Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
8th June (NS) — 26th May (OS)
26th May O.S.
BECAN, (Sixth Century), St. Becan, an anchorite near Cork in Ireland, was renowned for his great asceticism.
DYFAN (DERUVIANUS, DAMIAN) of MERTHYR, Protomartyr of Wales, is said to have been one of the missionaries sent to Britain by Pope St. Eleutherius (vide infra) at the request of King St. Lucius (3rd December). The church of Merthyr Dyfan in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales, commemorates his martyrdom circa 180.
ELEUTHERIUS, the thirteenth Pope of Rome, St. Eleutherius succeeded St. Soterius (22nd April) in either 171 or 177, serving until his repose in either 185 or 193. At the request of King St. Lucius (3rd December), St. Eleutherius sent missionaries to Britain circa 180.
FELICISSIMUS, HERACLIUS, and PAULINUS, martyrs circa 303 at Todi in Umbria (Italy), during the Diocletianic Persecution. They are believed to have been buried at Santo Stefano, just outside Porta Fratta (Italy).
FUGATIUS and DAMIAN, (Second Century), according to the Roman Breviary, SS. Fugatius and Damian were amongst the group of missionaries sent to Britain by Pope St. Eleutherius (vide supra). There are churches dedicated to them in southern Wales.
GUINIZO, a native of Spain, who received monastic tonsure at Abbey of Monte Cassino. Following a destruction of the Abbey, St. Guinizo lived as a hermit on the mountain until his repose circa 1050.
ODUVALD, St. Oduvald was a Scottish nobleman who renounced the world and received monastic tonsure at St Mary's Abbey in Melrose, Roxburghshire, in the Scottish Borders. He was a contemporary of St. Cuthbert (20th March), and went on to serve as Abbot of Melrose. St. Oduvald reposed in 698.
PRISCUS and COMPANIONS, St. Priscus, an officer in the Imperial Army, several of his soldiers, and an unknown number (thought to be numerous) of civilians all martyred near in Auxerre in Burgundy (France) circa 272. St. Priscus was tried and condemned to death, unlike most of his companions who were martyred without trial.
QUADRATUS, (Date Uncertain), a martyr in Africa Proconsularis. There is a possibility he was martyred along with five others. St. Augustine of Hippo (28th August) gave a sermon in which he praised St. Quadratus.
REGINTRUDIS, there is little information on the life of St. Regintrudis extant. Whilst she and her husband Theodo, Duke of Bavaria (†c. 716) provided a great deal of support overall to St. Rupert (27th March) in his work to evangelise the Duke’s lands, St. Regintrudis took special interest in the establishment of the monasteries which came to be known as St. Peter’s Abbey and Nonnberg. She helped choose the site and made sure the community was endowed with the properties which would generate income to support the abbey at what came to be known as Nonnberg (mountain of nuns). Following Duke Theodo’s repose St. Regintrudis entered Nonnberg where she received monastic tonsure and eventually served as the community’s fourth Abbess. St. Regintrudis reposed circa 750.
SIMITRIUS and COMPANIONS, a group of twenty-three martyrs in Rome who circa 159 were arrested while praying and summarily executed.
ZACHARY, the first or second Bishop of Vienne (south-eastern France). St. Zachary was martyred circa 106, during the reign of Emperor Trajan (r. 98–117).
8th June N.S.
BRÓN (BRON, BHRÓIN) of CASSEL-IRRA, there is no written record of St. Brón extant, however he is mentioned in the Lives of both SS. Patrick of Ireland (17th March) and Brigid of Kildare (1st February). From these we learn that he was a disciple of St. Patrick and founding Bishop of Cassel-Irra (also called Killaspugbrone from the Irish: Ceall Easpaig Bhróin meaning “The Church of Bishop Brón”), near present-day Strandhill, Co. Sligo in Ireland. It appears St. Brón reposed circa 511.
CLODULF (CLOU) of METZ, a son of St. Arnulf of Metz (18th July), and raised in the Austrasian Court, St. Clodulf had the potential to enjoy a very successful secular career. St. Clodulf preferred serving the Church, and in time he followed in his father’s footsteps as Bishop of Metz (north-eastern France). Consecrated in 656, St. Clodulf served his See for forty years, until his repose in 696.
EUSTADIOLA of MOYENMOUTIER, following the repose of her husband, St. Eustadiola spent her wealth building the Abbey of St. Hidulf of Moyenmoutier (abbaye Saint-Hydulphe de Moyenmoutier) in the Vosges (eastern France). There she received monastic tonsure and lived as a nun and ultimately served as abbess. St. Eustadiola reposed in 690.
GILDARD (GODARD) of ROUEN, a sixth century Bishop of Rouen, at one time, erroneously, said to have been the (twin) brother of St. Medard of Soissons (vide infra). St. Gildard is recorded as having assisted at the first Council of Orléans which took place in 511.
HERACLIUS of SENS, the fourteenth Bishop of Sens (487–515), in Burgundy (France). St. Heraclus was one of the Hierarchs present at the baptism of Clovis I, King of the Franks (r. 481–511) at Reims Cathedral. Following his repose in 515, St. Heraclus was buried at the Abbey of St. John of Sens (abbaye du Saint-Jean-lès-Sens), which he had built during his episcopacy.
MAXIMINUS of AIX, (First Century), traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Aix-en-Provence (France). According to one legend St. Maximinus was one of the Seventy, whilst another is that he was the man born blind, whose sight was restored by Christ (John 9). Neither of these legends is supported by any evidence.
MEDARD of SOISSONS, at one time, erroneously, said to have been the (twin) brother of St. Gildard of Rouen (vide supra). St. Medard reluctantly accepted consecration as the Bishop of Vermand (northern France) in 530, the following year he moved the seat of the diocese to Noyon, 34 km (21 mi) to the south-west of Vermand, to avoid the incursions of the Huns. St. Medard merged the vacant See of Tournai (present-day Belgium) with Noyon in 532, a union which lasted just over six hundred years. St. Medard was one of the most respected bishops of his day, and not long after his repose, circa 558, a strong cultus of St. Medard developed, and continues in northern France.
MELANIA the ELDER, the grandmother of St. Melania the Younger (31st December). Widowed when she was only 21, St. Melania went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, there she founded a monastery on the Mount of Olives, where she stayed until her repose circa 410.
MUIRCHU (MACCUTINUS), (Seventh Century), St. Muirchu was an Irishman and author of the Life of St. Brigid and Vita sancti Patricii (Life of Saint Patrick), one of the first accounts of the Enlightener of Ireland. Unfortunately, there is no information regarding the life of St. Muirchu extant.
SALLUSTIAN, (Date Unknown), though there is nothing definite known about St. Sallustian’s life he has been honoured in Sardinia for as long as can be recalled. Martyrologies have variously described him as a martyr and an anchorite.
SEVERINUS of SEPTEMPEDA, brother of St. Victorinus of Camerino (vide infra), together they liquidated their assets, distributing the proceeds to those in need, then left the world to live as hermits. St. Severinus’ solitude was broken when Pope Vigilius (r. 537–555) compelled him to accept consecration as Bishop of Septempeda, (now named Sanseverino after him) in the Marches of Ancona (Italy). St. Severinus reposed in 550, shortly before the Totila, King of the Ostrogoths (r. 541–552) sacked his See.
SYRA (SYRIA) of TROYES, (Seventh Century), a sister of St. Fiacre (30th August). St. Syra followed her brother from Ireland to present-day France. Once there it is said she lived as a recluse in Troyes (north-eastern France) until her repose.
VICTORINUS of CAMERINO, brother of St. Severinus of Septempeda (vide supra), together they liquidated their assets, distributing the proceeds to those in need, then left the world to live as hermits. As with his brother, St. Victorinus’ solitude was broken, when in 540 Pope Vigilius (r. 537–555) compelled him to accept consecration as Bishop of Camerino (central-eastern Italy). St. Victorinus reposed in 543.
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”.