Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
15th March (NS) — 2nd March (OS)
2nd March O.S.
CHAD (CEADDA), A brother of St. Cedd of London (26th October), pupil of St. Aidan at Lindisfarne, who later studied in Ireland. On St. Chad’s return to England he was made Abbot of Lastingham, where he became known for his ability as a pastor and holiness of life. During St. Wilfrid’s (12th October) absence in France, St. Chad was irregularly consecrated Bishop of the Northumbrians, with his See at York in St. Wilfrid’s place. However, upon St. Wilfrid’s return, Archbishop St. Theodore of Canterbury (19th September) denied the legitimacy of St. Chad’s consecration, and, with great humility, St. Chad accepted this decision and retired to Lastingham. Impressed by his action, St. Theodore regularized his consecration and made him Bishop of Lichfield. St. Chad was a tireless evangelist and journeyed as far as north Lincolnshire in spreading the Gospel, and is said to have founded the monastery at Barrow. St. Chad reposed 673 during the great pestilence, leaving behind a reputation for zeal and devotion. He was buried at the Cathedral in Birmingham, where his relics are preserved to this day.
CYNIBIL (CYNIBILD), a brother of SS. Chad (vide supra), and Cedd of London (26th October), and of the Priest Caelin, all of whom worked to enlighten England. Amongst their works was the founding of the monastery at Lastingham. St. Bede the Venerable (25th May) comments on how unusual it was for four brothers to all enter the priesthood, two of them becoming bishops. The exact year of St. Cynibil’s repose in the seventh century is unknown.
GISTILIAN (GISTLIAN), St. Gistilian was the uncle of St. David of Wales (1st March), as well as a monk at St. David’s – Menevia. There is no further information on this saint extant.
JOAVAN, a native of Britain, St. Joavan went to live with his uncle St. Paul of Léon (12th March) in Brittany. St. Paul later consecrated Joavan bishop. St. Joavan reposed circa 570. There are several churches in Brittany dedicated to him.
JOVINUS and BASILEUS, two Christian men who were martyred circa 258, in the persecutions during the reign of Valerian. They were buried alongside the Latin Way in Rome.
MARTYRS of CAMPANIA, a group of over four hundred martyrs in Campania under the Lombards, circa 579. The story of their martyrdom was memorialised by St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September). Some sources, including Butler, list them as the "Martyrs under the Lombards".
MARTYRS of PORTO ROMANO, a group of martyrs, during the Diocletianic Persecution circa 305. Nothing is known today, but the names of these four:
Heraclius, Januaria, Paul, and Secondilla.
SLEBHENE (SLEBHINE), an Irishman who was a monk at Iona, St. Slebhene served as its fifteenth abbot from 752 until his repose 767.
WILLEIC, an Englishman who was a disciple of St. Swithbert (1st March). St. Willeic also served as Prior and later Abbot of Kaiserswerth near Düsseldorf. St. Willeic reposed in 726.
15th March N.S.
ARISTOBULUS, (First Century), the Holy Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy, Bishop of Britain is traditionally numbered as one of the Seventy, and is the Aristobulus mentioned by St. Paul (29th June) in his epistle to the Romans (16:10). According to tradition, St. Aristobulus was consecrated bishop by St. Paul and sent to Britain where he worked to enlighten the pagan population and ultimately met his martyrdom.
LEOCRITIA (LUCRETIA), raised as a Muslim, St. Leocritia converted to Christianity. Driven her out of their home by her family, St. Leocritia was sheltered by St. Eulogius (11th March). Both were arrested, flogged, and then beheaded in 859.
MANCIUS, (Fifth Century), a native of Rome who was bought as a slave by Jewish traders who then took him to Evora in Portugal. There his masters’ animosity towards Christianity drove them to martyr St. Mancius.
SPECIOSUS, a wealthy landowner from Campania who renounced the world and joined the Abbey of Monte Cassino with his brother Gregory. There both brothers received monastic tonsure from St. Benedict (11th July). St. Specious was later sent to the new foundation at Terracina. St. Specious reposed in Capua circa 555 whilst undertaking abbey business there.
ZACHARIAS, 91st Pope of Rome from 741 until his repose in 752. He was born in San Severino in Calabria of a Greek family. St. Zacharias was very zealous in the restoration of the churches of Rome to which he made costly gifts. He also restored the Lateran palace, and translated to the Church of St. George in Velabro the head of the martyr St. George which was found during the repairs of the decayed Lateran Palace. St. Zacharias translated the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) into Greek as well, and his translation was widely circulated in the Eastern parts of the Roman Empire.
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”.