Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
8th May (NS) — 25th April (OS)
25th April O.S.
ERMINUS (ERMIN), following the completion of his studies at the Cathedral School of Laon, and ordination to the priesthood, St. Erminus received monastic tonsure from St. Ursmar (19th April) at the Abbey of St. Peter of Lobbes, Hainaut, in present-day Belgium. Following nomination by St. Ursmar, St. Erminus was elected second Abbot of Lobbes in 718. He was known for his personal holiness, gift of clairvoyance, and wisdom. St. Erminus reposed in 737.
EVODIUS, HERMOGENES, and CALLISTA, (Date Unknown), listed in the oldest of Martyrologies as having been martyred in Syracuse in Sicily. There is no further information extant. Some Martyrologies list them on 2nd September.
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”.
HERIBALDUS, raised in the Court of Charlemagne, St. Heribaldus received monastic tonsure at, and later served as Abbot of, the Abbey of St. Germanus in Auxerre. He was the first chaplain to the royal palace. Following the repose of his uncle, St. Angelelmus (7th July), Bishop of Auxerre, in 829, St. Heribaldus, with significant support from Louis the Pious, was consecrated Bishop of Auxerre. St. Heribaldus reposed circa 857.
MACAILLE, Bishop of Croghan, Co. Offaly, Ireland, St. Macaille was a disciple of St. Mel of Ardagh (6th February) and assisted him in tonsuring St. Brigid of Kildare (1st February) into the monastic life. He reposed circa 489.
MELLA, Following the repose of her husband, St. Mella received monastic tonsure and eventually became Abbess of Doire-Mells in Leitrim. Our knowledge of this saint is based upon the limited information available from Colgan, and the Bollandists who place her firmly in the eighth century. Yet both sources state she was the mother of two saints; Cannech (11th October) and Tigernach (4th April), who are generally accepted to have lived in the sixth century.
PHAEBADIUS (PHÉBADE), the first historically documented Bishop of Agen. He was close friends with St. Hilary of Poitiers (13th January) he fought Arianism and authored the still extant Contra Arianos (Against Arianism). St. Phaebadius is also one of the men St. Jerome profiled in De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men). St. Phaebadius reposed circa 392.
ROBERT of SYRACUSE, abbot of a monastery in Syracuse in Sicily who reposed circa 1000. Nothing further is known of his life.
8th May N.S.
BENEDICT II, eighty-first Pope of Rome, during his education, St. Benedict excelled at singing, and was a noted Bible scholar. Elected in 683, St. Benedict’s enthronement took place almost a year later, as the election of Popes required Imperial confirmation. During his papacy, St. Benedict fought against Monothelitism, helped bishops in Spain restore orthodoxy in their diocese, and was able to secure Emperor Constantine Pogonatus’ consent to do away with the requirement of Imperial confirmation of his successors. St. Benedict reposed 685, and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
BONIFACE IV, a student of St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September), monk at the Abbey of St. Sebastian in Rome, and deacon to St. Gregory the Dialogist, St. Boniface became the sixty-seventh Pope of Rome on 25th August, 608. As Pope, he oversaw the first conversion in Rome of a pagan temple into a church, supported the evangelisation of England, and promoted reforms amongst the clergy coupled with improved living and working conditions. Towards the end of his life, St. Boniface converted his home into a monastery, where he then lived balancing his time between papal responsibilities, and monastic life. St. Boniface reposed 8th May, 615 and was at Old St. Peter’s Basilica.
DESIDERATUS (DÉSIRÉ), the twenty-third Bishop of Bourges in Aquitaine. A courtier to Clotaire I King of the Franks (r. 551 – 558), who fought against both simony and Nestorianism, and though his desire was to retire to monastic life, St. Desideratus was chosen to serve as Bishop of Bourges 541. During his time as Bishop he attended both the fifth Council of Orleans (549). St. Desideratus reposed 550.
DIONYSIUS (DENIS), (Second Century), the sixth Bishop of Vienne in the Dauphiné. According to St. Ado (16th December) a ninth century Bishop of Vienne and noted martyrologist, St. Dionysius was one of the ten missionaries who accompanied St Peregrinus (16th May) to evangelise Gaul.
GIBRIAN, an Irishman who, along with his five brothers and three sisters, went to Reims, where he was blessed by St. Remigius to live as a hermit at a location that is now called Saint-Gibrian after him. St. Gibrian reposed circa 515.
HELLADIUS of AUXERRE, the third Bishop of Auxerre, St. Helladius served that See for thirty years. He reposed 387, and was succeeded by St. Amator (1st May), whom St. Helladius brought to Christ.
IDA (ITA, IDUBERGA) of NIVELLES, following the repose of her husband, St. Pepin of Landen (21st February), St. Ida built the double monastery at Nivelles that later was known as the Abbey of St. Gertrude, after St. Ida’s daughter and first Abbess. St. Ida spent the rest of her at Nivelles Abbey, reposing 652.
ODRIAN, (Date Unknown), an early Bishop of Waterford, and patron saint of Waterford as well. No further information, including the dates he lived, about this saint exists.
VICTOR the MOOR (MAURUS), a soldier in the Roman Praetorian Guard originally from Roman Mauretania, and a Christian from youth. St. Victor managed to live to an old age before being persecuted for his faith. St. Victor was arrested, circa 303, tortured by being basted in molten lead, and then beheaded.
WIRO, PLECHELM and OTGER, St. Waro was the second Bishop of Utrecht in Frisia. St. Wiro, with two companions, SS. Plechelm and Otger founded a monastery at on a hill above present-day Sint Odiliënberg in the Netherlands. St. Wiro reposed circa 753.