Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
9th September (NS) — 27th August (OS) 2019
27th August O.S.
AGILO of SITHIN, a monk at the Abbey of St. Evre (l'abbaye de Saint-Evre de Toul) in Toul who was invited by St. Gerard of Brogne (3rd October) to restore monastic discipline at Sithin Abbey (later St. Bertin’s Abbey) in present-day Saint-Omer, France. St. Agilo reposed in 957.
CAESARIUS of ARLES, born in Châlon-sur-Saône in Burgundy (east-central France), St. Caesarius received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of Our Lady of Lérins (abbaye Notre Dame de Lérins) on one of the Lérins Islands in the Mediteranian Ocean off the Côte d’Azur in France when young, and was consecrated Bishop of Arles (southern France) circa 502, serving that See for forty years. St. Caesarius has been called one of one of the greatest prelates of his generation; second only to St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) and St. Gregory of Tours (17th November). St. Caesarius presided over the Councils of Agde (506) and Orange (529); was the founder of a monastery for women in Arles, of which his sister St. Caesaria of Arles (12th January) served as abbess; and was one of the foremost preachers of his day. We are fortunate that over 250 of his sermons are still extant. St. Caesarius reposed in 543.
DECUMAN (DECUMANUS, DAGAN), St. Decuman is remembered as a Welshman who lived as a hermit in present day Watchet, Somerset, England. There the church of St. Decuman is located at the place where he is believed to have been martyred (circa 716). Unfortunately, there are no reliable facts of his life extant, and the few details that remain are based upon local tradition and legend.
EBBO of SENS, after receiving his education at the Abbey of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif (l'abbaye Saint-Pierre-le-Vif de Sens) in Sens, St. Ebbo succeeded his father as Count of Tonnerre. However, he returned to Saint-Pierre-le-Vif at some point and received monastic tonsure, and in 704 was elected Abbot. St. Ebbo was consecrated Archbishop of Sens (circa 709), providing a great deal of support to his flock during the Siege of Sens by Saracens in 725. St. Ebbo reposed in 740.
ETHERIUS (ÆTHERIUS ALERMIUS) of LYONS, Bishop of Lyons from 588 until his repose in 602. It is possible St. Etherius consecrated St. Augustine of Canterbury (27th May) to the episcopate.
EUTHALIA of LEONTINI, (Third Century), according to tradition St. Euthalia was a virgin martyred at Leontini in Sicily. She and her mother had converted to Christianity, but their pagan family is said to have disapproved, and her brother flew into a violent rage and beheaded her. It should be noted that the pre-eminent hagiographic scholars of the Société des Bollandistes (the Bollandists) are of the opinion that she may very well be apocryphal.
GEBHARD of CONSTANCE, the sixth Bishop of Constance (southern Germany) from 979 until his repose in 995. St. Gebhard was the founder of the Imperial Abbey of Petershausen (Reichsstift Petershausen) in present-day Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
JOHN of PAVIA, Bishop of Pavia in Lombardy (northern Italy) from 801 until his repose in 813. No further details of his life are extant.
LIBERIUS the CONFESSOR, elected Pope of Rome 17th May, 352, St. Liberius was an unwavering defender of orthodoxy against the Arian heresy, as well as an ardent defender of St. Athanasius the Great. These positions led to his imprisonment by order of the Emperor Constantius II (r. 337–361), however the protests of his flock in Rome, soon led to his release. Unfortunately, his release came with the condition that St. Liberius attend the Semi-Arian Council of Sirmium in 357, where he was forced to sign the Acts of the Council, which came to be known as the Blasphemy of Sirmium. St. Liberius returned to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life repenting for signing the Acts, and working to strengthen orthodox Christianity. St. Liberius reposed peacefully on 24th September, 366. An interesting detail about St. Liberius is that he was never recognised as a saint in the Roman Patriarchate, and is the only Pope who is an Orthodox saint, but not recognised as such in the Roman Catholic Church or any other Western confession.
LICERIUS (LIZIER) of COUSERANS, though the Roman Martyrology lists him as a Bishop of Ilerda in Spain, it is more likely he was actually Bishop of Couserans in the south of present-day France. It has also been conjectured that he is actually Glycerius who was the Bishop of Couserans in the late fifth, early sixth century.
MALRUBIUS of MERNS, not to be confused with the St. Maelrubius of Applecross whose feast is 21st April, this saint lived as an anchorite in present-day Kincardineshire in Scotland. During the Viking invasions, St. Malrubius abandoned the life of a hermit to give aid to his oppressed countrymen and attempt to enlighten the invaders. His good works resulted in his martyrdom at the hands of the Vikings circa 1040.
NARNUS (NARNO) of BERGAMO, (Date Unknown), the first Bishop of Bergamo in Lombardy (northern Italy). According to tradition he was consecrated bishop by the Apostle Barnabas, though it is more likely St. Narnus lived in the fourth century. His relics are enshrined at the Duomo di Bergamo, Cattedrale di Sant'Alessandro in Bergamo.
RUFUS and CARPOPHORUS (CARPONE), (Third Century), the Roman Martyrology lists two martyrs by the name of Rufus. One, who is also listed in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum as Rufinus; and a Bishop of Capua in southern present-day Italy. And this one said to have suffered, along with Carponius, a companion, during the Diocletianic Persecution (303–313).
RUFUS of CAPUA (First Century), the Roman Martyrology lists two martyrs by the name of Rufus. One, who is also listed in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum as Rufinus; and the other being said to have suffered, along with Carponius, a companion, during the Diocletianic Persecution (303–313). This St. Rufus, is said to have been sent St. Apollinaris of Ravenna (23rd July) to serve as a Bishop of Capua in southern present-day Italy, and was most likely a martyr.
SYAGRIUS (SIACRE) of AUTUN, Bishop of Autun, Burgundy (France) from circa 560 until his repose in 600. He accompanied St. Gontram (28th March) to the baptism of Clotaire II, King of the Franks (r. 613–629) at Nanterre (just outside of Paris) and hosted St. Augustine of Canterbury (27th May) when he passed through Autun as he travelled to England. It was during St. Syagrius’ time as bishop, that Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September), decreed that the Bishops of Autun were second in precedence to the Archbishops of Lyons.
9th September N.S.
ALEXANDER of SABINE, HYACINTH, and TIBURTIUS, (Date Unknown), martyrs in the Sabine Hills in present-day Italy of whom nothing further is known.
BETTELIN (BERTRAM), St. Bettelin, a disciple of St. Guthlac of Crowland (11th April), lived at Crowland Abbey as a hermit under Abbot Kenulf. Information about his life is often confused and intertwined with that of St. Bettelin of Staffordshire (10th August). Many sources believe them to be the same saint. There is no means of fixing the precise date of his repose, but it is generally accepted that St. Bettelin of Crowland reposed in the eighth century. His relics were translated to Staffordshire before the destruction of Crowland Abbey by the Danes.
CIARÁN mac int SHAÍR mac (KIERAN the YOUNGER), known as the Younger to distinguish him from St. Ciarán of Saighir (5th March), this St. Ciarán was born in the province of Connaught in the west of Ireland. He received monastic tonsure at Clonard Abbey where he was a disciple of St. Finnian of Clonard (12th December), who prophesied that half the monasteries in Ireland would receive their Rule from him. The Law of Kieran, like the monastic Rules of the other great Celtic saints, is austere in the extreme. St. Ciarán founded several monasteries, including the famous Clonmacnoise in West Meath on the River Shannon. St. Ciarán reposed circa 549, and is counted amongst the ‘Twelve Apostles of Ireland’.
OMER (AUDOMARUS), a native of north-eastern Switzerland near Lake Constance. Following the repose of his mother, St. Omer and his father received monastic tonsure at the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Luxeuil (abbaye Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Luxeuil) in Burgundy (east-central France). As a spiritual child of St. Eustace of Luxeuil (29th March) St. Omer developed a reputation for holiness and a remarkable knowledge of Scripture. When a bishop was needed for the See of Thérouanne in the northern French county of Artois, St. Omer was chosen. As bishop he built the Abbey of St. Peter / abbaye Saint-Pierre (later the Abbey of St. Berin / abbaye Saint-Bertin de Saint-Omer) in Sithiu (present-day Saint-Omer, France), suppressed idolatry, and rejuvenated the diocese into one of the most thriving in all of France. St. Omer reposed circa 670.
OSMANNA (ARGARIARGA), a maiden from Ireland who went to Brittany (north-western France), where she lived as an anchoress near Saint-Brieuc, reposing circa 650.
WULFHILD (WULFHILDA, WULFHILDIS), St. Wulfhild was most likely a member of the Anglo-Saxon nobility, and was raised at Wilton Abbey in Wiltshire, England. She desired to enter monastic life; however, she was ardently pursued by St. Edgar the Peaceful (8th July), King of England (r. 957–975) for betrothal. After repeatedly rebuffing his proposals, St. Wulfhid was able to obtain King St. Edgar’s permission to receive monastic tonsure, and eventually served simultaneously as Abbess of both Barking Abbey in present-day London, and Horton Abbey in Kent. St. Wulfhild reposed circa 1000.
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”.