Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints

7th February (NS) — 25th January (OS)

by | Orthodox Western Saints

25th January O.S.

AMARINUS, abbot of a monastery in the Auvergne (Gaul), a friend and confidant of St. Praejectus, twenty-fifth Bishop of Clermont (vide infra), whom he was martyred with in 676.

ARTEMAS, (Date Unknown), a Christian youth who lived near Naples and was martyred by his schoolmates.

DWYNWEN, a Welsh saint believed to have been a daughter of King St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April) , churches dedicated to her are to be found in Wales and Cornwall. Her holy well and shrine at Llanddwyn Island (Ynys Môn) in Anglesey were once centres of pilgrimage. After a troubled life, she reposed circa 460.

EOCHOD, known as the Apostle to the Scots and Picts in Galloway, St. Eochod was one of St. Columba of Iona’s (9th June) twelve companions when he travelled from Ireland to Scotland. There is no reliable information on his life extant; however, it is thought that he was chosen to preach in northern England and Galloway.

POPPO, a deeply devout and God-fearing monk of noble ancestry. St. Poppo's sanctity and probity, led to him being placed as abbot or prior of several monasteries in present-day Belgium and France. Often these houses were in need of restoration of order and religious observance, and the revival he had brought about spread to other monasteries throughout present-day Germany, France, and Switzerland. St. Poppo reposed of natural causes in 1048.

PRAEJECTUS, the twenty-fifth Bishop of Clermont in the Auvergne (Gaul). St. Praejectus was close friends with St. Amarinus (vide supra), with whom he was martyred in 676.

RACHO (RAGNOBERT), the first Bishop of Autun who reposed circa 660. Nothing further is known of his life.

SIGEBERT, he was the First Christian King of East Anglia. The principal source for King St. Sigebert's life is St. Bede the Venerable (25th May), from whom we learn that he was the first English king to receive a Christian baptism and education before his succession, as well as the first to abdicate in order to enter the monastic life. With the help of St. Felix (8th March), the founder of the See of Dunwich, and St. Fursey (16th January), St. Sigebert induced his subjects to embrace Christianity. By the time Penda of Mercia threatened the East Anglians, he had retired into a monastery; but his people recalled Sigebert, and he fell in battle (635). As he was fighting against Pagans, he was venerated as a martyr.

THORGYTH (TORTGITH), the novice-mistress of Barking Abbey under St. Etheldreda of Ely (23rd June), and friend of its founder, St. Ethelburga (11th October). St. Thorgyth was known for her zeal and care for the young. She was described as a miracle of patience under suffering, as she is reputed to have suffered paralysis for six years and experienced a vision of Ethelburga just before the abbess’s death. St. Thorgyth reposed circa 700.

7th February N.S.

AMOLVIN (AMULWINUS) , Abbot-Bishop of the Abbey of St. Peter of Lobbes (l'abbaye Saint-Pierre de Lobbes) from 737, when he succeeded St. Erminus (25th April), until his repose circa 750. St. Amolvin's relics are enshrined at Binche in the present-day Belgian province of Hainaut.

ANATOLIUS, (Date Unknown), said to have been a mid-fifth century Bishop of Cahors in Gaul. However, there is no mention of him in the either the Gallia christiana nor in the Fastes Épiscopaux de l’ancienne Gaule, with the exception of a note where, the author, Roman Catholic Priest and Critical Historian Louis Duchesne (†1922), posits that St. Anatolius was the invention of Jesuit priest and theologian Victor de Buck, who introduced St. Anatolius in the Acta Sanctorum Octobris Tomus IX.

AUGULUS (AUGURIUS, AULE), (Fourth Century), as with so many saints of his era, there is little in the way of reliable information of his life extant. The Martyrology of St. Jerome lists St. Augulus as a bishop, whilst other ancient authorities describe him as a martyr who laid down his life for Christ in London. This would have been during the Diocletianic Persecution in which St. Alban (20th June) suffered circa 303. It is possible St. Augulus was not a saint of the British Isles, as he has also been identified by some French authorities with St. Ouil or Aule of Normandy.

CHRYSOLIUS, (Date Unknown), an Armenian who travelled to Gaul and Flanders to evangelise the region. St. Chrysolius was, at some point after his arrival in Flanders, consecrated bishop. Though his travel from Armenia to Flanders was during the Diocletianic Persecution, St. Chrysolius managed to avoid any persecution by Roman authorities. However, he as martyred by pagans in Flanders. St. Chrysolius' relics were enshrined at St. Donatian's Church in Bruges in present-day Belgium.

FIDELIS, a Greek, who as part of a merchant venture, settled in Mérida in the early to mid-sixth century. Once there, he became a disciple of Paul, Bishop of that city (according to some sources St. Fidelis was Paul's nephew), whom he later succeeded. St. Fidelis reposed circa 570.

JULIANA of BOLOGNA, a matron in Bologna whose husband, with her consent, left her to become a priest. Having successfully raised her children, St. Juliana dedicated the rest of her life to service to the Church and poor. Her work was praised by St. Ambrose of Milan (7th December). St. Juliana reposed in 435.

LAURENCE of SIPONTO, also called St. Lorenzo Maiorano, he was Bishop of Siponto in Puglia from 492 until his repose circa 546. Following a series of visions of the Archangel Michael on Mount Gargano, St. Laurence built a shrine to the Archangel on the mountain.

Orthodox Christian Icon of English Saint, St. Richard the King

Icon of St. Richard the King

MELDON (MEDON), (Sixth Century), an Irish hermit in Gaul. Nothing is known about St. Meldon beyond his repose at Péronne, and the existence of several churches in the area which are dedicated to him.

RICHARD, he appears to have been an Anglo-Saxon chieftain or Under-King in Wessex, most likely of a part of Devonshire. Married to a relative of St. Boniface (5th June), the Apostle of Germany, King St. Richard was the father of three Saints: SS. Willibald (7th July), Winebald (18th December), and Walburga (25th February). St. Richard reposed in 722 at Lucca in Tuscany whilst on a pilgrimage to Rome. Many miracles, the details of which are now lost to us, testified to his sanctity.

TRESSAN (TRÉSAIN), a missionary from Ireland who was ordained to the priesthood by St. Remigius (1st October). St. Tressan worked tirelessly to bring Christ to the people of the Champagne region of present-day France. He reposed in 550, and he has been venerated continuously in the area around Reims for over 1,000 years.

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”.