Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
1st January (NS) — 19th December (OS)
19th December O.S.
ANASTASIUS I, the thirty-ninth Pope of Rome. He encouraged Christians in North Africa to fight against Donatism, and condemned the writings of Origen at a Council he summoned in 400. St. Anastasius I reposed in 401.
AVITUS (ADJUTUS), (Date Unknown), an Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Mesmin in Micy near Orléans. St. Avitus is said to have had the gift of clairvoyance.
FAUSTA, (Third Century), the mother of St. Anastasia of Sirmium (25th December).
GREGORY of AUXERRE, the Bishop of Auxerre in Burgundy from circa 527 until his repose circa 540.
MANIRUS, (Date Uncertain), one of the Apostles of the north of Scotland. There is an office for him in the Aberdeen Breviary.
RIBERT (RIBARIUS), an Abbot of Saint-Oyend, who reposed circa 790.
TIMOTHY, a deacon burnt alive in North Africa circa 250, no further information is extant.
1st January N.S.
ALMACHIUS (TELEMACHUS), a hermit from the eastern Roman empire who went to Rome where he protested having gladiators fight to the death for entertainment. St. Almachius was murdered by supporters of gladiator fighting, however, the Christian emperor Honorius was so affected by St. Almachius’ acts that Honorius put an end to these events. St. Almachius reposed circa 391 or 404, and is counted amongst the martyrs of the faith for having prevented the death of many by his sacrifice.
BASIL, a priest from Arles who was consecrated Bishop of Aix-en-Provence circa 475. St. Basil was noted for his great sanctity and wonderworking. He reposed 521.
CLARUS, a monk at the monastery of St. Ferreol who was chosen Abbot of the monastery of St. Marcellus in Vienne. St. Clarus served as a spiritual father, not only for the monks of his monastery, but also of St. Blandina’s Abbey, where his mother and sisters were all nuns. St. Clarus circa 660.
CONCORDIUS, a subdeacon in Rome, who was arrested, tortured, finally beheaded in Spoleto for refusing to renounce Christianity and worship idols. St. Concordius was martyred in 175.
CONNAT (COMNATAN), the successor of St. Brigid (21st January) as the Abbess of Kildare, she served in this role until her repose circa 590. There is no further information on St. Connat extant.
CUAN (MOCHUA, MONCAN), (Sixth Century), after being educated by St. Comgall (10th May) at Bangor Abbey, St. Cuan founded a monastery at Gael. He then travelled to Fore, then Hy-Many in Connaught. St. Cuan went on to found the Diocese and Abbey of Balla, Co. Mayo, Ireland in 616, serving as its first Abbot-Bishop. A tireless wonderworker, and confessor of the faith, St. Cuan lived to be nearly 100, founding many other churches and monasteries throughout Ireland.
ELVAN and MYDWYN, (Second Century), two Britons traditionally believed to have been sent by King St. Lucius (3rd December) to Pope St. Eleutherius (26th May) to ask for missionaries. Unfortunately, there is no record extant regarding these Saints, hence we are left with unsupported, and perhaps unreliable legends alluded to by St. Bede the Venerable (25th May) and repeated by Butler, for evidence of their existence.
EUGENDUS (OYEND), an Abbot of Condat in present-day Saint-Claude, Jura, France. St. Eugendus refused to be ordained, feeling himself unworthy, but nevertheless became a distinguished scriptural scholar. St. Eugendus reposed circa 510.
FANCHEA (GARBH), a daughter of Conall the Red prince of Oriel, in Ulster, and his wife Briga, and sister of St. Enda (21st March). The foundress of a convent at Rossory in Fermanagh, St. Fanchea was also instrumental in her brother’s decision to embrace monastic life. Reposing towards the end of the sixth century, she was buried in Killane.
FELIX of BOURGES, consecrated Bishop of Bourges by St. Germain of Paris (28th May). St. Felix was a participant at the Council of Paris in 573. Other than these two events, nothing is known of his life. St. Felix reposed circa 580.
FULGENTIUS of RUSPE, a native of the Roman province of Byzacena (present-day western Tunisia), St. Fulgentius was drawn to the monastic life by the work of St. Augustine of Hippo (28th August). St. Fulgentius received monastic tonsure in his early twenty's, and in time St. Fulgentius was ordained to the priesthood and later made abbot of his monastery. Consecrated Bishop of Ruspe (present-day Koudiat Rosfa, Tunisia) circa 507, Arians forced St. Fulgentius to flee within the first year of his episcopacy. Along with sixty other exiled bishops, St. Fulgentius sought refuge in Sardinia, where they built a monastery, and continued to write, pray, and study. St. Fulgentius was permitted to return in 515, however, his debates with the Arians, led to his almost immediate exile. In 523, Hilderis assumed the throne, and permitted the exiles to return to Africa. Though St. Fulgentius wanted to return to his monastery and study, his popularity as a preacher he found himself spending most his time in the pulpit. St. Fulgentius reposed in 533, in 714 his relics were translated to Bourges, France.
JUSTIN of CHIETI, some sources claim that he was the first Bishop of Chieti and flourished in the first half of the fourth century, whilst others assert he flourished in the mid-sixth century. Regardless of which version is correct, St. Justin has been venerated from time immemorial, and on the basis of the longevity of his cult, was added to the Roman Martyrology during the papacy of Benedict XIV (1740 – 1758).
MAELRHYS, a sixth century saint of the Isle of Bardsey in Wales, he was probably born in Brittany. Nothing further is known.
MARTYRS of ROME, a group of thirty soldiers martyred in Rome during the Diocletian Persecution circa 304. No further information on them is extant.
ODILO, born to a noble family in Auvergne, he became a monk at the monastery of Cluny circa 990 and was made abbot four years later. He was a gentle and kind man, known for his generosity to the poor. St. Odilo reposed in 1049.
WILLIAM of DIJON, the son of an Italian count, St. William was educated and then received monastic tonsure at Locadio, Vercelli in Piedmont. In 987, St. William moved to Cluny Abbey, and shortly thereafter set about reorganizing Saint Sernin Abbey on the Rhône, and was soon made Abbot of Saint Benignus Abbey at Dijon. He was ordained to the priesthood in 990. St. William was a great proponent of the Cluniac Reform and during his tenure as Abbot St. Benignus Abbey became an important spiritual, educational, and cultural centre, as well as the mother abbey of at least forty others in Burgundy, Lorraine, Normandy, and northern Italy. St. William reposed in 1031.
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”.