Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
8th January (NS) — 26th December (OS)
26th December O.S.
AMAETHLU (MAETHLU), a sixth century Welsh saint for whom the church and village of Llanfaethlu in Anglesey is named. Nothing further is known about his life.
DIONYSIUS, twenty-fifth Pope of Rome, assuming the throne in 259 following a one year interregnum caused by the Valerian Persecutions. As Pope, St. Dionysius opposed Sabellius and condemned Paul of Samosata’s heretical writings. St. Dionysius reposed in 268, the first Pope of Rome not to have been martyred.
MARINUS, the son of an Imperial Roman Senator, and possibly a senator himself. Tortured and martyred for being a Christian in 283.
TATHAI (TATHAN, TATHAEUS, ATHAEUS), an Irish monk or hermit who, in the late fifth or early sixth century lived in an area that was called Llantathan in Glamorgan, Wales, after him. He is said to have founded a monastery there, which at the time, was quite well known. Some sources state that St. Tathai founded another monastic school in Gwent where St. Cadoc (24th January) is said to have been a student.
THEODORE the SACRIST, (Sixth Century), a sacristan at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The limited information on his life comes from the writings of his contemporary of St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September).
ZOSIMUS, elected forty-first Pope of Rome in March 417, St. Zosimus spent a great deal of his papacy advancing the cause of Papal Supremacy. He fought against Pelagianism, even engaging Pelagius himself. St. Zosimus reposed in December 418.
8th January N.S.
ALBERT of CASHEL, (Seventh Century), whilst no reliable Life of this saint is extant, it seems that he was born in England and evangelised in Ireland and then later in Bavaria with St. Erhard of Regensburg (vide infra). He went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and, on his return to Bavaria, reposed, and was buried in Regensburg. St. Albert is the patron saint of Cashel in Ireland.
ATHELHELM (ATHELM), the twenty-first Archbishop of Canterbury, and an uncle of St. Dunstan (19th May) St. Athelhelm was a monk, and later became Abbot of Glastonbury. He was consecrated the first Bishop of Wells in Somerset 909, serving that See until his elevation to the Archbishopric of Canterbury in 923. St. Athelhelm reposed shortly after his elevation to Canterbury. Some sources claim he reposed in 926, and most likely presided at the coronation of King Æthelstan (r. 924–939) of England 925, though there is no definitive evidence to support this.
ERGNAD (ERCNACTA), (Fifth Century), a native of present-day Antrim, this holy woman is said to have been tonsured by St. Patrick (17th March). She spent her monastic life as an anchoress and her last years were marked by many miracles.
Troparion of St. Ergnad — Tone III
Turning thy back on the transitory glamour of the world, O Mother Ergnad,
thou wast tonsured by the Hierarch Patrick.
By fulfilling thy obedience, thou dost teach us the virtue of humility.
Wherefore, O righteous one, pray that we may be given grace
to accept spiritual guidance for the salvation of our souls.
Kontakion of St. Ergnad — Tone VIII
Adornment of Ireland and joy of monastics, O Mother Ergnad
thou didst trample on the fiery passions, which war against the soul.
O conqueror of them all and champion of purity,
we praise thee, as is thy due, and in thine honour, we sing: Alleluia.
ERHARD, an Irish missionary bishop who evangelised Bavaria primarily around Regensburg. St. Erhard reposed circa 686.
EUGENIAN, (Fourth Century), a fourth century Bishop of Autun, who was martyred for his unwavering opposition to Arianism.
FRODOBERT, a monk and disciple of St. Waldebert (2nd May) at The Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Luxeuil in Burgundy. St. Frodobert went on to found the Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Montier-la-Celle in Troyes (circa 650), where he served as the first Abbot until his repose circa 673.
GARIBALDUS, the first Bishop of Regensburg in Bavaria, (739–761). It is quite probable he was either a monk or even Abbot of St. Emmeran’s Abbey prior to consecration as bishop. St. Garibaldus reposed in 762.
GUDULA (GOULE), a daughter of St. Amelberga of Maubeuge (10th July) St. Gudula was educated by her aunt St. Gertrude (17th March) at Nivelles. Upon completion of her education St. Gudula returned to her family’s castle where she spent her life in prayer and serving others. St. Gudula reposed in 712, and is patroness of Brussels, Belgium.
LUCIAN, MAXIMIAN, and JULIAN, missionaries from Rome who were martyred in Beauvais circa 290.
MAXIMUS, a late fifth century Bishop of Pavia and participant in the Synods of Rome convened by Pope Symmachus. St. Maximus reposed in 511.
NATHALAN, (Seventh Century), born to a wealthy landed family in Scotland, St. Nathalan distributed his estate amongst the poor and became a hermit, combining tilling the soil with assiduous prayer. He was famous for his learning (both secular and sacred), and his zeal in spreading the Faith. Elevated to the Bishopric of Aberdeen, he continued his charity to the poor, living in great austerity. St. Nathalan reposed in 679.
PATIENS, (Second Century), fourth Bishop of Metz.
PEGA, St. Pega was the sister of St. Guthlac (11th April), who also lived an hermetic life, initially at Crowland and then finally in Northamptonshire, where the village of Peakirk (Pega’s church) commemorates her. At some point after St. Guthlac’s repose, St. Pega went to Rome where she reposed circa 719. Her relics were placed in a local church, the name of which is now lost to us; however, they were reportedly the source of many miracles.
SEVERINUS, a hermit who felt called to evangelise and went to Noricum (roughly present-day western Austria, parts of Bavaria and Slovenia). There St. Severinus founded several monasteries along the Danube and established funds to ransom captives. St. Severinus reposed in 482.
WULSIN, St. Wulsin was a monk and one of the restorers of monastic discipline in England during the tenth century under St. Dunstan (19th May). Appointed to serve as superior over the restored community at Westminster circa 960, he was elevated to Abbot 980. St. Wulsin was consecrated Bishop of Sherborne which he served until his repose in 1002.
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”.