Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
ÆTHELWOLD (ETHELWOLD) of WINCHESTER, St. Æthelwold was a great reformer and restorer of English monastic life following its destruction during the Danish invasions. St. Æthelwold received monastic tonsure from, and was later ordained to the priesthood by, St. Dunstan of Canterbury (19th May) at Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset, England. St. Æthelwold served briefly as Abbot of Glastonbury, before moving to Abingdon Abbey (Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England) to serve as its Abbot. In 963, having been appointed by St. Edgar the Peaceful, King of England (r. 957–975) (8th July), St. Æthelwold was consecrated Bishop of Winchester, Hampshire, England, and, together with SS. Dunstan (19th May) and Oswald of Worcester (28th February) led the monastic revival of the era. Along with other achievements in the service of this cause, St. Æthelwold restored the monasteries at Winchester, Milton Abbas, Chertsey, Peterborough, Thorney, and Ely to monastic life after their occupation by married clergy. For his tireless work, St. Æthelwold came to be known as ‘The Father of Monks’. The Winchester School of Illumination flourished under St. Æthelwold (the most important surviving manuscript of the school, The Benedictional of Saint Æthelwold, currently housed at the British Library, was commissioned by him), as did developments in music and liturgy. The Regularis Concordia was at least partly, if not mainly, his work, and St. Æthelwold is most likely the author of an account of the monastic revival of his time, ‘King Edgar’s Establishment of the Monasteries’. St. Æthelwold also translated the ‘Rule of St. Benedict’ into English. His precision and clarity in this translation was a factor in establishing the Winchester dialect as the standard literary language in the late Old English period. St. Æthelwold reposed 984, and was succeeded by St. Elphage the Martyr (19th April), the future martyred Archbishop of Canterbury.
Troparion of St. Ethelwold — Tone IV
By vigilant prayer and ascetic endeavour, thou didst make thy
passions subject to thy reverent soul, O holy hierarch Æthelwold,
man of noble desires; wherefore, thou didst uproot evil wherever thou
didst find it, and in thy humility hast shown thyself to be a true
model of Christian virtue. O saint of God, by thy supplications
entreat Him to have pity on us all.
ALMEDHA (ELED, ELEVETHA), St. Almedha was a daughter or granddaughter of the great King St. Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April). According to tradition she was martyred by heathens near Brecon, Powys, Wales at some point during the sixth century.
ARCADIUS, twenty-second Bishop of Bourges (central France); he was a participant in the Third Council of Orléans held in May 538. St. Arcadius reposed circa 549, his relics are enshrined at the church of St. Ursin in La Chapelle-Saint-Ursin, France.
BONUS, FAUSTUS, MAURUS, and COMPANIONS, St. Bonus was a priest who was martyred along with Faustus, Maurus, and nine others at Rome circa 257, during the reign of Emperor Valerian (r. 253–260). Their martyrdom is mentioned in the Acts of Pope St. Stephen.
EXUPERIUS (SOUPIRE, SPIRE) of BAYEUX, according to tradition St. Exuperius founded and served as the first Bishop of Bayeux in Normandy (north-western France) during the first century However, later research by the pre-eminent hagiographic scholars of the Société des Bollandistes (the Bollandists) as well as others found little basis for this legend, and place his episcopate in the fourth century. During the Viking invasions, his relics were translated from Bayeux to Corbeil near Paris, where the Cathédrale Saint-Spire de Corbeil is dedicated to him. As a result, St. Exuperius is sometimes incorrectly identified as having been Bishop of Corbeil.
FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY there are many traditions which have evolved regarding the lives and martyrdom of these saints, who have always been in greatly venerated throughout the Christian world, both East and West. All that can be stated with certainty is Faith, Hope, and Charity the three daughters (aged twelve, ten, and nine years respectively) of St. Sophia (30th September), named for the three Christian virtues, were martyred circa 137 in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian (r. 117–138).
FRIARD and SECUNDEL, hermits on an island near Nantes (Upper Brittany, western France), who reposed circa 577.
JONATUS, a disciple of St. Amand of Maastricht (6th February), St. Jonatus served as Abbot of both the Abbey of SS. Rictrude and Peter of Marchiennes (abbaye Sainte-Rictrude et Saint-Pierre de Marchiennes) and Elnon Abbey / abbaye d'Elnon (later the Abbey of St. Amand / l'abbaye de Saint-Amand) on the Scarpe River near the French – Belgian border. He reposed circa 690.
JUSTIN of PARIS, a child from Auxerre in Burgundy (east-central France), who, whilst travelling with his father from Paris to Amiens (northern France), was martyred about 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of Paris.
KENNETH (KINED) of WALES, (Sixth Century), St. Kenneth is believed to have been a hermit in the Gower Peninsula, south Wales, who later went to Brittany (north-western France). It has been suggested that he was the son of St. Gildas the Wise (29th January), and had been married and fathered a son before entering Llanilltud Fawr in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales and receiving monastic tonsure from St. Illtyd of Llantwit Major (6th November). While these legends are most likely unfounded, his name on Liturgical calendars and place-name evidence provide historical support for the probability that founded the church of Llangennith on the Gower Peninsula. St. Kenneth later travelled to Brittany, where he is greatly venerated in the area around Languidic. St. Kevin also had a chapel at Ploumelin in Brittany. In the 1880s, an incised stone monument with images apparently illustrating the St. Kevin legend was discovered during renovation work at St. Mungo’s Church, Dearham, Cumbria (north-west England). It is displayed there as ‘the Kenneth Stone’, though the Saint’s connection with Cumbria is still unexplained.
LEUS (LEO), (Fourth Century), a priest, or possibly a bishop, in Ferrara in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. The relics of St. Leus were enshrined in Vicenza, in the Veneto region of north-eastern Italy.
MARY the CONSOLER, (Eighth Century), the sister of St. Anno of Verona (13th May). There are no details of her life extant, however, it is likely she participated in the translation of the relics of SS. Firmus and Rusticus (9th August).
NEMESIUS of LISIEUX, (Date Uncertain), there is no reliable information about this saint who is venerated near Lisieux in Normandy (north-western France).
PEREGRINUS of MODENA, an Irish pilgrim who settled as a hermit near Modena in the Po Valley (northern Italy) after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. St. Peregrinus reposed 643.
RIOCH, a nephew of St. Patrick of Ireland (17th March), St. Rioch was one of the reputed fifteen sons of St. Patrick’s sister St. Darerca (22nd March), ten of whom went on to serve the Church as Bishops. St. Rioch was Abbot-Bishop of Inishbofin, Co. Galway in Ireland, and reposed circa 480.
SEVERUS (SÉVÈRE) of RUSTAN, a nobleman who served as vicar of a rural parish in Bigorre in the south of France. St. Gregory of Tours (17th November) praised him for his charity. Following his repose, circa 500, the relics of St. Severus were translated to the church of Rustan, which soon changed its name, and became a place of pilgrimage. The village of Saint-Sever-de-Rustan in south-western France commemorates his name.
VERUS of Vienne, the ninth Bishop of Vienne (south-eastern France). St. Verus was a participant in the Council of Arles in August 314, and reposed later that same year.
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”.