Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
22nd September (NS) — 9th September (OS)
9th September O.S.
BETTELIN (BERTRAM), St. Bettelin, a disciple of St. Guthlac of Crowland (11th April), lived at Crowland Abbey as a hermit under Abbot Kenulf. Information about his life is often confused and intertwined with that of St. Bettelin of Staffordshire (10th August). Many sources believe them to be the same saint. There is no means of fixing the precise date of his repose, but it is generally accepted that St. Bettelin of Crowland reposed in the eighth century. His relics were translated to Staffordshire before the destruction of Crowland Abbey by the Danes.
HYACINTH, ALEXANDER, and TIBURTIUS, (Date Unknown), martyrs in the Sabine Hills in present-day Italy of whom nothing further is known.
KIERAN (KYRAN), known as ‘The Younger’ to distinguish him from St. Kieran of Saighir (5th March), this St. Kieran was born in the province of Connaught in the west of Ireland. He received monastic tonsure at Clonard Abbey where he was a disciple of St. Finian (12th December), who prophesied that half the monasteries in Ireland would receive their Rule from him. The Law of Kieran, like the monastic Rules of the other great Celtic saints, is austere in the extreme. St. Kieran founded several monasteries, including the famous Clonmacnoise in West Meath on the River Shannon. St. Kieran reposed circa 549, and is counted amongst the ‘Twelve Apostles of Ireland’.
OMER (AUDOMARUS), a native of north-eastern Switzerland near Lake Constance, following the repose of his mother, St. Omer and his father received monastic tonsure at Luxeuil Abbey. As a spiritual child of St. Eustace (29th March) St. Omer developed a reputation for holiness and a remarkable knowledge of Scripture. When a bishop was needed for the See of Thérouanne in the northern French county of Artois, St. Omer was chosen. As bishop he built the Abbey of St. Peter at Sithiu (later the Abbey of St. Bertin), suppressed idolatry, and rejuvenated the diocese into one of the most thriving in all of France. St. Omer reposed circa 670.
OSMANNA (ARGARIARGA), a maiden from Ireland who went to Brittany, where she lived as an anchoress near Saint-Brieuc, reposing circa 650.
WULFHILD, St. Wulfhild was most likely a member of the Anglo-Saxon nobility, and was raised at Wilton Abbey. She desired to enter monastic life; however, she was ardently pursued by King Edgar for betrothal. After repeatedly rebuffing his proposals, St. Wulfhid was able to obtain the king’s permission to receive monastic tonsure, and eventually served simultaneously as Abbess of both Barking Abbey in present-day London, and Horton Abbey in Kent. St. Wulfhild reposed circa 1000.
22nd September N.S.
DIGNA and EMERITA, Roman maidens who were arrested and tortured for being Christians during the persecutions during the reign Valerian (254-259). Whilst standing before their judges and praying, SS. Digna and Emerita reposed. The pagans dumped their sacred remains in open country, which were rescued by their fellow Christians and interred with those of SS. Felix and Adauctus (30th August). Their relics were later translated to the Church of San Marcello al Corso in Rome and enshrined under the main altar.
EMMERAMUS (EMMERAM), a native of Poitiers who went to Bavaria help spread Christianity. He later served as Abbot Bishop of Regensburg. St. Emmeramus was killed (circa 690) whilst on his way to Rome, and has been venerated as a martyr ever since. St. Emmeram's Abbey was subsequently built over his grave circa 739.
FLORENTIUS (FLORENT, FLORENCE), (Fifth Century), a native of Bavaria who was a disciple of St. Martin of Tours (11th November). St. Martin ordained St. Florentius to the priesthood and sent him to evangelise in Poitou (the region surrounding Tours). In later life he went to live as a hermit at Mt. Glonne in Anjou, where he attracted so many disciples, an abbey (later Abbaye de Saint-Florent-le-Vieil) had to be built for them. St. Florentius reposed at an advanced age, some legends state 120 years, and was buried at his abbey.
JONAS (YON), a companion or disciple of St. Dionysius (Denis) of Paris (9th October), who evangelised Chartres, and was martyred at some point in the third century.
LAUTO (LAUDO, LAUDUS, LÔ), a nobleman who served as the fifth Bishop of Coutances in Normandy from 528 until his repose 568. Upon inheriting his family's estate, he donated the lands to his diocese, part of which became the village of Saint-Lô.
SALABERGA, healed of blindness by St. Eustace of Lisieux (29th March), as a child, and then married very young, but her husband died after only two months. She then married Blandinus of Laon, with whom she had five children, including SS. Baldwin (16th October), and Anstrudis (17th October). Later in life she and her husband mutually agreed to separate and enter monastic life, with her husband becoming an anchorite and St. Salaberga being tonsured at Poulangey. St. Salaberga went on to found the convent of St. John the Baptist in Laon, reposing there circa 665.
SANCTINUS, whilst there is no definitive evidence extant, St. Sanctinus is traditionally considered to have been the first Bishop of Meaux and a disciple of St. Dionysius (Denis) of Paris (9th October). St. Sanctinus reposed circa 300.
SILVANUS, (Date Unknown), an early saint venerated from time immemorial in Levroux France. No reliable information on his life is extant.
THEBAN LEGION, the army of Emperor Maximianus Herculius (286 – 305) included a legion of Christians who were based in Thebes in Egypt. Whilst marching his army across the Alps to suppress a revolt in Gaul, the Emperor camped near Agaunum (present-day Saint-Maurice, Switzerland) and included in his preparation for battle public sacrifices, in which the Christians, naturally, refused to participate, and were, as a result, ruthlessly executed (circa 287). A basilica was built in Agaunum, now St-Maurice-en-Valais to enshrine the relics of the martyrs.
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”.