27th November (NS) — 14th November (OS) Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
ALBERIC, a nephew of St. Gregory of Utrecht (25th August) and monk, St. Alberic served as Prior of St. Martin's Cathedral in Utrecht before being consecrated Bishop of Utrecht in 775. As bishop, he worked tirelessly, and fruitfully, to evangelise the Teutons. St. Alberic reposed in 784.
DYFRIG (DUBRICIUS) of WALES, a Welsh holy man, founder of monasteries in Hentland and Moccas (in present-day Herefordshire), and the subject of a myriad of legends over the years. He has been described as the Archbishop of Caerleon and Wales who crowned King Arthur; that he was consecrated Archbishop of the whole of ‘southern Britain’ by SS. Germanus of Auxerre (31st July) and Lupus of Troyes (29th July) establishing his See at Llandaff, even though St. Germanus reposed approximately twenty-five years before St. Dyfrig was born; and the late Arthurian scholar Dr. Norma Lorre Goodrich (†2006), claims that St. Dyfrig and Merlin were actually the same person. Legends notwithstanding, there is no question that in the early middle ages, St. Dyfrig was held in great esteem throughout south-east Wales for his wisdom and learning. The commonly accepted date of St. Dyfrig repose is circa 545, though according to some sources, this may have been as early as 465 and as late as 612, he was initially buried on the Isle of Bardsey, and according to the Book of Llandaff his relics were translated to Llandaff Cathedral in 1120. There are churches dedicated to him in Ballingham, and Herefordshire (Church of England), Llanvaches, and Newport (Church in Wales), and in Treforest (Roman Catholic).
Troparion of St. Dyfrig — Tone I
Thou art worthily honoured as the Father of Welsh Monasticism. O Hierarch Dyfrig
labouring to establish true asceticism with thy brother in the Faith, Samson of Dol
whom thou didst raise to the dignity of the episcopate. In thy pastoral love, O Saint,
pray for us that despite our unspiritual lives
Christ our God will grant us great mercy.
JUCUNDUS of BOLOGNA, a Bishop of Bologna who reposed in 485. No further details of his life are extant.
MODANIC, (Date Unknown), There is no reliable information available on the life of St. Modanic, other than he was a Scottish bishop traditionally venerated in Aberdeen.
SIDONIUS (SÄENS), a monk at Jumièges Abbey where he was a disciple of St. Philibert (20th August). He spent several years traveling from monastery to monastery, and at least a decade in Rome as a companion to St. Ouen (24th August). St. Ouen then sent him to found a monastery near Rouen which came to be known as Saint-Saëns. During this time, St. Sidonius founded several other monasteries, and was the teacher of St. Leutfridus (21st June). St. Sidonius reposed circa 690, having spent the last years of his life living as a simple monk.
VENERANDA, (Second Century), a native of Gaul who was very likely martyred in Rome during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161).
VENERANDUS, a prominent citizen of Troyes, in north-central Gaul, who was martyred under Emperor Aurelian, 275.
ACHARIUS, a monk at Luxeuil under St. Eustace (29th March) where he quickly became known for both his holiness of life as well as administrative skill. This reputation led him to be consecrated Bishop of Noyon-Tournai (present-day Belgium) in 621. As bishop, he was a great supporter of the work of St. Amandus of Maastricht (6th February), and was instrumental in having St. Omer named first Bishop of Thérouanne. St. Acharius reposed in 640.
APOLLINARIS, Abbot of Monte Cassino for eleven years, reposing 828.
BILHILD, widow of the Duke of Thuringia who, following the death of her husband, founded and served as first Abbess of Altmünster Abbey in Mainz. St. Bilhild reposed circa 710.
FACUNDUS and PRIMITIVUS, natives of Léon, who, are traditionally said to have been martyred during the reign of Diocletian (circa 300). However, it is more likely their martyrdom was in the mid-second century during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
FERGUS, an Irish bishop who went on a mission to Scotland with a group of clerics. Settling initially near Strogeath, near the River Earn in present-day Perth and Kinross, where St. Fergus and his companions established three churches in the area. Next, he evangelised Caithness where he established churches in Wick and Halkirk, and then to Aberdeenshire founding a church in present-day St. Fergus, and lastly, he founded a church in Glamis, Angus. St. Fergus reposed circa 730, and was initially buried in the church at Glamis. In the early sixteenth century, the Abbot of Scone had St. Fergus’ head translated and enshrined at Scone church.
GALLGO, (Sixth Century), founder of Llanallgo in Anglesey, Wales, was the brother of St. Eigrad (6th January) and De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae author St. Gildas the Wise (29th January). He is believed to be buried on the site of the current St. Gallgo's Church near the village of Llanallgo.
JOHN ANGELOPTES, Bishop of Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna from 430 until his repose in 433. Some sources state he was also Metropolitan of Aemilia and Flaminia. According to tradition, he once had a vision of an angel assisting him at Divine Liturgy, hence the addition of Angeloptes which means 'the man who saw an angel' in Greek.
MAXIMUS of RIEZ, after being made Abbot of Lérins in 426, where he had received monastic tonsure, St. Maximus was consecrated Bishop of Reiz in 434, much against his will, by St. Hilary (5th May). St. Maximus reposed in 460.
SEACHNALL (SECHNALL, SECUNDINUS), according to the Irish Annals SS. Secundinus (Seachnall), Auxilius (his brother), and Iserninus (all three 6th December) came to Ireland in 439, to assist St. Patrick (17th March) in his evangelisation of the Irish. According to various sources, St. Seachnall was one of the sons of St. Patricks’ sister Darerca (22nd March ), and he may have studied in Gaul prior to accompanying St. Patrick to Ireland. Later tradition, of uncertain provenance, seems to intimate that Secundinus and Auxilius were of Italian origin, and several contemporary scholars have suggested that St. Seachnall was present in Ireland prior to St. Patrick’s arrival. The early Latin hymn, in praise of St. Patrick, known as Audite Omnes Amantes or the Hymn of Secundinus is attributed to St. Seachnall. St. Seachnall is the patron saint of, and traditionally considered the founder of, Domnach Sechnaill (present-day Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath), as well as the first Christian bishop to repose on Irish soil. St. Seachnall reposed after serving as a bishop for fourteen years, at the age of seventy-five (c. 447).
SEVERINUS, a hermit near Paris who reposed circa 540.
SIFFRED (SIFFREIN, SYFFROY, SUFFREDUS), a monk at Lérins and later Bishop of Carpentras in Provence, little else is known of his life. St. Siffred reposed circa 540 (some sources suggest 660). His relics are enshrined in the Cathedral of Saint Siffrein in Carpentras.
VALERIAN, an Archbishop of Aquileia in north-eastern Italy, who spent years fighting Arianism. St Valerian reposed 389.
VIRGILIUS (FERGAL), an Irishman who, while returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, stopped in Bavaria, where he remained. He assisted St. Rupert (27th March) in his evangelisation of the area, served as Abbot of St Peter's in Salzburg, and in 765 was consecrated Bishop of Salzburg. St. Virgilius reposed in 784.
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”.