Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
9th October (NS) — 26th September (OS)
26th September O.S.
AMANTIUS, the patron saint of Città di Castello in Perugia, where he served as a priest. Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) revered his sanctity. St. Amantius reposed circa 600.
COLMAN ELO, St. Colman Elo was born in present-day Co. Tyrone in Ireland. He studied under his maternal uncle, St. Columba (9th June) and went on to found monasteries at Lynally (Lann Elo) in Co. Offaly, Ireland and at Muckmore in Co. Antrim. There he served as founding Abbot-Bishop of Connor. St. Colman was the author of the Airgitir Crábaid (the Alphabet of Devotion), the earliest surviving example of Old Irish prose. He is believed to be the true author of a work ascribed to St. Seachnall or Secundinus (27th November), The Hymn of St. Secundinus in praise of St. Patrick (17th March). St. Colman Elo reposed circa 610.
EUSEBIUS of BOLOGNA, consecrated sixth Bishop of Bologna circa 370, St. Eusebius was a discerning and erudite Prelate, and a close friend of St. Ambrose of Milan (7th December). He assisted at the Council of Aquileia (381) against the Arians. Through a vision, St. Eusebius discovered the hidden relics of SS. Vitalis and Agricola (4th November), and was responsible for having them reverently enshrined. St. Eusebius reposed circa 400.
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”.
MEUGANT (MAWGHAN, MORGAN), (Sixth Century), St. Meugant was a disciple of St. Illtyd (6th November) who seems to have lived as a hermit in several places is the west of Britain before settling on the Isle of Bardsey in Wales. There are several churches in Wales and Cornwall dedicated to him, and though no record of his consecration is extant, he has been represented as a bishop with a mitre and crozier.
NILUS THE YOUNGER, a monk and fervent advocate for Byzantine monasticism on the Italian peninsula. St. Nilus was well known for his ascetic ways and theological knowledge. He spent some time as a hermit, and at various monasteries, some of which he either founded or helped restore. St. Nilus and some of his monks took refuge at Monte Cassino. However, his crowning achievement was founding the Abbey of Santa Maria di Grottaferrata at a spot just south-east of Rome which was identified to St. Nilus by the Theotokos. Shortly after the building began, St. Nilus reposed (26th December 1005) at the Sant’ Agata monastery in Tusculum.
SENATOR, (Date Unknown), a martyr at Albano in present-day Italy.
VIGILIUS, a Bishop of Brescia in Lombardy who reposed circa 506. Nothing further is known of his life.
9th October N.S.
DENIS (DIONYSIUS), RUSTICUS, and ELEUTHERIUS, St. Denis has for many years been regarded as the patron saint of France. According to St. Gregory of Tours (17th November), he was sent to preach the Gospel at Lutetia Parisiorum (present-day Paris) in Gaul circa 250. There he served as the first Bishop of Paris. He was beheaded with the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius at Montmartre (Hill of the Martyrs) circa 258, the Abbey of Saint-Denis, where French kings were interred, was built on the site of their martyrdom. According to a later legend, St. Denis carried his severed head from Montmartre to his burial place at Vicus Catulliacus, the present Parisian suburb of St. Denis.
DEUSDEDIT, the fifteenth Abbot of Monte Cassino, a man of great learning and holiness of life, who was especially renowned for his almsgiving. St. Deusdedit was kidnapped and attempts were made to extort money in exchange for his release, however, he was subject to torture during his captivity resulting in his repose in 836. St. Deusdedit was subsequently venerated as a martyr.
DOMNINUS (DONNINO), a native of Parma who, according to tradition, was a chamberlain in Emperor Maximian Herculeus (A.D. 286 – 305) Milanese court and a secret convert to Christianity. When Maximian discovered the conversion, he ordered St. Domninus’ arrest. However, St. Domninus fled heading towards Rome, but was captured and beheaded on the Via Claudia (A.D. 304).
GEMINUS, patron saint of San Gemini in Umbria. He reposed circa 815.
GHISLAIN (GISLENUS, GUISLAIN), an anchorite who lived in the forest in Hainault, near present-day Mons in Belgium. As disciples gathered around him St. Ghislain built the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, now Saint-Ghislain, where he served as abbot for about thirty-five years before reposing circa 680.
GUNTHER, Duke of Thuringia, and related to several of central European royal families, and until the age of fifty, St. Gunther enjoyed a worldly life as a member of Court. Then in 1005, he was brought to repentance by St. Godehard of Hildesheim (4th May) and in penance for his heretofore misspent life, resolved to enter monastic life. For this reason, the following year, St. Gunther, following a pilgrimage to Rome, received monastic tonsure at Niederaltaich Abbey in Bavaria. However, his pride and worldly ambition soon reared its head and St. Gunther, against the council of St. Godehard, insisted on becoming Abbot of Göllingen Abbey in North Thüringen, which St. Gunther had endowed and retained ownership of. Needless to say, as a novice in the monastic life, he was not successful in this role, and in humility went to live as a hermit in the Bavarian Forest near the Czech border about 100 km (60 miles) east of Regensburg. In time, a community grew around him which became the Rinchnach Priory, a dependency of Niederaltaich. St. Gunther reposed at Hartmanitz (present-day Hartmanice in the Czech Republic) 1045.
LAMBERT and VALERIUS (BELLÈRE, BERIHER), disciples of St. Ghislain (vide supra) in Hainault near Mons in present-day Belgium. They reposed circa 680.
SABINUS (SAVIN), a hermit who is also known as the Apostle of the Lavedan. According to tradition, St. Sabinus was a native of Barcelona, educated at Poitiers and received monastic tonsure at Abbey of St. Martin of Ligugé in Vienne. He is believed to have reposed circa 820.