Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
10th September (NS) — 28th August (OS) 2019
28th August O.S.
ADELINDIS of BUCHAU, the foundress, along with her husband Count Warin, of Buchau Abbey (Reichsstift Buchau), in present-day Bad Buchau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. When widowed St. Adelindis entered the monastery, and may have served as its Abbess at some point. St. Adelindis reposed circa 930.
AMBROSE of SAINTES, Bishop of Saintes (south-western France) for fourteen years. He reposed circa 450, and is mentioned in the Life of his successor, St. Vivian of Saintes (vide infra).
AUGUSTINE of HIPPO, born at Tagasta in Numidia (present-day Souk-Ahras, Algeria) to St. Monica (4th May), he lived a life of depravity in his youth, and came very close to embracing Manicheanism. Whilst teaching Rhetoric in Milan, he met St. Ambrose of Milan (7th December), and began to attend his sermons. Through the prayers of his holy mother, and assisted by St. Simplician of Milan (16th August), St. Augustine was baptised on Easter Eve of 387 by St. Ambrose. St. Augustine returned to Africa in the late summer of 388, There he received monastic tonsure and in 391 was, reluctantly, ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Valerius of Hippo (present-day Annaba, Algeria). In 395 he was consecrated Bishop coadjutor of Hippo, and elevated to sole Bishop following the repose Bishop Valerius soon after.
A prolific author, and staunch defender of orthodoxy against heresies, St. Augustine is a central figure, not just in Christianity, but in the history of Western thought as well. Though listed amongst other Fathers of the Church by the Fifth Œcumenical Council, (553), he has always been a somewhat controversial figure in the Orthodox Church. By his own admission St. Augustine had a limited fluency with written Greek, and it seems he used Latin translations for his study of Greek texts. This proved to be a liability, especially as he began to lay the foundation for what became the West’s concept of Original Sin, and its departure from Orthodoxy’s understanding of ancestral sin (προπατορικό αμάρτημα). St. Augustine reposed in 430 and his relics are enshrined in the Basilica of St. Pietro in Ciel d'Oro in Pavia in Lombardy (northern Italy).
FACUNDINUS of TAINO, an early seventh century (†c. 620) Bishop of Taino in Umbria (central Italy). No further information on his life is extant.
FORTUNATUS, GAIUS, and ANTHES of SALERNO, (Early Fourth Century), according to tradition Fortunatus, Gaius, and Anthes were martyred at Salerno (south-western Italy) during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (r. 284–305). Although they have had a very popular local cultus, their acts are of questionable veracity, and they have been omitted from some recent martyrologies.
GORMAN of SCHLESWIG, a monk at Reichenau Abbey (Abtei Reichenau) in Lake Constance (Germany), who worked to enlighten northern Europe, and lastly served as Bishop of Schleswig (northern Germany). St. Gorman reposed in 965.
HERMES of ROME and COMPANIONS, according to tradition St. Hermes and an unknown number of companions were martyred at Rome circa 120 on the orders of a judge named Aurelia. There is no doubt that he existed, as his cultus dates from very early on. However, his Acts, and the details of his martyrdom are as fanciful as the mythical Acts of Pope St. Alexander I in which they appear.
JULIAN of AUVERGNE, a fourth century martyr from the Auvergne region of present-day France. Apart from his association to several aristocratic bishops of his day, especially St. Gall of Clermont (1st July) and his nephew St. Gregory of Tours (17th November), little is known of the life of St. Julian. According to tradition, St. Julian fled the persecution of Christians in his native Vienne (south-eastern France), and went into hiding in the village of Brioude in the Auvergne region (south-central France). However, he chose martyrdom over hiding and soon revealed himself to a group of pagans who promptly decapitated him. Numerous miracles have been attributed to him, beginning almost immediately after his martyrdom.
PELAGIUS of ISTRIA, the patron saint of Constance (Konstanz, south-western Germany). All that is known of St. Pelagius' life is that he was a youth who was tortured and then martyred in Istria (present-day Croatia) during the reign of the Emperor Numerian (r. 283–284). His connexion to Constance is due to the translation of some of his relics to that city circa 904.
VIVIAN of SAINTES, successor of St. Ambrose of Saintes (vide supra) as the Bishop of Saintes (south-western France). He is remembered for the great dedication and energy with which he approached caring for his flock, and his courage when facing the King of the Visigoths. St. Vivian reposed circa 460.
10th September N.S.
AGAPIUS (AGAPITUS) of NOVARA, succeeding St. Gaudentius (22nd January) as Bishop of Novara in Piedmont (north-western Italy), St. Agapius served as the second bishop of that See for thirty years, from 417 until his repose in 447.
AUBERT of AVRANCHES, elected eleventh Bishop of Avranches in Normandy (north-west France) by popular acclaim circa 690, St. Aubert served that See until his repose circa 709. While bishop St. Aubert founded the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel.
BARYPSABAS, a first century hermit from the East. According to legend St. Barypsabas brought to Europe, a vessel containing the precious blood which flowed from the side of our Lord when He was on the Cross. St. Barypsabas is believed to have suffered martyrdom, most likely in Dalmatia (present-day Croatia).
CANDIDA the YOUNGER, a wife and mother in Naples, remembered for her great holiness of life. St. Candida reposed circa 586, and many miracles are reputed to have occurred at her tomb.
FINNIAN (FINDBARR, WINNIN), St. Finnian was a legendary mediæval Irishman, though perhaps not as well-known as his namesake at the great monastery of Clonard. He travelled to Scotland where he spent time at St. Ninian’s (26th August) monastery at present-day Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway. St. Finnian later returned to his native land where he became the founding Abbot-Bishop of Movilla (Magh Bile), Co. Down, not to be confused with Moville in Co. Donegal. According to widely accepted tradition, St. Finnian travelled to Rome at some point, returning with a complete copy of St. Jerome’s (30th September) Vulgate. St. Finnian reposed circa 589, and is one of the patron saints of the Province of Ulster, Ireland.
FRITHESTAN, a disciple of St. Grimbald (8th July), St. Frithestan was consecrated Bishop of Winchester by St. Plegmund of Canterbury (2nd August) in 909. He served that See for twenty-three years and was known for his love of the poor and his prayers for the souls of the reposed. Shortly before his own repose in 932, St. Frithestan retired from his See, designating St. Birnstan (4th November) as his successor.
NEMESIAN, FELIX, LUCIUS, ANOTHER FELIX, LITTEUS, POLYANUS, VICTOR, JADER, and DATIVUS, Martyrs of Sigum, nine bishops from Numidia (present-day Algeria), who circa 260, in the persecution of Christians during the reign of the Emperor Valerian (r. 253–260), were arrested, tortured, and finally martyred by being worked to death in local mines.
PETER MARTINEZ, also called St. Peter of Mozonzo, an Abbot of Saint Martin of Antealares in Compostela, Spain, who, circa 986, was consecrated Bishop of Iria Flavia (later the Archdiocese of Saintiago de Compostela). St. Peter reposed circa 1000.
SALVIUS (SAUVE) of ALBI, (Sixth Century), a monk, then abbot, and finally the seventh Bishop of Albi (southern France). Nothing further about St. Salvius’ life can be said with certainty, as there has been a conflating of details with that of two other people also named Salvius, who were more or less contemporaries.
THEODARD of MAASTRICHT, a disciple of St. Remaclus (3rd September) at the double monastery of Stavelot-Malmédy (in present-day Belgium). St. Theodard succeeded St. Remaclus as Abbot and was later consecrated Bishop of Maastricht (south-eastern Netherlands). Whilst traveling circa 670 to meet with Childeric II, King of the Franks (r. 662–675), St. Theodard was murdered.
VERANUS (VÉRAN) of VENCE, a son of St. Eucherius of Lyons (16th November), and for over forty years the sixth Bishop of Vence in Provence (south-eastern France). St. Veranus reposed circa 480.
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”.