Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
12th July (NS) — 29th June (OS)

by | Orthodox Western Saints

29th June O.S.

BENEDICTA of SENS, (Date Unknown), the majority of sources list St. Benedicta as the sister of SS. Augustine and Sanctian of Sens (6th September), natives of Spain who settled in Gaul (France), and were subsequently martyred in Sens (north-central France) during the reign of Emperor Aurelian (r. 270–275). However, St. Benedicta is not listed in the Roman Martyrology, and later research by German Carthusian hagiographer and church historian, Laurentius Surius (†1578), as do more recent hagiographers, calls this tradition into question. Their theory is that she was a local holy woman monastic called either Benedicta or Beata.

CASSIUS of NARNI, a sixth century Bishop of Narni in Umbria (central Italy). St. Cassius reposed, as he had foretold, on 29th June 558.

COCHA (COECHA), (Sixth Century), St. Cocha is said to have cared for St. Kieran of Saighir (5th March) in his infancy. She later became Abbess of Ros-Benchuir, which was most likely on the western coast of Co. Clare, Ireland. Unfortunately, there are no records extant to confirm or clarify this.

HEMMA (EMMA, GEMMA) of GURK, a member of the Luitpolding family, Countess of Zeltschach, and a lady-in-waiting to St. Cunegund (3rd March). Following the repose of her husband (†c. 1015), St. Hemma devoted her life and fortune to charity, founding several monastic communities including Gurk Abbey in Carinthia present-day Austria. St. Hemma spent her final years at Gurk, but the record is unclear as to whether she received monastic tonsure. St. Hemma reposed in 1045.

MARCELLUS and ANASTASIUS of BOURGES, martyred 274 in Bourges (central France); St. Marcellus was beheaded and St. Anastasius died during torture.

Orthodox Christian Icon of The holy, glorious, all-laudable Apostle Paul

Icon of the Holy, Glorious, and All-Laudable Apostle Paul

PAUL the APOSTLE, Apostle to the Gentiles, The Holy, Glorious, and All-Laudable Apostle Paul, born Saul in Tarsus, was a Roman citizen, Pharisee, and tentmaker by trade. Initially, St. Paul was one of the leading persecutors of the nascent Church, he was converted by Christ Himself as he travelled to Damascus in search of Christians to bring to Jerusalem for punishment (Acts 9:1-22). St. Paul then set about evangelising from Arabia to Spain. His letters (the Pauline Epistles) to the various communities he founded are an important part of the New Testament Canon. Along with his fellow Apostle St. Peter (vide infra), St. Paul was beheaded in Rome near the Ostian Way circa 65.

Troparion of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul — Tone IV

First-enthroned of the apostles, /

teachers of the universe: /

Entreat the Master of all / to grant peace to the world, /

and to our souls great mercy!

Kontakion of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul — Tone II

O Lord, You have taken up to eternal rest /

and to the enjoyment of Your blessings /

the two divinely-inspired preachers, the leaders of the Apostles, /

for You have accepted their labors and deaths as a sweet-smelling sacrifice, /

for You alone know what lies in the hearts of men.

Kontakion of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul — Tone II

Today Christ the Rock glorifies with highest honor /

The rock of Faith and leader of the Apostles, /

Together with Paul and the company of the twelve, /

Whose memory we celebrate with eagerness of faith, /

Giving glory to the one who gave glory to them!

Orthodox Christian Icon of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leader of the Apostles, Peter

Icon of the Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leader of the Apostles, Peter

PETER the APOSTLE, Leader of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leader of the Apostles, Peter, a married fisherman who lived in Bethsaida, and originally named Simon and a disciple of St. John the Forerunner. Christ called him Cephas (Petros, Peter) following his confession of Christ as the Son of God (John 1:42). St. Peter witnessed many significant events in Christ's life, including the Transfiguration and the Agony in the Garden. After the Ascension, St. Peter founded the Church in Antioch. Whilst visiting the Apostle Paul (vide supra) and the Church in Rome (circa 64), he was martyred by crucifixion. St. Peter was buried on the Vatican Hill, though his relics were later enshrined beneath the altar of St. Peter's Basilica.

SALOME and JUDITH of NIEDERALTAICH, (Ninth Century), from the limited and questionable information that is still extant, St. Salome is said to have been an exiled English princess who settled in Bavaria (southern Germany), where she was befriended by St. Judith, and they lived out the rest of their lives as anchoresses. Another tradition is that St. Salome was the aunt of St. Judith.

SYRUS of GENOA, a priest who succeeded St. Felix of Genoa (6th November) as Bishop of Genoa (north-west Italy) until his repose circa 380. St. Syrus was a wonderworker who was greatly loved by both his flock and clergy.

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12th July N.S.

ANSBALD of PRÜM, a native of what today is Luxembourg, St. Ansbald received monastic tonsure at Prüm Abbey near the present-day German/Belgian border. He was chosen Abbot of Prüm in 860. Prüm Abbey was sacked by the Normans in 882, but St. Ansbald was able to have it restored before his repose in 886.

HERMAGORAS and FORTUNATUS of AQUILEIA, St. Hermagoras was a disciple of St. Mark the Apostle, who appointed him to be the first Bishop of Aquileia in north-eastern Italy. St. Fortunatus was his deacon. Both were beheaded, circa 66, during the reign of Emperor Nero (r. 54–68).

MARCIANA, whilst the Roman Martyrology lists the martyrdom of St. Marciana at Toledo in Spain on the 12th of July, there has never been any evidence of her existence nor any sort of cultus in Toledo. The pre-eminent hagiographic scholars of the Société des Bollandistes are of the opinion that today's St. Marciana is the same saint as the St. Marciana commemorated on 9th January.

MENULPHUS (MENOU) of QUIMPER, an Irishman who served as Bishop of Quimper in Brittany (north-western France) at some point in the seventh century.

NABOR and FELIX of MILAN, two martyrs of the Diocletianic Persecution, circa 304. Nearly a century after their martyrdom, St. Ambrose of Milan (7th December) had their relics solemnly translated and enshrined in the Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of the Nativity of Saint Mary (Basilica cattedrale metropolitana di Santa Maria Nascente) in Milan. This gave the saints a certain stature and led to many Acts being written. Alas, these Acts have no basis in fact and are for the most part simple re-workings of the Acts of other martyrs of the time.

PATERNIAN of BOLOGNA, the Bishop of Bologna from circa 450 until his repose in 470. There is no other information on his life extant, and the sole basis for his listing in various martyrologies and menologies, is that he has enjoyed a Cultus in Bologna since not long after his repose.

PAULINUS of ANTIOCH and COMPANIONS, according to tradition, St. Paulinus was a native of Antioch, and appointed first Bishop of Lucca in Tuscany by the Apostle Peter (29th June). There he, and others whose names are unknown to us, were martyred circa 67.

PROCULUS of BOLOGNA, the Bishop of Bologna (northern Italy) from 540, until he was martyred by Ostrogoths in 542. St. Proculus is also commemorated on 1st June.

VIVENTIOLUS of LYONS, Archbishop of Lyons from 514 until his repose in 524. St. Viventiolus was renown for his erudition, and even more so for his holiness of life.

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”.