Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
8th November (NS) — 26th October (OS)
26th October O.S.
ADALGOTT, a monk at Einsiedeln Abbey (Kloster Einsiedeln) in the present-day Swiss Canton of Schwyz. In 1012, he was chosen to serve as Abbot of Disentis Abbey (Reichskloster Disentis) in the present-day Swiss Canton of Graubünden (Grisons). St. Adalgott reposed at Disentis in 1031.
ALANUS and ALORUS, fifth century Bishops of Quimper in Brittany. Beyond their popular cult and Liturgical commemoration there is no information on their lives extant.
ALBINUS (WITTA), one of the group that went with St. Boniface (5th June) to enlighten the peoples of Hesse and Thuringia. In 741 St. Alninus was consecrated Bishop of Büraburg in Hesse and served that See until his repose circa 760.
ALFRED (ÆLFRED) the GREAT, The holy and right-believing King Alfred the Great was King of Wessex and all Orthodox England. He defeated the Danish invaders and ensured the growth of the Church in England. During peacetime worked to revive scholarship in the kingdom. Motivated by a lack of books in English, the language he believed primary instruction should be conducted in, King St. Alfred and his scholars undertook the translation into English of those books he deemed "most necessary for all men to know". King St. Alfred’s personal contribution to this undertaking included translations of Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist's (3rd September) Pastoral Care, and Dialogues, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and St. Augustine's (28th August) Soliloquies, and the first fifty psalms of the Psalter. He is the only English monarch to be called "the Great", and his memory is held by many in great veneration as a patriot and model of Orthodox kingship. King St. Alfred the Great reposed in 899.
ANEURIN (GILDAS) and GWINOC, St. Aneurin and his son St. Gwinoc were Welsh monks. St. Gwinoc was the author of several Celtic poems, and churches at Aberhafesp, and Llanwnog (both in Powys, Wales) are dedicated to him.
BEAN (BEÓZÁN, BEANUS, BEOANUS, BEYN) of MORTLACH, St. Bean was the first recorded Bishop of Mortlach in Banff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Nothing more is known of St. Bean’s life, other than that he reposed relatively soon after his consecration to the Episcopate, circa 1012.
CEDD, St. Cedd was the brother of St. Chad of Lichfield (2nd March), and a monk at Lindisfarne. He laboured for many years enlightening the inhabitants of Leicestershire, and parts of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire. King Oswiu of Northumbria, sent St. Cedd south to serve as Bishop of the East Saxons at the request of their king. During his episcopate, St. Cedd actively founded churches throughout his See as well as monasteries in Tilbury and Lastingham.
It is believed St. Cedd succumbed to the plague, reposing 26th October circa 664. His feast was originally kept on 7th January, though in the old English Breviaries he had a special Office which was usually said on 2nd March. On the contemporary calendars of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain (Œcumenical Patriarchate), and the Orthodox Church in America St. Cedd is still commemorated on 7th January.
CUTHBERT, St. Cuthbert succeeded St. Nothelm (17th October) as the eleventh Archbishop of Canterbury in 740. The earliest extant records identify St. Cuthburt as Abbot of Lyminge Abbey, in south-east Kent, and it is widely thought that St. Cuthbert was elevated to the See of Hereford circa 736. However, this is dependent upon the works of Florence of Worcester (†1118), and other post-conquest writers. The only contemporary record is in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which states that St. Cuthbert was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in 740. Had he been Bishop of Hereford at the time he was elevated to the See of Canterbury, he would have been translated, as he already possessed the episcopal state. Due to the significant amount of time between the events and the post-conquest chronicling, it cannot be definitively stated St. Cuthbert was Bishop of Hereford prior to his elevation to Canterbury, however likely it might be. In 747, St. Cuthbert, along with King Æthelbald of Mercia presided over the second Council of Clovesho. Which, although primarily called as required by the seventh canon of the Synod of Herford, addressed several issues confronting the Church at the time. Not the least of which was the behaviour of the clergy, and excessive consumption of alcohol by the bishops; which had even prompted letters of complaint from St. Boniface (5th June), not just to St. Cuthbert and King Æthelbald, but to the Holy See as well.
It is believed that St. Cuthbert obtained Papal permission for the, previously forbidden, practice of interring the dead within the walls of cities. He then mandated burial in churchyards and had the Chapel of St. John the Baptist (which unfortunately was destroyed by fire in 1067) built on the west side of Canterbury Cathedral. Though generally used as a baptistery, it was designed to be the burial place for not only himself, but also future Archbishops. St. Cuthbert reposed 26th October 760, and was the first Archbishop of Canterbury to be buried in his own Cathedral, not in St. Augustine’s Abbey, as were many of his successors.
EATA, a disciple of St. Aidan (31st August) from his youth, St. Eata received monastic tonsure at Lindisfarne. He was amongst the twelve monks selected to found a dependent monastery at Melrose in Roxburghshire, circa 651 serving as Abbot. Approximately seven years later St. Eata left Melrose, along with St. Cuthbert (20th March) and others and founded a monastery at Ripon in Yorkshire. St. Eata served there as Abbot until 661, when he returned to Melrose.
Following the Synod of Whitby (664) St. Eata was appointed Abbot of Lindisfarne, and in 678 he was consecrated Bishop of Lindisfarne as well. In 684, St. Eata was translated to the new Diocese of Hexham, serving as its first Bishop for the remaining two years of his life. St. Eata reposed in 686 following a bout of dysentery and was buried at Hexham Abbey. There is one church dedicated to him in England, at Atcham in Shropshire.
EDFRID (EADFRID), according to the English Menology, St. Edfrid was a Northumbrian priest who, while visiting Mercia, converted Merewalh, (a sub-King of the Magonsæte) and preached the Gospel to his subjects. St. Edfrid is also believed to have founded Leominster Abbey at Hereford, Herefordshire, England. He reposed circa 675.
EVARISTUS, the fifth Pope of Rome (circa 96 – 108), he was martyred circa 105.
GAUDIOSUS of SALERNO, there are no extant details of St. Gaudiosus’ life, it seems he was Bishop of Salerno in the mid-seventh century. His relics are enshrined in Naples.
GIBITRUDIS, a nun at the double Abbey of Our Lady of Faremoutiers-en-Brie, where she was a disciple of the foundress St. Burgundofara (3rd April). St. Gibitrudis reposed circa 655. Nothing further is known of her life.
HUMBERT, a seventh century monk at the Abbey of St. Peter at Fritzlar, (15 mi / 24 km south-west of Kassel) in the present-day German state of Hesse. St. Humbert was later chosen to serve as Prior of Büraburg (most-likely circa 723 – 741).
QUADRAGESIMUS, Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) lauded the holiness of this a shepherd and (sub) deacon in Policastro in Campania. According to St. Gregory, St. Quadragesimus raised a man from the dead. St. Quadragesimus reposed circa 590.
ROGATIAN and FELICISSIMUS, Rogatian, a priest, and Felicissimus, a layman, of the church of Carthage were martyred in 256, during the early part of the Valerian Persecution. In his Epistle to Christian Prisoners St. Cyprian (16th September) encourages prisoners to follow the example of these saints, as St. Cyprian did, not two years later.
RUSTICUS, fifth Bishop of Narbonne, the dates of his episcopacy vary with the source, however, Roman Catholic Priest and Critical Historian Louis Duchesne (†1922), gives the dates 427 – circa 457. Upon completion of his education, St. Rusticus spent time in Rome, then on the advice of St. Jerome (30th September) St. Rusticus entered the Abbey of Our Lady of Lérins during which time he was ordained to the priesthood, and in 427 consecrated Bishop of Narbonne. Whist bishop, St. Rusticus attended the Third Œcumenical Council at Ephesus in 431. During his episcopacy, St. Rusticus had to contend with the spread of the Arian heresy (there has even been speculation that he had to contend with an Arian bishop claiming his See). This combined with the Siege of Narbonne by the Goths and dissention amongst his flock so disheartened St. Rusticus that he wrote Pope St. Leo the Great (10th November) expressing his desire to resign his See, though St. Leo convinced him to persevere. St. Rusticus then set about reconciling the Christian community of his See, built the Church of St. Genesius of Arles, now the Cathedral of Saints Justus and Pastor of Narbonne (Cathédrale Saint-Just-et-Saint-Pasteur de Narbonne), attended the 435 Council of Arles, and fought against Nestorianism. St. Rusticus reposed circa 457 – 462.
SIGIBALD, thirty-eighth Bishop of Metz serving from 716 until his repose circa 740. His episcopacy is especially remembered for the several monasteries he had built, including St Nabor Abbey, the present-day the Abbey-church Saint-Nabor, in Saint-Avold, Moselle in north-eastern France.
8th November N.S.
CLARUS, a wealthy man and native of Tours, St. Clarus renounced all of his wealth and power and entered Marmoutier Abbey. There he was a disciple of St. Martin (11th November). He numbered SS. Sulpicius Severus (29th January) and Paulinus of Nola (22nd June) amongst his friends. Shortly after his ordination to the priesthood, St. Clarus went to live as a hermit near the abbey, where he reposed circa 397.
CYBI (CUBY), (Sixth Century), our father among the saints Cybi was a sixth-century Cornish abbot, bishop and, briefly, king. Along with St. Seiriol (1st February), he is one of the most famous saints of Anglesey in Wales.
The majority of information on St. Cybi derives from two Latin versions of a twelfth-century Welsh Life, which are part of the Cotton Manuscripts at the British Library. There are those who question how accurate these are, but Baring-Gould, based upon other research and manuscripts including the Peniarth Manuscripts, is comfortable with them. The Iolo Manuscripts have some further information on St. Cybi, but these are of an even later date and Baring-Gould is doubtful as to their accuracy.
As a young man, St. Cybi went on a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem. At some point on this pilgrimage, he was ordained to the priesthood and subsequently consecrated bishop. Upon his return to Cornwall, St. Cybi found that his father had reposed, and he was now King of Cornwall. St. Cybi politely declined the throne and, instead, travelled throughout Cornwall, preaching the Gospel. His travels ended when he, along with ten disciples, settled near Tregony, Cornwall. After several years at Tregony, St. Cybi spent some time in Ireland, and then to Wales where he finally settled. There he founded, and was the first Abbot of, a monastery in the ruins of a Roman fortlet located in the centre of present-day Holyhead in Anglesey, which came to be called Caer Gybi (the fortress of Cybi).
St. Cybi reposed 8th November 555 and was buried in Capel y Bedd (the Chapel of the Grave) adjoining his monastery at Holyhead. St. Cybi is the patron saint of Llangibby and Llangybi in Wales, as well as Tregony, Landulph and Cuby in Cornwall. In addition, several churches in Wales and Cornwall were named for him.
Troparion of St. Cuby — Tone I
By thy journeyings, O Hierarch Cuby,/
thou dost teach us the virtue of making pilgrimages./
Wherefore, O Prince of Ascetics and all-praised Wonderworker,/
we entreat thee to intercede for us/ that Christ our God will not find our lives to be utterly worthless/
and will show us great mercy.
DEUSDEDIT (ADEODATUS I), sixty-eighth Pope of Rome from 615 until his repose in 618. St. Deusdedit is especially remembered for the care of his flock. When his diocese was struck by an outbreak of leprosy St. Deusdedit worked directly with those suffering, as he also did when an earthquake struck his See. It is highly likely that St. Deusdedit was the first Pope to use lead seals or bullae (from which the expression Papal Bull comes) on his decrees.
FOUR CROWNED MARTYRS, there are, in fact, two distinct groups known as the Four Crowned Martyrs from the Diocletianic Persecution. The first group: (Secundus, Severian, Carpophorus and Victorinus) were martyred in Albano near Rome. The second group, which numbered five, not four, (Claudius, Nicostratus, Symphorian, Castorius, and Simplicius), were martyred in Pannonia. The relics of four of the martyrs from the second group were brought to Rome, hence, the veneration of four, not five, began.
GERVADIUS (GERNARD, GARNET), (Tenth Century), a native of Ireland who went to Scotland where he lived as a hermit near Elgin in Moray. His cave was a place of pilgrimage until the nineteenth century, when the site became a quarry.
GREGORY of EINSIEDELN, an Englishman who received monastic tonsure whilst in Rome on a pilgrimage. On his trip back to England, St. Gregory stopped at the Abbey of Our Lady of the Hermits in Einsiedeln, present-day Swiss Canton of Schwyz. St. Gregory joined the community and later served as its third Abbot. St. Gregory reposed in 996
MAURUS, according to local tradition, St. Maurus was the second Bishop of Verdun, serving from 353 until his repose in 383. However, St. Polychronius (30th April) counted as the fifth Bishop of Verdun, circa 454 – circa 470, is the first bishop for whom historical documentation is extant. Over the centuries, many miracles have been reported to have taken place at his tomb, which reached their apex in the ninth century, which coincides with the translation and enshrinement of St. Maurus' relics.
MOROC, (Ninth Century), a ninth-century Bishop of Dunblane, Stirling, Scotland. In the old Scottish Rite, he was venerated with a solemn Office. Some sources, without support, assert he was at one-point Abbot of a monastery in Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
TYSILIO (TYSSEL, TYSSILO, SULIAU), (Seventh Century), there is little Welsh sourced information about him that has survived, with the exception of a few passing references to him in the Buchedd Beuno (Life of St. Beuno), a poem commemorating him written by the twelfth-century court poet Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr, and material in the Bonedd y Saint. Traditions about his early life are in the Latin Life of St. Sulinus (Suliac) of East Brittany, though there are scholars who believe the Life of St. Sulinus is simply a reworked version of a life of St. Tysilio. It is possible that a separate St. Suliac did exist, as is evidenced by the name of the commune of Saint-Suliac on the River Rance in Brittany, though most French sources claim SS. Tysilio and Suliac are one and the same, and he just went by different names on Wales and Brittany.
According to extant sources, Tysilio was a son of Brochfael Ysgithrog ap Cyngen, King of Powys, and of Arddun Benasgell ferch Pabo, believed to have been of northern British descent. If this is true St. Tysilio flourished in the late sixth or early seventh century. The assertion that he was a member of the ruling dynasty of Powys may explain both the significant cult that rapidly developed following St. Tysilio’s repose and the significance of his church at Meifod, which was where the kings of Powys were buried. However, it must be kept in mind that royal ancestry was regularly imputed to saints in Celtic hagiography during the Middle Ages.
According to Welsh tradition St. Tysilio received monastic tonsure from Abbot Gwyddfarch at the monastery at Meifod. After several years at Meifod, St. Tysilio left and founded the church at Llandysilio on the Anglesey side of the Menai Strait. After serving his flock in Llandysilio for seven years, St. Tysilio returned to Meifod where he succeeded Gwyddfarch as Abbot.
The Breton version of St. Tysilio’s Life claims that persecution by Haiarme, the childless widow of St. Tysilio’s brother, the deceased King Iago, forced him to flee to Brittany. However, there is no record extant of the existence of an Iago, son of Brochfael. In all probability Brochfael was succeeded in the kingship by his son Cynan Garwyn. It is likely that the persecution and subsequent exile of St. Tysilio was invented to explain his emigration to Brittany, and further support the identification with St. Suliac. The Breton version goes on to say that St. Tysilio landed at the mouth of the River Rance near present-day Saint-Malo. There he met with St. Malo (15th November), then continued upstream for about 13 km (8 mi.), settling at what is today Saint-Suliac, where he built a church. Though various entreaties to return to Wales were made by the Meifod community, St. Tysilio remained in Brittany until his repose. If this is true, it conflicts with the writings of Cynddelw, who reports that St. Tysilio was present at the battle of Maserfelth (Maes Cogwy) – believed to be present day Oswestry in Shropshire – between Penda of Mercia and King St. Oswald of Northumbria (August 641 or 2). If the later parts of the Breton Life are disregarded it is possible that St. Tysilio was still flourishing in Wales in 642, a chronological near impossibility given that Brochfael Ysgithrog flourished a century earlier.
The Welsh cult of St. Tysilio is centred at Meifod in Montgomeryshire, where he is the patron of the monastic church. The cult is also active in a small number of parishes in south Denbighshire (including a parish in Llandysilio-yn-Iâl and one in nearby Abersili), and north Montgomeryshire (including Llandysilio, and possibly Llandysul). The Breton Life of St. Sulinus mentions Llandysilio on Anglesey, and several churches elsewhere in Wales believed to be dedicated to St. Tysilio. These include Llandysilio on the Pembrokeshire–Carmarthenshire border, as well as Llandysiliogogo and possibly Llandysul in Cardiganshire. The Bonedd y Saint lists a Tysul ap Corun, and a Tysilio ab Enoc as two separate saints whose ancestry is wholly from Cardiganshire. Hence, it is possible that some of the south-western dedications could be to one, or both of these saints.
Troparion of St. Tysilio — Tone VIII
Princely dignity was set at nought by thee, O Father Tysilio,/
for thou didst put aside the glory of this world, preferring to serve God in monastic poverty./
Wherefore we pray thee, intercede for us, that with courage we may renounce mammon/
and live only in Christ for the salvation of men’s souls.
WILLEHAD of BREMEN, a Northumbrian monk who left England circa 766 – 772 to follow in St. Boniface's (5th June) footsteps in enlightening the Frisians. Not only was St. Willehad's mission quite successful, it was also wide spread — he was the first missionary to cross the Elbe. Following his conquering of the Saxons, Charlemagne had St. Willehad consecrated the founding Bishop of the See of Bremen (787). St. Willehad reposed in his See in 789.
WIOMAD (WEOMADUS), a monk at the Abbey of St. Maximin in Trier, who became Abbot of the Abbey of SS. Peter and Mary in Mettlach. St. Wiomad was Bishop of Trier circa 750, his episcopacy continuing until his repose circa 790.
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”.