Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints <br class="clearfix"> Commemorated Today <br class="clearfix"> 5th November (NS) — 23rd October (OS) 2019
AMO (AMON) of TOUL, nothing is known about St. Amo except for his name and that he was the second Bishop of Toul (north-eastern France) from circa 375, until his repose circa 400–425.
BENEDICT of SEBASTE, although St. Benedict is traditionally believed to have been a Bishop of Sebaste in the Holy Land, though the pre-eminent hagiographic scholars of the Société des Bollandistes (the Bollandists), have questioned this, additionally St. Benedict is not listed as a bishop in commemorations of the Roman Catholic Church. St. Benedict is said to have been forced to flee his See of Sebaste by Emperor Julian the Apostate (r. 361–363) and was given refuge by St. Hilary of Poitiers (13th January). St. Hilary gave him land near Poitiers (west-central France) on which to build a hermitage, which later became the Abbey of St. Benedict (Abbaye Saint-Benoît de Quinçay) at Quinçay north-west of Poitiers. St. Benedict reposed circa 654.
CLETHER (CLEER, CLYDOG, SCLEDOG, CLITANUS, CLEODIUS), what we know of St. Clether's life is mainly based upon pious tradition. It is believed he was a descendant of King St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April), and is said to have been a disciple of St. Brynach of Carn-Engyle (7th April). There are several churches in Cornwall, and the civil parish and village of St. Cleer also in Cornwall which commemorate him. The village of Clodock in Herefordshire is also named for him. St. Clether is thought to have reposed circa 520. The Moscow Patriarchate’s calendar commemorates him on 4th November as St. Clether, hermit of Cornwall.
DOMITIUS of AMIENS, an eighth century priest or deacon in the Diocese of Amiens (northern France) who lived as a hermit. According to some, St. Domitius was the Spiritual Father of St. Ulphia of Amiens (31st January).
ELFLEDA (ÆLFLEAD), this St. Elfleda was an Anglo-Saxon princess who lived as an anchoress at Glastonbury Abbey (Somerset, England). She was greatly admired by St. Dunstan of Canterbury (19th May), to whom she prophesied the year and day of her repose, which took place in the mid-tenth century. She is not to be confused with the following St. Elfleda, her contemporary and namesake, who was Abbess of Romsey.
ETHELFLEDA (ELFLEDA), the existence of several St. Elfledas and the paucity of available information, which is muddled at best, makes it difficult to provide accurate information on the life of this saint. From Baring-Gould we learn that this St. Ethelfleda is believed to have been the daughter of Æthelwald of Wessex, who was killed in battle soon after her birth. St. Ethelfleda was sent to Romsey Abbey (Hampshire, England) at an early age to be educated. In time St. Ethelfleda received monastic tonsure, and soon came to be known for the sanctity of her life and feats of asceticism. It is related that once, when St. Ethelfleda was reading the Lesson at Matins, the wind kept extinguishing her candle, so she held her hand up and light streamed forth, providing the necessary illumination for her. She was also known for chanting Psalms whilst standing naked in the nearby River Test at night. St. Ethelfleda served as Abbess of Romsey for the last few years of her life, reposing in the late tenth century.
JOHN of SYRACUSE, Bishop of Syracuse in Sicily from 595 until his repose circa 609.
ODA of AQUITAINE, a Frankish princess and widow of the Duke of Aquitaine (south-western France). Following the repose of her husband, St. Oda dedicated her life and wealth to the care of the poor and suffering. She reposed circa 723, her shrine is in Amay, near Liege in present-day Belgium.
ROMANUS of ROUEN, a courtier to King Chlotar II (r. 613–629) who was consecrated the twentieth Bishop of Rouen (Normandy north-western France) circa 629. During the decade or so of his episcopacy, St. Romanus, worked to eradicate the last vestiges of paganism in his See. A wonderworker, St Romanus also devoted much of his time to caring for prisoners, especially those with capital sentences. St. Romanus reposed in 639.
SERVANDUS of CADIZ and GERMANUS of CADIZ (MARTYRS of CADIZ), brothers who lived in Cadiz (south-western Spain). SS. Servandus and Germanus were martyred during the Diocletianic Persecution (303–313).
SEVERINUS (SEURIN) of BORDEAUX, often confused with his contemporary and native of Bordeaux (south-western France), St. Severinus of Cologne (vide infra). This St. Severinus was "from the East" according to St. Gregory of Tours (17th November) and served as the fourth Bishop of Bordeaux from circa 405 until his repose in 420. He is remembered for his wonderworking, and fierce opposition to Arianism.
SEVERINUS BOETHIUS, the statesman, philosopher, and martyr, Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius was a member of a Roman Consular family. St. Severinus served as a Consul, as did his father and sons, and later he also was an aide and advisor to Theodoric the Great, King of the Ostrogoths (r. 475–526). Though the author of several theological treatises, St. Severinus is best remembered for his more secular works, especially the De Consolatione Philosophiæ. About the year 534 political rivals accused him of disloyalty to the throne, and republican leanings, St. Severinus was gaoled, and without trial Theodoric ordered that he be put to death. Though there is no documentary evidence to support it, St. Severinus has always been considered a martyr, with a very strong cultus around Pavia in Lombardy (northern Italy) where his execution took place. St. Severinus' relics are enshrined in the Cathedral of Santo Stefano e di Santa Maria del Popolo in Pavia, Italy.
SEVERINUS of COLOGNE, a native of Bordeaux (south-western France) often confused with his namesake and contemporary St. Severinus of Bordeaux (vide supra). St. Severinus was the third (circa 348–403) reliably documented Bishop of Cologne in the present-day German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The little that is known of him is conflated with the life of St. Severinus of Bordeaux, though his ardent stance against Arianism is well documented. St. Severinus reposed circa 403.
SYRE (SYRA) of FAREMOUTIERS, a spiritual daughter of St. Burgundofara (3rd April) at the Abbey of Our Lady of Faremoutiers (abbaye Notre-Dame de Faremoutiers), in Faremoutiers (north-central France). St. Syre was later chosen to be abbess of an abbey at Châlons-sur-Marne (present-day Châlons-en-Champagne, Marne, in north-eastern France). St. Syre reposed circa 660.
VERUS of SALERNO, (Fourth Century), a wonderworker, St. Verus was the third Bishop of Salerno (south-western Italy. He is remembered for his zealous defence of orthodox Christianity.
AUGUSTINE of TERRACINA and PAULINUS of TERRACINA, (Sixth Century), two monks whom St. Benedict of Nursia (21st March) charged with the founding of a monastery at Terracina in the present-day province of Latina, Italy.
BERTILLE (BERTILLA), St. Bertille received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of Our Lady of Jouarre (abbaye Notre-Dame de Jouarre) in Jouarre (north-central France), and later served as the first Abbess of the re-founded Abbey of Our Lady of Chelles (abbaye Notre-Dame-des-Chelles) just east of Paris. She served as abbess from 646 until her repose circa 703.
DOMINATOR of BRESCIA, a late fifth century Bishop of Brescia in Lombardy (northern Italy). St. Dominator reposed circa 495.
FELIX of TERRACINA and EUSEBIUS of TERRACINA, two first century martyrs at Terracina in the present-day province of Latina, Italy.
FIBITIUS, there are no verifiable details of St. Fibitius extant. Some sources list him as the abbot of an unnamed monastery in Trier, others as Bishop of Trier. St. Fibitius reposed circa 500.
HERMENEGILD, a monk at an abbey in the Diocese of Tui in Galatia (north-western Spain). St. Hermenegild assisted St. Rudesind (1st March) building abbeys and monasteries throughout Galatia. He reposed in 586.
KANTEN (CANNEN), (Eighth Century), the founder of Llanganten Abbey near Cilmery in Powys, Wales. There is no further information on his life extant.
KEA (KAY, KENAN), (Sixth Century), what little is known of St. Kea's life comes from a seventeenth-century précis of a now lost Latin hagiography, and an incomplete sixteenth-century Cornish language play that was lost until 2000. Hence any details of his life should be viewed with scepticism.
The extant documents relate that St. Kea was the son of King Lleuddun Luyddog of Lothian and was a bishop in north Britain before becoming a hermit. Traveling first to Wales, St. Kea then headed south, founding churches at Street in Somerset, and Landkey Devonshire. St. Kea finally settled at what is today Kea in Cornwall, which takes its name from him. He is also believed to have spent some time in Brittany, where he is venerated as St. Quay, and may have reposed there.
Troparion of St. Kea — Tone I
Thou wast unsparing in thy missionary labours/
in Brittany and Cornwall, O Hierarch Kea./
As thou didst make the flame of the Orthodox Faith/
burn brightly in the face of defiant paganism,/
pray to God for us, that we devote our lives to confronting the paganism of our times/
for the glory of Christ's Kingdom and the salvation of men's souls.
LAETUS (LIÉ, LYÉ) of ORLÉANS, according to pious legend, St. Laetus received monastic tonsure at the age of twelve at an unknown monastery near Orléans (north-central France). Some sources state St. Leonard of Noblac (6th November) was one of his disciples. St. Laetus reposed circa 533, and his relics were enshrined at Saint-Lyé-la-Forêt, which takes its name from him
MAGNUS of MILAN, Archbishop of Milan from circa 520 until his repose in 525. The Roman Martyrology calls him a confessor. His cultus seems to have begun not long after his repose. This is the limit of what is known of St. Magnus.
SPINULUS (SPINULA, SPIN) of MOYENMOUTIER, a disciple of St. Hidulf (11th July) at his abbey in Moyenmoutier (north-eastern France). St. Spinulus reposed in either 707 or 720.
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”.