Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
8th September (NS) — 26th August (OS) 2019
26th August O.S.
ALEXANDER of BERGAMO, the details of his life are uncertain, though there is a legend that he was a member of the Theban Legion (22nd September) who escaped (several times), spending the last few years of his life in Bergamo (northern Italy), preaching and evangelising, before he was finally arrested and martyred in 303 at the location where the church of San Alessandro in Colonna on the Via Sant'Alessandro in Bergamo now stands.
ELIAS of SYRACUSE, a Bishop of Syracuse in Sicily, who reposed in 660, and of whom no further information seems to be known.
FELIX of PISTOIA, a ninth century hermit in Pistoia in Tuscany (central Italy). No other details of his life are extant.
IRENAEUS of ROME and ABUNDIUS the MARTYR, martyred in Rome circa 258, for the crime of giving proper burials to Christians, they were drowned in the public sewers during the Valerian Persecution.
NINIAN, St. Ninian was a native Briton. According to St. Bede the Venerable (25th May), St. Ninian received his education and Episcopal consecration, at Rome, and was then sent back to his native land as a missionary. St. Ninian founded the Episcopal See of Withern, or “Candida Casa” (so-called because St. Ninian’s Cathedral was built of white stone, the first to be so in Britain), at present-day Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway. This church, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours (11th November), is the first recorded Christian church to have been built in Scotland. From his cathedral, and the monastery attached to it, St. Ninian and his monks enlightened the northern Britons and the Picts, and St. Ninian became known as the Apostle of Cumberland and of the Southern Picts of Scotland. It is generally believed that St. Ninian reposed circa 432, though an eighth century poem, the Miracula Nynie Episcopi, claims he was a contemporary of a local king called Tudwal; a king of that name ruled at Dumbarton circa 550. St. Ninian was buried at his church. In the Middle Ages his tomb became a place of pilgrimage.
Troparion of St. Ninian — Tone I
O Ninian, thou faithful servant of Christ, equal of the apostles,
as a vessel overflowing with the love of Christ thou didst enlighten
the land of the Picts with the Faith; wherefore, we beseech thee most earnestly:
Entreat the life-creating Trinity, that the Scottish land
may regain its ancient piety, that peace be granted to the world,
and salvation to all who honour thy holy memory.
PANDWYNA (PANDONIA, PANDIONIA), a native of either Scotland or Ireland, St. Pandwyna was forced to flee to England, where it is believed that a relative was Prioress of Eltisley Priory, Cambridgeshire (about 9 km / 5.5 mi east of St. Neots). There she received monastic tonsure and spent the rest of her life as a nun. St. Pandwyna reposed circa 904, and was initially buried near St. Pandonia's Well in Eltisley. Her relics were later translated to the village church, St. Pandionia & St. John the Baptist.
RUFINUS of CAPUA, a fifth century Bishop of Capua in present-day Italy. His relics are enshrined in Cattedrale dei SS. Stefano e Agata in Capua.
SECUNDUS the THEBAN, (Third Century), a general of the Theban Legion (22nd September) who was martyred at Ventimiglia in Liguria (northern Italy).
VICTOR (VITORES) the MARTYR, a hermit in Spain, who commanded by an angel to preach the Gospel to the Moors besieging his native town of Cereza. Though he had some initial success, St. Victor was ultimately martyred by crucifixion at the hands of the Moors in 950. However, the Moors did abandon their siege.
ZEPHYRINUS, Pope of Rome from 199 until his repose in 217. In addition to helping his flock to endure the persecutions under the Emperor Septimius Severus (r. 193–211), St. Zephyrinus also had to shepherd the Church through the adversities brought upon it by various heresies of the day, including Montanism and Sabellianism, and that of Marcion of Sinope.
8th September N.S.
ÆTHELBURH (ETHELBURGH, ETHELBURGA) of KENT, St. Æthelburh was the daughter of King St. Ethelbert of Kent (25th February) and his Frankish wife Queen St. Bertha (1st May). Upon her betrothal to King St. Eadwine of Northumbria (12th October) St. Æthelburh travelled to her new home accompanied by St. Paulinus of York (10th October). There she and St. Paulinus converted her husband and were instrumental, in the conversion of Northumbria, and successfully brought the kingdoms of Kent and Northumbria closer together. Upon the repose of King St. Eadwine, St. Æthelburh and St. Paulinus returned to Kent. There St. Æthelburh founded a monastery at Lyminge where she served as abbess until her repose circa 647.
CORBINIAN, a native of Châtres (north-central France), who after living for fourteen years as a hermit, became widely acclaimed as a wonderworker and spiritual director. This resulted in many disciples gathering around him and the inevitable abbey being formed all of which took St. Corbinian from his solitude and life of prayer. He then went to Rome where he sought the blessing of Pope St. Gregory II (11th February) to continue life as a hermit. Pope St. Gregory recognising St. Corbinian's talents ordained him a missionary bishop to Bavaria (southern Germany). St. Corbinian based his See at Freising, and despite some difficulty with the local nobility, is said to have had a long and successful episcopacy. St. Corbinian reposed in 730.
DISIBOD (DISIBODE, DISEN) of DISENBERG, according to tradition, St. Disibode was an Irishman who, with several companions, worked as a missionary along the present-day border of France and Germany. After ten years he went to Odernheim in present-day Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany where he founded a monastery later known as Disibodenberg (Mount St. Disibod). St. Disibod reposed in 700.
Troparion of St. Kingsmark — Tone VII
Seeing that many were brought to Christ
by the radiant example of thy virtuous life
And thy missionary labours,
O holy Kingsmark, Pray that we too may follow thee
In the service of our Saviour, that our souls may be saved.
KINGSMARK (KINEMARK, CYNFARCH), (Fifth Century), a Scottish chieftain, our venerable and God-bearing Father Kingsmark is widely believed to have been married to a granddaughter of King St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April). In later life, he lived in Wales as a monk and disciple of St. Dubricius of Caerleon (14th November). As a monk, St. Kingsmark grew to be renowned for his holiness of life, and soon after his repose was glorified by the Welsh faithful. The area of St. Kingsmark in Monmouthshire, Wales takes its name from him, and there are several churches dedicated to St. Kingsmark in the English West Country and Wales.
SERGIUS I, born in Palermo Sicily to a family originally from Antioch, he was Pope of Rome from 687 until his repose in 701. St. Sergius enjoyed close relations with the Church in England; baptising St. Cadwalla of Wessex (20th April), resolving the dispute over St. Wilfrid of York's (12th October) position as the Ordinary of the See of York, and encouraging St. Willibrord of Echternach's (7th November) evangelisation of the Frisians. St. Sergius is also credited with introducing the Agnus Dei to the Canon of the Latin Mass.
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”.