Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
7th December (NS) — 24th November (OS)
24th November O.S.
BIEUZY, (Seventh Century), a disciple of St. Gildas (29th January), who accompanied St. Gildas to Brittany. St. Bieuzy was known as a wonderworker with the gift of healing both men and animals. He was murdered by a nobleman for refusing to interrupt his celebration of the Mass to go heal the noble’s rabid dogs.
CHRYSOGONUS, martyred during the Diocletianic Persecution (303 – 305), at Aquileia. Little of any certainty is known of his life, though he has been listed in various martyrologies since the Martyrologium Hieronymianum.
COLMAN of CLOYNE, unfortunately St. Colman flourished at a time for which little contemporary written history is still extant, and as far as is known no Life of St. Colman was ever written. Therefore, we are left to rely upon a diverse source of materials including a tale known as Conall Corc and the Corco Loígde (c. 700 or earlier), which includes a few brief notes on St. Colman, with the addition of information gleaned from Irish annals, genealogies, martyrologies, and even nineteenth and twentieth century Hagiographies. As far as is known St. Colman was born in Cork (c. 522-530), and whilst it is unclear whether he was raised as a Christian, it is certain that he was a man of substantial education. St. Colman spent the first forty-eight years of his adult life as a poet at the Court of Cashel, and was one of the earliest known Irish poets to write in the vernacular. Several encounters with SS. Brendan the Voyager (16th May) and Ita (15th January), prompted St. Colman to receive monastic tonsure. St. Brendan tonsured St. Colman and sent him to study under St. Jarlath (6th June) at his school at Tuam in present-day Co. Galway. St. Colman went on to found the monastery of Cluain Uama from which the Diocese of Cloyne grew, with St. Colman serving as its first bishop. Cluain Uama soon acquired a reputation as a place of great earning and was even praised in the Triads of Ireland as a centre of legal studies. St. Colman reposed on 24th November, circa 600, and was most likely buried at his monastery in Cloyne.
CRESCENTIAN, martyred in Rome with SS. Cyriacus, Largus, and Smaragdus (8th August). They were tortured to death on the rack, 309.
EANFLEDA (EANFLAED), a daughter of King St. Edwin of Northumbria (12th October), and his wife St. Ethelburga of Kent (8th September). St. Eanfleda was baptised by St. Paulinus of York (10th October), who later baptised King St. Edwin. When St. Eanfleda was only seven years of age, her father was martyred at the battle of Hatfield Chase (633), after which her newly widowed mother, accompanied by St. Paulinus, returned to Kent with her children. In time St. Eanfleda was married to King Oswy of Northumbria, with their union resulting in the birth of St. Elfleda (8th February), who was to become the second Abbess of Whitby. Though both Christians, King Oswy followed the Celtic practice, whilst Queen St. Eanfleda followed the Roman (vide Paschal Controversy). Upon the repose of her husband, St. Eanfleda received monastic tonsure and entered her daughter’s monastery at Whitby. St. Eanfleda spent the rest of her life as a simple monastic and reposed circa 700. She was buried in the Abbey Church at Whitby, near the remains of King Oswy.
FELICISSIMUS, a martyr who suffered in Perugia, circa 303. Nothing further is known of his life.
FIRMINA, a Roman maiden tortured to death at Amelia in Umbria during the persecutions under Diocletian (circa 303).
FLORA and MARY, two maidens in Cordoba who were tortured and beheaded for their faith during the persecutions under the Emir of Córdoba, Abd ar-Rahman II in 851.
KENAN (CIANAN), (Fifth Century), when St. Patrick (17th March) established a See at present-day Duleek (Irish: Damhliag, “stone house or church”) Co. Meath circa 450, he made St. Kenan its first bishop. According to the Office of St. Cianán St. Kenan was the first in Ireland to build his cathedral of stone.
LEOPARDINUS, a seventh century Abbot of the monastery of St. Symphorian in Vivaris, Berry (present-day France). He was assassinated and subsequently venerated as a martyr.
MARINUS, martyred by the Saracens at Chandor, where he was a hermit 731.
PORTIANUS, a former slave who became a monk and later Abbot of Miranda in Auvergne. His influence was such that he was able to induce King Thierry of Austrasia to free his Auvergnat prisoners. St. Portianus reposed in 533.
ROMANUS of LE MANS, a nephew of St. Julian of Le Mans (27th January) who ordained him to the priesthood. St. Romanus was charged by his uncle with evangelising the area around the Gironde Estuary. He reposed at Blaye in Bordeaux in 385 after years of fruitful missionary work, especially amongst the regions’ seamen.
7th December N.S.
AMBROSE, born to a Christian family in Trier, St. Ambrose was the son of the Praetorian Prefect of Gaul. He followed his father in an administrative career culminating in his appointment as governor of Aemilia-Liguria, with his seat at Milan. Upon the repose of the Arian Bishop of Milan, Auxeminus (374), St. Ambrose was chosen bishop by acclimation, even though he was still a catechumen. Initially he refused, but final accepted, and was baptised, and ordained. St. Ambrose gained fame as a preacher, a passionate defender of orthodoxy against Arianism, and was an important figure in the conversion of St. Augustine (28th August). He is credited with introducing a great deal of Eastern theology to the West, and encouraging monasticism. St. Ambrose introduced antiphonal singing, into the Western Church, was instrumental in making hymns an integral part of the Western Liturgy, and is believed to be the author of the Te Deum.
Troparion of St. Ambrose of Milan — Tone IV
In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you;
your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Ambrose,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.
Kontakion of St. Ambrose of Milan — Tone III
You shone forth with divine doctrine eclipsing the deception of Arius,
shepherd and initiate of the mysteries, Ambrose.
you worked miracles through the power of the Spirit,
healing various passions;
righteous father, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.
ANIANUS (AGNAN), a fifth century Bishop of Chartres.
BUITHE (BUITE, BOETHIUS), a Scot who went on a pilgrimage to Rome, and spent several years in studying Italy. Returning to Scotland, St. Buithe helped enlighten the Picts, reposing in 521.
DIUMA, a member of the first group of missionaries invited to the Kingdom of Mercia in 653 by Peada of Mercia the son of King Penda. Following Peada’s succession to the throne, St. Diuma was consecrated bishop by St. Finan of Lindisfarne (17th February). The exact boundaries of his See are unknown, though St. Bede the Venerable (25th May) styles him ‘Bishop of the Middle Angles and the Mercians’.
MARTIN of SAUJON, a disciple of St. Martin of Tours (11th November) who, following the repose of his spiritual father he returned to his place of birth and founded the monastery of Saujon. St. Martin reposed circa 400.
SERVUS, a layman and member of the nobility in North Africa. St. Servus was tortured to death (483) for refusing to renounce orthodoxy Christianity during the reign of the Arian Huneric, King of the Vandals (r. 477–484).
URBAN (URBANUS), according to tradition, a Bishop of Teano in Campania who reposed circa 356.
VICTOR of PIACENZA, the first Bishop of Piacenza from circa 322 until his repose in 375. St. Victor was a resolute defender of orthodoxy against Arianism.
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”.