Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
17th April (NS) — 4th April (OS)
4th April O.S.
GUIER, (Date Unknown), A church, not far from Padstow in Cornwall was named for this hermit priest, of whose life we have no further details. Some sources posit that Guier is merely a spelling variation of Gwerir and the St. Guier is the same saint as St. Gwerir (vide infra).
GWERIR, (Date Uncertain), An anchorite near Liskeard in Cornwall, England at whose grave site King Alfred the Great (r. 871–899) was cured of a serious illness. Following St. Gwerir’s repose, St. Neot (31st July) occupied his cell.
HILDEBERT, Abbot of St. Peter’s Abbey (Sint-Pietersabdij) in Ghent in Flanders. St. Hildebert was martyred in 752, by Iconoclasts for his defence of icons.
ISIDORE of SEVILLE, the brother of SS. Leander (27th February), Fulgentius (16th January), and Florentina (20th June). After succeeding St. Leander as Bishop of Seville in 600, he presided over several Councils, reorganised the Spanish Church, encouraged monastic life, and completed the Mozarabic Rite. St. Isidore was a prolific writer with many of his books still extent. In 619, St. Isadore convoked the Second Council of Seville, and in 633 the Fourth Council of Toledo. St. Isidore reposed in 636.
TIGERNACH (TIGERNAKE, TIERNEY, TIERRY), Successor of St. Macartin (24th March) as Bishop of Clogher and Abbot of Clones, he is the patron saint of Clones, Co. Monaghan, Ulster. While the details of his life are vague at best, it seems he had been a disciple of St. Ninian (26th August) prior to being elevated to Bishop. It is said he lost his vision in his later years and thenceforth devoted his life in prayer and contemplation. St. Tigernach reposed in 549.
17th April N.S.
ANICETUS, a native of Syria, St. Anicetus served as eleventh Pope of Rome from either 150 or 157 until his repose in either 153 or 168. During his Pontificate St. Polycarp of Smyrna (23rd February) came to Rome to settle with him the question of the date of Easter. Whilst St. Anicetus agreed to allow the Eastern Church to continue its practice of celebrating Easter on the 14th day after the first moon of the vernal equinox (14th of Nissan on the Jewish calendar) even when it did not fall on a Sunday. This was a temporary agreement at best, as the complex question as to how to calculate the date of Easter vexed the Church, both east and west, for at least seven more centuries. St. Anicetus was also a tenacious defender of the Church against Gnosticism. He has been listed as a martyr for centuries, most likely due to the common belief that all early Popes of Rome were martyred. However, there is no evidence to support this assertion.
DONNAN (DOUNAN) and COMPANIONS, a disciple of St. Columba (9th June) at Iona, St. Donnan was the founding Abbot of a monastery on the Isle of Eigg, off the west coast of Scotland. His attempt to enlighten the Picts of the region resulted in St. Donnan and over fifty of his monks (some sources say fifty-one, and others as many as one hundred and fifty) being martyred by Picts on Easter Sunday. Most sources list the date of their martyrdom as being around 617, and based upon the connexion between St. Donnan and St. Columba, it is safe for us to place the date at the end of the sixth, or beginning of the seventh century.
DRITHELM, St. Drithelm, when ill and close to death, experienced a terrifying vision of damnation, and a beautiful vision of salvation. St. Bede the Venerable (25th May), in his Historia Ecclesiastica, describes these visions in detail, and relates that St. Drithelm actually died in the night, coming back to life in the morning to tell all that he had seen. Following this event, St. Drithelm relinquished all material things, dividing his property between his wife, his children, and the poor. He then retired to the Abbey of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne (Melrose Abbey), Old Melrose, then within the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria, present-day Roxburghshire, in the Scottish Borders. where he received monastic tonsure, living a life of penance and strict asceticism until his repose circa 700.
ELIAS, PAUL, and ISIDORE, St. Elias, an elderly priest in Córdoba, and two of his disciples, SS. Paul and Isidore, were martyred by the Moors in 856. An account of their martyrdoms was written by St. Eulogius (11th March) who witnessed it.
FORTUNATUS and MARCIAN, (Date Uncertain), two martyrs of whom nothing is known. According to some martyrologies, they were martyred in Antioch, however, most list North Africa as the location, which is probably more accurate.
INNOCENT of TORTONA, a Christian man in his early twenties, who was arrested and scourged during the Diocletianic Persecution. He miraculously survived, and following the Edict of Milan in 313, St. Innocent was ordained to the priesthood, and circa 326 consecrated Bishop of Tortona (north-western Italy).
LANDERICUS (LANDRY), (Seventh Century), the eldest son of SS. Madelgarus (20th September) and Waldetrudis (9th April) and Bishop of Meaux (central France) from 641 until 650. Following the repose of St. Madelgarus in 650, St. Landericus resigned his bishopric to be his father’s successor as Abbot of Soignies (Hainaut, Belgium).
MAPPALICUS and COMPANIONS, a group of martyrs in Carthage (a present-day suburb of Tunis, Tunisia), who were tortured to death in 250 during the Decian Persecution.
PANTAGATHUS, a nobleman who was a diplomat and courtier of the Court of Clovis I, King of the Franks, (r. 481–511). Resigning his worldly positions, St. Pantagathus was ordained to the priesthood and later consecrated Archbishop of Vienne (south-eastern France). St. Pantagathus reposed in 540.
VILLICUS, Bishop of Metz (north-eastern France) from 543 until his repose in 568.
WANDO (VANDO), Abbot of the Abbey of St. Peter / abbaye Saint-Pierre (later the Abbey of St. Wandrille / abbaye Saint-Wandrille) in Fontenelle, Normandy (France). St. Wando was forced to live in exile in Troyes (north-eastern France) following being falsely accused of a now unknown misdeed. Fortunately, the allegation was later found to be false, and St. Wando was reinstated as Abbot of Fontenelle remaining there until his repose circa 756.
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”.