Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
5th January (NS) — 23rd December (OS)
23rd December O.S.
DAGOBERT II, son of St. Sigebert III (1st February), king of Austrasia, and Chimnechild of Burgundy. St. Sigebert reposed in 656, while St. Dagobert was still a child and the throne was stolen by St. Dagobert’s guardian Gimoald who wanted it for his son, Childebert. St Dagobert was exiled to Ireland. St. Dagobert had several children, including SS. Irmina of Oeren and Adela of Pfalzel (both 24th December). Ultimately, he was recalled to Austrasia where he died in an alleged hunting accident, which is widely believed to have been murder, by Ebroin, designed to permanently remove him from the throne, and is considered a martyr.
FRITHBERT (FRITHUBEORHT, FRITHUBERHT, FRITHUBERTUS) of HEXHAM, the successor of St. Acca (20th October) as seventh Bishop of Hexham which he ruled from 8th September, 734 until his repose on 23rd December, 766.
MAZOTA of ABERNETHY, (Eighth Century?), the leader of a group of holy virgins from Ireland who settled at Abernethy on the Tay, Perth and Kinross, Scotland where they founded a religious community. There are differing accounts of the number in this company, with some sources saying nineteen, and others only nine. To further complicate things some sources confuse them with the daughters of St. Donald of Ogilvy (15th July) who are known as the 'the Nine Maidens', whilst still others make them out to be a contemporary of St. Brigid of Kildare (1st February) who flourished during the late fourth, early fifth century. St. Mazota seems to have been a woman of great sanctity and Forbes’ Kalendar of Scottish Saints mentions numerous, but unspecified, miracles performed by her, and after her repose through her intercession which resulted in her tomb being a noted place of pilgrimage.
MIGDONIUS and MARDONIUS, imperial officials in Rome who were martyred during the Diocletianic Persecution (A.D. 303) for refusing to renounce their faith.
SERVULUS, St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) wrote of St. Servulus, a man with severe palsy, who begged in front of the church of St. Clement in Rome. He kept only the minimum funds necessary for the barest existence, giving the rest to those he considered in straits more dire than his. St. Servulus reposed circa 590.
VICTORIA and ANATOLIA, two Christian sisters betrothed to pagans, who refused to marry them or take part in pagan rituals. They were denounced to the authorities and martyred in 250.
VINTILA, a hermit at Pugino in Galicia who reposed in 890.
5th January N.S.
CERA (CIAR, CYRA, CIOR, CEARA), a native of Tipperary who founded and was abbess of two convents, one at Kilkeary and the other at Tech Telle (Tehelly). There is no further reliable information on this saint extant, and she is sometimes confused with St. Kiara (Chier) (vide infra)
CONVOYON (CONWOÏON), an archdeacon of Vannes who became a hermit, and in 831 founded and was first Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur, Redon on the border between Neustria and Brittany. St. Convoyon was driven from Saint-Sauveur by invading Vikings and he spent the rest of his life in exile, reposing 868.
EMILIANA, (Sixth Century), the youngest of St. Gregory the Dialogist’s (3rd September) three paternal aunts. St. Emiliana and her eldest sister St. Tarsila (24th December), lived as monastics in their parents’ home. St. Gregory wrote of their lives.
GAUDENTIUS of GNESEN, a Bohemian noble and younger brother of Saint Adalbert of Prague (23rd April). He received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of Saint Alessio, Aventine, in Rome, and later joined his brother on his mission to Prussia. Escaping the massacre in which St. Adalbert was martyred, St. Gaudentius was consecrated the first Archbishop of Gniezno (Gnesen) (in present-day Poland) when the See was established in 1000. St. Gaudentius reposed circa 1004.
KIARA (CHIER), a spiritual daughter of St. Fintan Munnu (21st October), she lived in North Tipperary at a place now named Kilkeary in her honour. St. Kiara reposed circa 680; there is no further information extant.
TELESPHORUS, a Greek, likely from Calabria, who served as the eighth Pope of Rome. There are varying dates of his reign some sources claim his elevation was as early as 125 others as late as 146, with his martyrdom taking place anytime from 136 to 154. According to the Annuario Pontificio his Pontificate commenced in 127 or 128, and he was martyred 137 or 138. There are many legends regarding St. Telesphorus, though, aside from being martyred, none can be substantiated.
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”.