her life at Nivelles Abbey, reposing in 652.
ODRIAN of WATERFORD, (Date Unknown), an early Bishop of Waterford, Co. Waterford, Ireland, and patron saint of the city of Waterford as well. No further information, including the dates he lived, about this saint exists.
VICTOR the MOOR (MAURUS), a soldier in the Roman Praetorian Guard originally from Roman Mauretania (parts of present-day Algeria and Morocco), and a Christian from youth. St. Victor managed to live to an old age before being persecuted for his faith. St. Victor was arrested, circa 303, tortured by being basted in molten lead, and then beheaded.
WIRO, PLECHELM, and OTGER, St. Waro was the second Bishop of Utrecht in Frisia (present-day Netherlands). St. Wiro, with two companions, SS. Plechelm and Otger founded a monastery at on a hill above present-day Sint Odiliënberg in the Netherlands. All three saints reposed in the mid-eighth century.
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”.