Orthodox Saints of the Pre-Schism See of Rome 17th February (NS) — 4th February (OS) 2020
ALDATE, a Briton who lived in the western counties of England, and in some legends is styled Bishop of Gloucester. Famed for his resistance to heathen invaders, he encouraged his fellow-countrymen to resist as well. This, coupled with his pious and exemplary life, gained him local repute as a saint. There are quite a few West Country churches which bear his name as their titular saint; St. Aldate’s in central Oxford also bears his name. It is very possible there were two Saints of this name in fifth or sixth century England, though reliable details of their lives are lacking; hence, it is all but impossible to disentangle their legends. Notwithstanding this confusion, we may safely place his repose in the middle of the fifth century.
AQUILINUS, GEMINUS, GELASIUS, MAGNUS, and DONATUS, third century martyrs at Fossombrone in central present-day Italy. No further information on them is extant.
AVENTINUS of CHARTRES, the fifteenth Bishop of Chartres. St. Aventinus succeeded his brother, St. Solemnis (25th September) as bishop of that See circa 511, serving until his repose circa 520.
AVENTINUS of TROYES, almoner to SS. Lupus (29th July) and Camelian (28th July), Bishops of Troyes. St. Aventinus resigned his position to live as an anchorite in the Pyrenees, at a place now called Saint-Aventin in his honour. St. Aventinus reposed circa 538.
EUTYCHIUS, (Fourth Century), martyred in Rome during the Diocletianic Persecution. It is said that following torture, St. Eutychius was imprisoned for twelve days without food, and then thrown into a well to drown.
LIEPHARD, a native of England, and possible bishop, according to some legends he was a companion of King Cædwalla (r. 685–688) in the latter’s pilgrimage to Rome. St. Liephard was martyred near Cambrai in France circa 640 while on his way back to England. There are those who have confused him with St. Liudhard (24th February), the bishop who attended Queen Bertha to Canterbury; however, neither dates nor ascertained facts support this theory.
MODAN, St. Modan was an Irish monk who went to Scotland where he built a chapel at Dryburgh, which grew into the famous Dryburgh Abbey. From this base, he actively preached the Gospel in the Falkirk and Stirling areas, as well as along the Forth. His strict asceticism and great humility lead the community to elect him Abbot of Dryburgh, a position he accepted with great reluctance. After a number of years, he resigned and became a hermit in the Dumbarton area, where he lived until his repose. His relics were enshrined at St. Modan’s church, Rosneath. In addition, he is the titular saint of the great church at Stirling, and honoured particularly at Dunbarton and Falkirk.
NITHARD, a monk at New Corvey in Saxony, and fellow-worker of St. Ansgar (3rd February) in the evangelisation of Sweden. St. Nithard was martyred by pagan Swedes in 845.
REMBERT, a monk who worked with St. Ansgar (3rd February) in the evangelisation of Denmark. St. Rembert succeeded St. Ansgar as Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen in 865. He was the author of the comprehensive Vita Ansgari. St. Rembert reposed in 888.
VINCENT of TROYES, the ninth(?) Bishop of Troyes from circa 536 until his repose circa 546.
VULGIS, Abbot-Bishop of the Abbey of St. Peter of Lobbes in Hainaut (present-day Belgium), he reposed circa 760.
DONATUS, SECUNDIAN, ROMULUS, and COMPANIONS, a group of over eighty Christians martyred in 304 during the Diocletianic Persecution at Porto Gruaro, a part of present-day Metropolitan Venice.
FAUSTINUS and COMPANIONS, (Date Unknown), a group of forty-five martyrs who are believed to have been martyred in Rome. Unfortunately, besides St. Faustinus’ name there are no further details extant.
FINAN of LINDISFARNE, an Irishman by birth, he succeeded St. Aidan (31st August) as Bishop of Lindisfarne. In his earlier life as a monk at Iona, St. Finan was a staunch supporter of the Celtic ecclesiastical traditions, opposing the successors of St. Augustine of Canterbury (27th May), who strove to bring English customs into closer conformity with those of Rome. He converted Kings Peada of Mercia (r. 655–656) and Sigeberht of Essex (r. c. 653–660/1) to Christianity, and along with St. Cedd (26th October), and others, evangelised the most southern regions of England. St. Finan reposed 661.
FINTAN, St. Fintan lived as an anchorite at Clonenagh in Leinster. In time, numerous disciples, including St. Comgall of Bangor (10th May), and St. Columba (12th December) gathered around St. Fintan who became their abbot. He has been compared by the Irish annalists to St. Benedict of Nursia (11th July) and is styled “Father of the Irish Monks”. St. Fintan reposed 603.
FORTCHERN, (Fifth Century), one of St. Patrick’s (17th March) earliest converts in Ireland. St. Fortchern devoted himself to the service of St. Patrick and is said to have refused to be consecrated bishop out of humility. Unfortunately, the details of his life have been intertwined with that of St. Loman (vide infra), hence nothing further about this saint can be said with any degree of certainty.
GUEVROCK (GUEROC, KERRIC), (Sixth Century), a native of Brittany, St. Guevrock was a disciple of St. Tudwal (30th November), later Abbot of Loc-Kirec, and at one point an assistant of St. Paul Aurelian (12th March) as well.
HABET-DEUS, a Bishop of Luna in Tuscany, of which only ruins exist today. As far as is known St. Habet-Deus was martyred by the Arian Vandals circa 500.
LOMAN (LUMAN), the first Bishop of Trim in Meath, St. Loman is said to have been a nephew of St. Patrick (17th March). He seems to have reposed in the mid-fifth century Unfortunately, the details of his life have been intertwined with that of St. Fortchern (vide supra), hence nothing further about this saint can be said with any degree of certainty.
SILVINUS, a member of court, who gave up his life in the world to preach the Gospel, enlightening the area near Thérouanne in the north of Gaul. After some forty years of unceasing work, during which he paid the ransoms of many slaves, he went to the monastery of Auchy-les-Moines, where he lived the few remaining years of his life as a monk reposing circa 720.
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”.