Orthodox Saints of the Pre-Schism See of Rome
18th July (NS) — 5th July (OS) 2020
AGATHO and TRIPHINA of SICILY, martyrs in Sicily during the Diocletianic Persecution. The date of their martyrdoms is placed as circa 306, no further information is extant.
EDANA (ETAOIN) of WEST IRELAND, (Date Unknown), St. Edana received tonsure from St. Patrick of Ireland (17th March), she lived for some time at the junction of the Rivers Shannon and Boyle, and is the patron of several parishes in the west of Ireland. St. Edana later travelled to Scotland where she founded a convent. There is a tradition that the city of Edinburgh in Scotland is named for her; “Dùn Édana”, meaning “Edana’s castle” or “Edana’s fortress”. She is also thought by some to be the same saint as St. Modwenna of Whitby (vide infra) though there is no documentation to support either of these assertions.
ERFYL (EURFYL), (Date Unknown), a Welsh holy virgin, St. Erfyl founded, and is the titular saint of, a church at Llanerfyl, Powys, Wales. According to local tradition, she is buried beneath an inscribed stone in the churchyard, and her holy well once stood nearby.
FRAGAN and GWEN (BLANCHE), (Fifth Century), the parents of SS. Winwalöe of Landévennec (3rd March), Jacut and Guithern (6th February). SS. Fragan and Gwen fled the chaos in Britain following the departure of the Romans. They settled in Brittany (northern France), where there are several churches dedicated to them.
MODWENNA of BURTON, a possibly apocryphal seventh or ninth century saint. St. Modwenna has been credited with founding an abbey at Burton-on Trent, Staffordshire, England as well as having trained St. Edith of Polesworth (15th July), and raised St. Osgyth (7th October). Unfortunately, the lives of the three St. Modwennas commemorated today have become so intertwined to the point that it is impossible to definitively state with any accuracy specific details.
MODWENNA of POLESWORTH, this St. Modwenna, who flourished in the seventh century, is believed to have been an anchoress, and later Abbess of Polesworth in Warwickshire, England. The recorded details of St. Modwenna’s life have become impossibly muddled with those of St. Modwenna of Whitby (vide supra), and in some menologies with that of St. Edana of West Ireland (vide supra) that it is impossible to state beyond doubt, anything but the most basic particulars.
MODWENNA of WHITBY, the successor of St. Hilda of Whitby (17th November) as Abbess of Whitby in England. Other details of her life are hopelessly intertwined with those of St. Modwenna of Polesworth (vide infra), and in some menologies with those of St. Edana of West Ireland (vide supra). St. Modwenna reposed circa 695.
NUMERIAN (MEMORIAN) of TREVES, the son of a wealthy man in Trier in the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and disciple of St. Arnulf of Metz (18th July). St. Numerian received monastic tonsure at Remiremont Abbey (abbaye de Remiremont), and later spent time at the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Luxeuil (abbaye Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Luxeuil). In 645 St. Numerian was consecrated Bishop of Trier serving as ordinary until his repose circa 666.
PHILOMENA of SAN SEVERINO, a saint venerated in San Severino near Ancona in the Italian Marches. The only information extant on St. Philomena is an inscription on a tomb, discovered in the thirteenth century, which gives her name and that she must have flourished prior to 500.
PROBUS and GRACE, (Date Unknown), Cornish Saints who are traditionally thought to have been husband and wife. The village of Probus in Cornwall, England, takes its name from St. Probus, and the village church, St. Probus and St. Grace, is dedicated to them.
STEPHEN of REGGIO, (First Century), traditionally believed to have been consecrated the first Bishop of Reggio (present-day Diocese of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla in northern Italy) by the Apostle Paul (29th June) and martyred in the persecutions during the reign of Emperor Nero (r. 54–68).
TRIPHINA of BRITTANY, (Sixth Century), the mother of St. Tremorus of Brittany (7th November), the infant-martyr. After her son’s martyrdom, St. Triphina spent the rest of her life in a monastery in Brittany.
ZÖE (ZOA) of ROME, the wife of a high-ranking official in the imperial court in Rome. St. Zöe was arrested, tortured, and finally martyred for her faith circa 286.
ARNULF of METZ, a courtier and advisor to Théodebert II, King of Austrasia (r. 595–612). When the See of Metz (north-eastern France) became vacant, St. Arnulf was chosen by popular demand of both the clergy and laity to be their bishop. St. Arnulf served his flock for nine years, then resigned to spend what was left of his life as a hermit, living in a cave in the Vosges mountains (eastern France). St. Arnulf reposed circa 640.
EADBURH (EDBURGH, EDBURGA) of BICESTER, a daughter of the great pagan warrior Penda, King of Mercians (r. 626–655), St. Eadburh converted to Christianity in her youth and spent most of her life as nun. St. Eadburh reposed circa 650. Her relics were enshrined at Bicester (north-eastern Oxfordshire) in 1182, and translated to Flanders, Belgium in 1500. There is a shrine dedicated to her at Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, England.
FREDERICK of UTRECHT, grandson of Redbad, King of the Frisians (r. c.680–719), St. Frederick was the ninth Bishop of Utrecht (central Netherlands), serving from 825 until his martyrdom in 838. While bishop, St. Frederick worked to regularise Church practice and reform the clergy of his See. He chastised those, especially amongst the nobility, who were given to incestuous relationships, also also reproved Empress Judith’s immoral and adulterous lifestyle. Another of St. Frederick's acts as bishop was sending a group led by St. Odulph of Utrecht (12th June) to evangelise the area of Walcheren. St. Frederick was murdered whilst in church on 18th July, 838. It is widely thought his murder was ordered by some of those he had condemned, most likely Empress Judith, though this is not known for certain.
GONERI of TRÉGUIER, a sixth century British hermit in Brittany (north-western France). His hermitage is said to have been near the town of Tréguier.
GUNDENIS of CARTHAGE, according to the Roman Martyrology, St. Gundenis was a young maiden in Carthage (a present-day suburb of Tunis, Tunisia) who, in 203, was subjected to extensive torture and finally beheaded for refusing to renounce Christ.
MARINA of OURENSE, (Date Unknown), a martyr in Ourense in present-day Spain of whom there is no further information extant.
MATERNUS of MILAN, chosen eighth Bishop of Milan (north-west Italy) by popular acclamation in 295, he is said to have been loved by Christian and pagan alike. St. Maternus was subjected to torture during the Diocletianic Persecution, yet not only survived, but provided comfort and encouragement to his flock as they too faced persecution and martyrdom. St. Maternus reposed of natural causes circa 307.
MINNBORINUS, an Irishman, most likely a member of the group of Christians which came from Ireland and Scotland to evangelise the area that is present-day Germany. St. Minnborinus served as Abbot of the Abbey of Great St. Martin (abtei Groß St. Martin) in Cologne from 974 until his repose in 986.
PHILASTRIUS of BRESCIA, Bishop of Brescia during the height of the Arian heresey. He preached extensively against the heresey and authored the still extant refutation of Arianism Diversarum Hereseon Liber. St. Philastrius reposed circa 387. His successor, St. Gaudentius of Brescia (25th October), preached a sermon on an anniversary of St. Philastrius’ repose in which he praised St. Philastrius as “patient, good to the poor, merciful and affable to all”.
RUFILLUS (RUFFILIUS) of FORLIMPOPOLI, the first Bishop of Forlimpopoli (north-eastern Italy). According to tradition he was sent to evangelise the region by Pope St. Silvester (31st December), St. Rufillus reposed in 382.
SYMPHOROSA of TIVOLI and COMPANIONS, the widow of the martyr St. Getulius of Tivoli (10th June). St. Symphorosa was martyred in the early second century at Tivoli (Lazio, central Italy), and is commemorated together with Crescens, Julian, Nemesius, Primitivus, Justin, Stracteus, and Eugene, also martyrs, who may very well have been her sons.
THANEY (TANEU, THENEVA, THENEW, THENOVA, DWYNWEN), (Seventh Century) St. Thaney is believed to have been the mother of St. Kentigern Mungo of Glasgow (13th January). There are many legends about her of questionable veracity, and most of what is known of her life is derived from hagiographies of her son. She is co-patron saint, along with her son, of Glasgow, Scotland; the Enoch in St. Enoch’s Square, Glasgow, is a corruption of her name (Saintteneu = Saintenoch); and the square stands on the site of a medieval chapel dedicated to her.
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”.