Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
8th July (NS) — 25th June (OS)

by | Orthodox Western Saints

25th June O.S.

ADALBERT of EGMONT, a Northumbrian who became a monk at Rathmelgisi Abbey (later the site of Mellifont Abbey, Co. Louth) in Ireland. St. Adalbert was ordained to the Diaconate and joined St. Willibrord of Echternach (7th November) on his mission to Frisia (present-day Netherlands), where he worked in the area around Egmont. St. Adalbert reposed circa 740, and is the Patron-Saint of Egmont.

AMAND of COLY, (Sixth Century), according to the Vita sancti Sori and the Vita sancti Amandi St. Amand was a sixth century leader of a small hermetic community which worked to evangelise the area around present-day Saint-Amand-de-Coly, Dordogne, France. Following St. Amand’s repose, his disciples founded a community which later became the Abbey of St. Amand of Coly (abbaye de Saint-Amand-de-Coly), around which the village of Saint-Amand-de-Coly grew.

CYNEBURGA (KYNEBURGA) of GLOUCESTER, little is known about St. Cyneburga, it seems she was a princess who fled an arranged marriage to devote her life to serving God. She became a maid for a baker in Gloucester, whose wife became jealous of the young St. Cyneburga, killing her in 710, and then threw either her head, or entire body in a nearby well. Later the baker called for her and St. Cyneburga answered from the well. Her body was retrieved from the well and buried nearby. Several miracles were reported at her gravesite, and a chapel was erected over it which attracted many pilgrims.

EUROSIA (OROSIA) of JACA, the patron saint of Jaca on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees mountain range. She is said to have been a maiden of noble birth who fled an arranged marriage to a Moor. St. Eurosia hid in a cave, but the smoke from her fire soon revealed her hiding place and she was martyred by Moors in 714.

GALLICANUS of EMBRUN, the fifth (or seventh) Bishop of Embrun (present-day Roman Catholic Diocese of Gap, France). He reposed circa 541.

GALLICANUS of OSTIA, a senior officer in the army of St. Constantine the Great (21st May) and Roman consul. St. Gallicanus retired from the military and settled in Ostia (Metropolitan Rome) where he founded a hospital and ministered to the sick, reposing circa 362.

GOHARD of NANTES, a native of Angers (western France) and thirty-third Bishop of Nantes (also western France). St. Gohard who was beheaded by invading Normans in 843, along with his congregation, while celebrating the liturgy. According to legend, St. Gohard picked up his head, and walked to the Loire where he boarded a boat which took him to Angers where he was buried. His relics were translated to the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul of Nantes towards the end of the eleventh century.

LUCY and COMPANIONS, (Third Century), according to the Acts of Saint Lucy, which are said to be reliable by the Bollandists, St. Lucy along with 20 other Christians were taken as spoils of war and transported to Rome by the Emperor Probus (r. 276–282). Once there, all 21 were executed for their belief in Christ.

MAXIMUS of TURIN, the first recorded Bishop of Turin. St. Maximus served his See during the barbarian invasions of the northern Italy. He reposed circa 470, and is remembered for his homilies and other ascetic writings, which survive.

MOLOC (MOLLUOG, MURLACH, LUGAIDH) of MORTLACH, educated at Bangor Abbey in Co. Down, Ulster, St. Moloc was a disciple of St. Comgall of Bangor (10th May), though some sources say he was a disciple of St. Brendan the Voyager (16th May). St. Moloc worked to evangelise the Picts especially in the Hebrides Islands, off the west coast of Scotland, and was famous for his missionary zeal. He was consecrated a Bishop, though the particular See is unknown, and there is documentation from the mid-sixteenth century that states he was patron saint of Argyll. It is believed St. Moloc reposed circa 592.

MOLONACHUS of LISMORE, (Seventh Century), a disciple of St. Brendan the Voyager (16th May), St. Molonachus later served as Bishop of Lismore in Argyle, Scotland. Nothing further is known of his life.

PROSPER of REGGIO and PROSPER of AQUITAINE, the details of the lives of St. Prosper of Aquitaine and St. Prosper of Reggio have been so intertwined that is difficult to tell at this point if they were even separate individuals. St. Prosper of Aquitaine is well known for his homilies against Pelagianism, and his Epitoma Chronicon, he also wrote against the Nestorian and Eutychian heresies. There was a St. Prosper who was a Bishop of Reggio in Emilia in Italy for upwards of twenty-two years, and is the patron-saint of the city. However, little else is known of his life. Both saints are believed to have reposed circa 460–466.

SELYF (SELYR, LEVAN) of CORNWALL, (Sixth Century), St. Selyf was a hermit in Cornwall, England, who is sometimes identified with St. Solomon who flourished in Brittany (France) and shares the same feast date (vide infra).

SOLOMON I, a Cornish nobleman who was the husband of St. Gwen (18th October), and father of St. Cybi (8th November). He went to Brittany, which he ruled until murdered by heathens amongst his subjects circa 550. Many aspects of the lives of SS. Solomon I and Solomon III (vide infra) have become intertwined that it is quite difficult to be certain of various aspects of their lives.

SOLOMON III (SELYF) of BRETAGNE, King of Brittany (r. 857–874) who defended his people against both the Franks and Viking invaders. The Bretons count him a one of their national heroes. He repented for the crimes of his youth and when he was murdered in 874, King St. Solomon was proclaimed a martyr.

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8th July N.S.

APOLLONIUS of BENEVENTO, a Bishop of Benevento in Campania (southern Italy), who was forced into hiding towards the end of the Diocletianic Persecution. He reposed circa 326.

AQUILA and PRISCILLA the TENT MAKERS, (First Century), husband and wife who were part of Rome's Jewish community, where they worked as tent makers. Originally from Pontus, they hosted the Apostle Paul (29th June) in their home on two occasions (Acts 18:2 and Acts 18:18) as they travelled back to Pontus following Emperor Claudius's (r. 41–54) banishment of Jews from Rome. A few years into the reign of Emperor Nero (r. 54–68), SS. Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome, and St. Paul greets them in his Epistle to the Romans (Romans 16:3). They are traditionally believed to have been martyred in Rome, however, there are some sources that state SS. Aquila and Priscilla returned to Asia Minor and were martyred there.

ARNOLD of ARNOLDSWEILER, the limited information on St. Arnold’s life is based upon Vitae that were based upon stories, retold, translated, and copied, rendering their contents doubtful. St. Arnold has been described as a model of Christian virtue, and venerated above all for his dedication to caring for the poor. The the pre-eminent hagiographic scholars of the Société des Bollandistes place the date of his repose in the early ninth century. The village of Arnoldsweiler, just outside of present-day Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia takes its name from St. Arnold.

AUSPICIUS of TOUL, a Gallo-Roman aristocrat, who succeeded Gelsimus as Bishop of Toul (north-eastern France). Little is known of his life apart from his contribution to poetry, he was one of, if not the first, poets to use rhythmical iambics, giving his name to the purely rhythmical or Auspician strophe. St. Auspicius reposed circa 475.

AUSPICIUS of TRIER, traditionally counted as the fourth Bishop of Trier in the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. He reposed circa 130. However, some state he is the same as St. Auspicius, the fifth century Bishop of Toul (vide supra). Some sources list him as a martyr, whilst others a confessor.

EDGAR the PEACEFUL (EDGAR PACIFICUS), a King of England (r. 959–975) whose reign was marked by a strong religious revival. He lent his support to the work of monastic reform, appointing SS. Dunstan (19th May), Æthelwold (1st August), and Oswald (28th February) to their Sees, and it was through his initiative that a synodal council was convened circa 970 at Winchester (Hampshire, England), resulting in the promulgation of a common rule for English monastics, the Regularis Concordia. King St. Edgar's reign was remembered by Churchmen as a period of great order and prosperity, and hence he became to be known as King St. Edgar the Peaceful.

Troparion of King St. Edgar the Peaceful — Tone VIII

Look down from heaven upon us, thy children,

O right-believing Edgar,

thou king who reignest no longer over England,

but dwellest in the mansions of heaven;

and accepting our prayerful entreaties,

establish the Holy Orthodox Faith throughout thy land,

and protect it by thine intercession on high,

that it may triumph at last over the manifold errors of this age.

GRIMBALD of ST. BERTIN, a monk at St. Bertin Abbey in present-day Saint-Omer, France who was noted for his advanced learning. In 885 St. Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (r. 871–886) and King of the Anglo-Saxons (r. 886–899) invited St. Grimbald to come to Wessex and help with St. Alfred's work of restoring an advanced level of scholarship in England. Initially St. Grimbald served the schools at Oxford as their first professor of divinity. Following the repose of Archbishop Æthelred of Canterbury (†888), St. Alfred offered St. Grimbald the See of Canterbury, but St. Grimbald declined, and was made Abbot of the new Minster at Winchester (Hampshire, England) where he remained until his repose in 901.

KILIAN — APOSTLE of FRANCONIA; COLMAN of THURINGIA, and TOTNAN of THURINGIA, members of a group numbering eleven Irish monks who laboured to enlighten Franconia and East Thuringia (parts of present-day Bavaria, Germany). They were martyred circa 689 on the orders of the pagan wife (also the Duke’s deceased brother’s widow) of Gozbert, Duke of Thuringia.

LANDRADA, founding-Abbess of Munsterbilzen Abbey in Limburg (south-eastern Netherlands). St. Landrada reposed circa 690.

MORWENNA, (Fifth Century?), a Cornish saint, of whom little in known, St. Morwenna may have been a daughter of King St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April). St. Morwenna is often confused with St. Modwenna of Polesworth (5th July), who lived two centuries later. Several places are named after her, most notably Morwenstow, Cornwall, England, where her relics are believed to be buried under the floor of the village Church of St. Morwenna and St. John the Baptist.

SOSTRATUS, SPIRUS, ERACLIUS, EPERENTIUS, and CECILIA, Martyrs of Syrmium, (Fourth Century), a group of five Christians martyred together at Syrmium in Pannonia (present-day Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). No further information on their lives is extant.

SUNNIVA (SUNNIFA) of BERGEN, (Tenth Century) commonly believed to have been a princess who fled from Ireland with her brother and others, possibly to avoid an arranged marriage to a pagan king. Their ship wrecked on the coast of Norway, where they then settled, seemingly living a semi-hermetic life of seclusion and prayer. Unfortunately, over the years the details of their lives have been adulterated through re-telling, re-writing, and translation; some versions have incorporated parts of the life of St. Ursula and Companions (21st October). St. Sunniva is the patron-saint of Bergen, Norway, and the Norwegian west coast.

URITH of CHITTLEHAMPTON, (Sixth Century?), a fairly obscure saint, St. Ulrith is not mentioned in many of the standard historical hagiographies or menologies. The most popular legend of her Life claims that she was probably a nun martyred by Saxon, or possibly Viking, invaders at Chittlehampton in Devon, England. A church was later built over the site of her grave. Her holy well, now called by the corruption of her name - Taddy Well or Saint Teara’s Well, still stands at the east end of Chittlehampton.

WIHTBURH (WITHBURGH, WITHBURGA), the youngest daughter of Anna, King of the East Angles (r. 635/6–c. 654), who, following the repose of her father, received monastic tonsure, and lived as an anchoress at East Dereham, Norfolk, England. St. Wihtburh reposed circa 643 and she was buried at East Dereham. On 17th October, 1106 her relics were translated and enshrined in Ely Cathedral with those of her sisters, SS. Æthelthryth of Ely (23rd June) and Seaxburh of Ely (6th July).

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”.