Orthodox Saints of the Pre-Schism See of Rome
21st July (NS) — 8th July (OS) 2020
APOLLONIUS of BENEVENTO, a Bishop of Benevento in Campania (southern Italy), who was forced into hiding towards the end of the Diocletianic Persecution. He reposed circa 326.
AQUILA and PRISCILLA the TENT MAKERS, (First Century), husband and wife who were part of Rome's Jewish community, where they worked as tent makers. Originally from Pontus, they hosted the Apostle Paul (29th June) in their home on two occasions (Acts 18:2 and Acts 18:18) as they travelled back to Pontus following Emperor Claudius's (r. 41–54) banishment of Jews from Rome. A few years into the reign of Emperor Nero (r. 54–68), SS. Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome, and St. Paul greets them in his Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:3). They are traditionally believed to have been martyred in Rome, however, there are some sources that state SS. Aquila and Priscilla returned to Asia Minor and were martyred there.
ARNOLD of ARNOLDSWEILER, the limited information on St. Arnold’s life is based upon Vitae that were based upon stories, retold, translated, and copied, rendering their contents doubtful. St. Arnold has been described as a model of Christian virtue, and venerated above all for his dedication to caring for the poor. The the pre-eminent hagiographic scholars of the Société des Bollandistes place the date of his repose in the early ninth century. The village of Arnoldsweiler, just outside of present-day Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia takes its name from St. Arnold.
AUSPICIUS of TOUL, a Gallo-Roman aristocrat, who succeeded Gelsimus as Bishop of Toul (north-eastern France). Little is known of his life apart from his contribution to poetry, he was one of, if not the first, poets to use rhythmical iambics, giving his name to the purely rhythmical or Auspician strophe. St. Auspicius reposed circa 475.
AUSPICIUS of TRIER, traditionally counted as the fourth Bishop of Trier in the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. He reposed circa 130. However, some state he is the same as St. Auspicius, the fifth century Bishop of Toul (vide supra). Some sources list him as a martyr, whilst others a confessor.
EDGAR the PEACEFUL (EDGAR PACIFICUS), a King of England (r. 959–975) whose reign was marked by a strong religious revival. He lent his support to the work of monastic reform, appointing SS. Dunstan (19th May), Æthelwold (1st August), and Oswald (28th February) to their Sees, and it was through his initiative that a synodal council was convened circa 970 at Winchester (Hampshire, England), resulting in the promulgation of a common rule for English monastics, the Regularis Concordia. King St. Edgar's reign was remembered by Churchmen as a period of great order and prosperity, and hence he became to be known as King St. Edgar the Peaceful.
Troparion of King St. Edgar the Peaceful — Tone VIII
Look down from heaven upon us, thy children,
O right-believing Edgar,
thou king who reignest no longer over England,
but dwellest in the mansions of heaven;
and accepting our prayerful entreaties,
establish the Holy Orthodox Faith throughout thy land,
and protect it by thine intercession on high,
that it may triumph at last over the manifold errors of this age.
GRIMBALD of ST. BERTIN, a monk at St. Bertin Abbey in present-day Saint-Omer, France who was noted for his advanced learning. In 885 St. Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (r. 871–886) and King of the Anglo-Saxons (r. 886–899) invited St. Grimbald to come to Wessex and help with St. Alfred's work of restoring an advanced level of scholarship in England. Initially St. Grimbald served the schools at Oxford as their first professor of divinity. Following the repose of Archbishop Æthelred of Canterbury (†888), St. Alfred offered St. Grimbald the See of Canterbury, but St. Grimbald declined, and was made Abbot of the new Minster at Winchester (Hampshire, England) where he remained until his repose in 901.
KILIAN — APOSTLE of FRANCONIA; COLMAN of THURINGIA, and TOTNAN of THURINGIA, members of a group numbering eleven Irish monks who laboured to enlighten Franconia and East Thuringia (parts of present-day Bavaria, Germany). They were martyred circa 689 on the orders of the pagan wife (also the Duke’s deceased brother’s widow) of Gozbert, Duke of Thuringia.
LANDRADA, founding-Abbess of Munsterbilzen Abbey in Limburg (south-eastern Netherlands). St. Landrada reposed circa 690.
MORWENNA, (Fifth Century?), a Cornish saint, of whom little in known, St. Morwenna may have been a daughter of King St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April). St. Morwenna is often confused with St. Modwenna of Polesworth (5th July), who lived two centuries later. Several places are named after her, most notably Morwenstow, Cornwall, England, where her relics are believed to be buried under the floor of the village Church of St. Morwenna and St. John the Baptist.
SOSTRATUS, SPIRUS, ERACLIUS, EPERENTIUS, and CECILIA, Martyrs of Syrmium, (Fourth Century), a group of five Christians martyred together at Syrmium in Pannonia (present-day Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). No further information on their lives is extant.
SUNNIVA (SUNNIFA) of BERGEN, (Tenth Century) commonly believed to have been a princess who fled from Ireland with her brother and others, possibly to avoid an arranged marriage to a pagan king. Their ship wrecked on the coast of Norway, where they then settled, seemingly living a semi-hermetic life of seclusion and prayer. Unfortunately, over the years the details of their lives have been adulterated through re-telling, re-writing, and translation; some versions have incorporated parts of the life of St. Ursula and Companions (21st October). St. Sunniva is the patron-saint of Bergen, Norway, and the Norwegian west coast.
URITH of CHITTLEHAMPTON, (Sixth Century?), a fairly obscure saint, St. Ulrith is not mentioned in many of the standard historical hagiographies or menologies. The most popular legend of her Life claims that she was probably a nun martyred by Saxon, or possibly Viking, invaders at Chittlehampton in Devon, England. A church was later built over the site of her grave. Her holy well, now called by the corruption of her name - Taddy Well or Saint Teara’s Well, still stands at the east end of Chittlehampton.
WIHTBURH (WITHBURGH, WITHBURGA), the youngest daughter of Anna, King of the East Angles (r. 635/6–c. 654), who, following the repose of her father, received monastic tonsure, and lived as an anchoress at East Dereham, Norfolk, England. St. Wihtburh reposed circa 643 and she was buried at East Dereham. On 17th October, 1106 her relics were translated and enshrined in Ely Cathedral with those of her sisters, SS. Æthelthryth of Ely (23rd June) and Seaxburh of Ely (6th July).
ARBOGAST of STRASBOURG, an anchorite in Alsace (north-eastern France) who had a reputation for holiness. St. Dagobert II, King of Austrasia (France) (r. 675–679) (23rd December) appointed St. Arbogast to the Bishopric of Strasbourg (north-eastern France) circa 630. Though he would have preferred to have remained in his cave, St. Arbogast, was beloved by his flock, who venerated him even before his repose. Amongst the miracles attributed to St. Arbogast while still alive is bringing King St. Dagobert’s son back to live after he was killed in a hunting accident. St. Arbogast reposed circa 678, and at his own request was buried in the part of the cemetery set apart for the burial of criminals. A church was soon built over his tomb.
CLAUDIUS, JUSTUS, JUCUNDINUS, and COMPANIONS of TROYES, a group of at least eight, and possibly as many as twenty-three, martyrs who suffered with St. Julia (vide infra) in Troyes. All were beheaded for their faith in Christ in 273. Their relics were enshrined in the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Jouarre near Meaux.
CONSTANTINE of MONTE CASSINO, a disciple of St. Benedict (11th July) at Monte Cassino. St. Constantine became Abbot of Monte Cassino upon the repose of St. Benedict in 547. There is no further information on his life. St. Constantine reposed circa 560.
JOHN and BENIGNUS of MOYENMOUTIER, twin brothers who were disciples of St. Hidulf of Moyenmoutier (11th July) and monks at his Abbey at Moyenmoutier in the Vosges mountains in eastern France. SS. John and Benignus reposed in 707.
JULIA of TROYES, a Christian native of Troyes (north-central France) who was taken as a spoil of war by the army of Emperor Aurelian (r. 270–275) after his victory over Tetricus I in 274. St. Julia was then given to St. Claudius (vide supra), an officer of Aurelian’s army. St. Julia brought St. Claudius to Christ and he joined her in martyrdom not long after, circa 272.
PRAXEDES of ROME, (Second Century) the daughter of the Roman senator St. Pudens of Rome (19th May) and sister of St. Pudentiana of Rome (19th May). She is said to have been a zealous follower of Christ, and to have given her wealth to the care of the poor. The Basilica of Saint Praxedes (Basilica di Santa Prassede all’Esquillino / Santa Prassede) in Rome is named after her.
VICTOR, ALEXANDER, FELICIAN, and LONGINUS, Christian officers of the Roman Imperial Army who were posted in Marseilles and were martyred there circa 290.
WASTRADA, the mother of St. Gregory of Utrecht (25th August). Towards the end of her life she received monastic tonsure and spent the rest of her days at Susteren Abbey in present-day Echt-Susteren south-eastern Netherlands. St. Wastrada reposed circa 760, and was buried at Susteren Abbey.
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”.