Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
14th May (NS) — 1st May (OS)
1st May O.S.
ACIUS (ACHE) and ACEOLUS (ACHEUL), Martyrs of Amiens, SS. Acius and Aceolus were martyred circa 303 near Amiens in Gaul (France) during the Diocletianic Persecution.
AMATOR (AMATRE, AMADOUR) of AUXERRE, the (fourth) Bishop of Auxerre in Burgundy (France) from 388 until his repose in 418. After their wedding, he and his wife (venerated locally as St. Martha), mutually agreed to live together as brother and sister. Later St. Amator entered holy orders and his wife received monastic tonsure. St. Amator was known as a wonderworker. One of his episcopal acts as Bishop was ordaining St. Germanus of Auxerre (31st July) to the priesthood. St. Germanus later succeeded St. Amator in the See of Auxerre.
ANDEOLUS of SMYRNA, a sub-deacon and disciple of St. Polycarp of Smyrna (23rd Feb) who sent St. Andeolus to evangelise in Gaul (France). After a very fruitful forty-two years of spreading the Gospel, in 208 St. Andeolus was arrested, scourged, and beheaded.
ARIGIUS (AREY) of GAP, the eighth Bishop of Gap, in Province (France), St. Arigius served that See for twenty years. During his time as Bishop, St. Arigius worked with St. Columbanus of Luxeuil (23rd November) to achieve uniformity in the calculation of the date of Easter. St. Arigius reposed in 604.
ASAPH of LLANELWY, (Sixth Century), St. Asaph was the second Abbot-Bishop of the monastery and diocese now called St. Asaph in Denbighshire, north Wales, and its first native Welshman to hold that position. Prior to his consecration as bishop, he had been a disciple of St. Kentigern Mungo (13th January) during the latter’s exile in Wales. Whilst Abbot, St. Asaph governed close to one thousand monks, many of whom served the diocese’s parishes. Nothing more is definitely known of this saint, including the exact year of his repose.
BENEDICT of SZKALKA, a disciple of St. Andrew Zorard (17th July) at the Abbey of Saint Hippolyte on Mount Zabor near Nitra in present-day western Slovakia, and anchorite renowned for his asceticism, St. Benedict was murdered by a gang of bandits who believed he had hidden treasure in his cave in 1012.
BERTHA of KENT, the wife of St. Gundebert of Gumber (29th April). She and her husband separated by mutual consent in order to enter monastic life. St. Bertha received monastic tonsure and founded an abbey at Avenay in Normandy (France). St. Bertha was murdered by her in-laws for distributing St. Gundebert’s estate to the poor, circa 685, and hence considered a martyr.
BRIEUC (BRIOCUS, BRIOC) of BRITTANY, born to a pagan Welsh noble family, St. Brieuc converted to Christianity as a young adult. He then went to Brittany (France) where he was ordained to the priesthood, following tutelage under St. Germanus of Auxerre (31st July), St. Brieuc set off to his native Wales where he spent some time evangelising in the Cardigan area. He returned to Brittany where he founded two monasteries, and later served as a bishop in upper-Brittany. St. Brieuc reposed circa 510 at the village later named for him, present-day Saint-Brieuc-des-Iffs, Brittany, France.
CEALLACH (KELLACH) of KILLALA, (Sixth Century), it is generally believed that St. Ceallach was a disciple of St. Kieran of Clonmacnoise (9th September). He served as the first Bishop of Killable, in Co. Mayo, Ireland, though he resigned his See and ended his life as a hermit. It is possible he may have been martyred, though the limited information that exists on this saint is full of discrepancies, and it is possible his existence is apocryphal.
COMINUS of CATANIA, (Date Uncertain), a martyr in Catania, Sicily of whom there is no further information.
EVERMARUS of ROUSSON, a pilgrim murdered by thieves in Rousson near Tongres (present-day eastern Belgium) circa 700.
GRATA of BERGAMO, (Fourth or Eighth Century), a holy woman from Bergamo in Lombardy (Italy) who dedicated herself to good works, especially arranging Christian burials for martyrs.
MARCULF (MARCULPHUS), after a very successful time bringing pagans to Christ, St. Marculf retired to the wilderness seeking to live a hermetical life. As is generally the case, his solitude was short as he attracted many disciples for whom he founded a monastery at Nanteuil in Aquitaine (France). St. Marculf reposed in 558. It has been written that after touching the relics of St. Marculf, the Kings of France were able to cure Scrofula.
ORENTIUS (ORIENTIUS) of AUCH, an anchorite in the Lavendan Valley (vallées des Gaves in present-day France). St. Orentius was so renowned for holiness of life, that the people of Auch insisted on having him for their bishop, even though he truly desired to remain a hermit. St. Orentius served the See of Auch over forty years, reposing circa 439.
ORENTIUS and PATIENTIA, Martyrs of Loret, a husband and wife who lived near Huesca in Spain, who, according to an old Spanish tradition, were the parents of St. Laurence the Martyr (10th August). SS. Orentius and Patientia reposed circa 240.
SIGISMUND of BURGUNDY, son of the Arian Gundobad, King of the Burgundians (r. 473–516). St. Sigismund succeeded his father on the throne in 516. A disciple of St. Avitus of Vienne (5th February), St. Sigismund also founded the Abbey of Saint-Maurice (abbaye de Saint-Maurice d'Agaune) at Agaune in Valais, Switzerland. Though a Christian, St. Sigismund’s temperament was true to his pagan Vandal roots. And as he grew older St. Sigismund repented and withdrew to the Abbey of Saint-Maurice. During the invasion of the Franks in 523 St. Sigismund led troops into battle, but was captured and taken to Orléans where he was murdered, and subsequently venerated by his subjects as a martyr.
THEODARD (AUDARD) of NARBONNE, born into a wealthy noble family, and educated at the Abbey of St. Martin (abbaye Saint-Martin) in Montauriol, in present-day Occitanie, France. St. Theodard received monastic tonsure at St. Martin Abbey, and spent a great deal of time ministering to those less fortunate in the Diocese of Narbonne. In 885, St. Theodard was consecrated Archbishop of Narbonne (southern France) serving that See until his repose in 893. Following his repose, the Abbey of St. Martin was re-named St. Audard after him.
14th May N.S.
BONIFACE of TARSUS, St. Boniface left his native Rome and travelled to Tarsus in Cilicia (present-day Mersin, Turkey), to retrieve relics. Unfortunately, St. Boniface was martyred in Cilicia circa 307.
BONIFACE of FERENTINO, (Sixth Century), Bishop of Ferentino in Tuscany (Italy) during the reign of Emperor Justin (r. 518–527). St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) wrote of his holiness.
CARTHAGE (CARTHACH MOCHUDA) the YOUNGER, born in Kerry in Ireland with the name Mochuda, he became a disciple and foster-son of St. Carthage the Elder (5th March), hence being remembered as St. Carthage the Younger. He spent several years as a hermit, and then as a monk at Bangor (Bennchor) Abbey in Co. Down, Ireland under St. Comgall (10th May) for about a year. St. Carthage then founded a monastery at Rathin in Co. Westmeath where he soon presided over one thousand monks. Political intrigue led to his community’s expulsion from Rathin (circa 685), and he and his monks settled on the banks of the River Blackwater in Co. Waterford. This new establishment grew into the famous Abbey and Bishopric of Lismore, though St. Carthage reposed circa 637 roughly eighteen months after its founding.
ÉREMBERT of TOULOUSE, St. Érembert received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of St. Peter / abbaye Saint-Pierre (later the Abbey of St. Wandrille / abbaye Saint-Wandrille) in Fontenelle, Normandy (France) circa 640. According to almost all sources, St. Érembert was appointed Bishop of Toulouse in 656 by Clotaire III. However, since Clotaire didn't assume the throne until 658, either St. Érembert was appointed to the See of Toulouse after 658, or Clotaire's predecessor, Clovis II, King of Neustria and Burgundy (r. 639–657) appointed St Érembert to the See of Toulouse. St. Érembert resigned his See in 668, returning to Fontenelle where he spent the rest of his life as a simple monk, reposing circa 672.
HALLVARD (HALWARD) of OSLO, a member of the Norwegian royal family, St. Hallvard was killed with an arrow shot, in retaliation for helping a woman claiming to have been falsely accused of theft and who was being chased by a mob. After killing St. Hallvard, one of the mob then shot the woman who had sought his protection (circa 1043). A stone was tied around St. Hallvard’s neck and he was thrown into the sea, but he floated. St. Hallvard has since been venerated as a martyr because he died protecting the innocent.
JUSTA, JUSTINA, and HENEDINA of SARDINIA, three Christian women (possibly sisters) who were martyred circa 130 in Sardinia during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (r. 117–138).
PONTIUS of CIMIEZ, martyred during the reign of Emperors Valerian and his son Gallienus (r. 253–268). The exact date is unknown, though most sources place it around 258. His martyrdom took place in Cimiez, a neighbourhood in present-day Nice, France. His relics were enshrined in the village of Saint-Pons (named in his honour) 80 km / 50 mi north of Nice.
TUTO (TOTTO), a monk at St. Emmeram's Abbey in Regensburg, Bavaria (Germany). St. Tuto was consecrated ninth Bishop of Regensburg, and Abbot ex officio of St. Emmeram's 894. He remained Bishop until his repose in 930.
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”.