Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
ABUNDIUS, a parish priest in a village near Cordoba during the Moorish occupation. St. Abundius, one of the Martyrs of Cordoba, was arrested for preaching against Islam, and brought before the Emir. He was sentenced to death by beheading for refusing to renounce Christ. After the sentence was carried out, his body was thrown to dogs, and no relics survived.
AMABILIS, an English noblewoman who was a monastic at the Abbey of St. Amand in Rouen.
BENEDICT of NURSIA
Father of Western Monasticism.
The only authoritative life of St. Benedict extant is by St. Gregory the Dialogist (3rd September) in the second book of his Dialogues, and this is more of an outline of important episodes in St. Benedict’s life, than a proper vita. According to tradition St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica (10th February) were twin children of a Roman noble, born in Nursia, near Spoleto. When St. Benedict was most likely in his early twenties, he left behind secular concerns to devote himself to God, and went to live as a hermit in a cave near Subiaco. There he was a spiritual child of the near-by hermit, St. Romanus of Subiaco (22nd May), who also tonsured him into monasticism.
In time, his holiness and fame as a wonderworker, drew many disciples to him and he built a lavra, for them. Around 530 he left Subiaco for Monte Cassino, where he founded the famous monastery, where he also composed his Rule, which, though initially was resisted by many as too harsh, came to be adopted by tens of thousands of monasteries the world over.
St. Benedict spent the rest of his life at Monte Cassino. St. Benedict reposed while standing in prayer before the altar in 550. St. Benedict was buried at Monte Cassino, though some of his relics were later translated to France.
Troparion of St. Benedict of Nursia — Tone I
By your ascetic labours, God-bearing Benedict, / you were proven to be true to your name. /
For you were the son of benediction, /
and became a rule and model for all who emulate your life and cry: /
“Glory to Him who gave you strength! /
Glory to Him who granted you a crown! /
Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!”
Kontakion of St. Benedict of Nursia — Tone VI
You were enriched with God’s grace; /
your works agreed with your name, O Benedict, helpful servant of Christ God. /
Through prayer and fasting you were revealed to be filled with the gifts of the Spirit of God! /
You are a healer of the sick, the banisher of demons and speedy defender of our souls!
DROSTAN (DROSTÁN mac COSCREIG of DEER), According to the Aberdeen Breviary, St. Drostan was a disciple of St. Columba (9th June) who left his native Ireland for Scotland. There he founded and served as the first Abbot of Deer in Aberdeenshire. St. Drostan is counted amongst the Apostles of Scotland. He reposed circa 610.
HIDULF (HIDULPHUS) of MOYENMOUTIER, the founding-Abbot of what came to be called the Abbey of St. Hydulphe of Moyenmoutier (abbaye Saint-Hydulphe de Moyenmoutier north-eastern France). Historically he has been listed as a Bishop of Trier in the present-day German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and an Abbot of Saint-Dié in eastern France, however, recent scholarship questions the accuracy of this. St. Hidulf reposed in 707.
JOHN of BERGAMO, consecrated Bishop of Bergamo in Lombardy (northern Italy) circa 656, St. John managed to root out the last vestiges of Arianism from his See. Unfortunately his success came at a great price, as he was martyred by supporters of Arianism in 681.
LEONTIUS the YOUNGER, a soldier who fought the Visigoths. After retiring from the army, St. Leontius married and settled in Bordeaux (south-western France). He later served as Bishop of Bordeaux. St. Leontius reposed in 565.
PIUS I, the tenth Pope of Rome from circa 142 until his repose circa 155. We know he was an opponent of Marcion and his Teachings. He is generally called a martyr, and while it is possible Pope St. Pius was martyred, there is no evidence to support this.
SABINUS (SAVINUS) and CYPRIAN of BRESCIA, (Date Unknown), two brothers venerated in Brescia in Lombardy (northern Italy) as martyrs. The extant Acts are of questionable veracity.
SABINUS of POITIERS, (Fifth Century), a disciple of St. Germanus of Auxerre (31st July). There are no reliable Acts extant, but according to local tradition St. Sabinus was a martyr.
SIDRONIUS, a martyr in Rome circa 270. No further information is extant.
SIGISBERT and PLACID of DISENTIS, St. Sigisbert was the founder of Disentis Abbey (kloster Disentis) in the present-day Swiss canton of Grison. He built it on land given to him by St. Placid, a local noble and landowner who later received monastic tonsure at the abbey. St. Placid was martyred for defending the abbey’s rights. Traditionally this was thought to have happened in the seventh century. However, more recent scholarship, supported by archaeological evidence places it a century or so later.
THURCYTEL (THURKETYL, TURKETIL) of CROWLAND, according to tradition, St. Thurcytel was a wealthy relative of, and senior advisor to, Edward the Elder, King of the Anglo-Saxons (r. 899–924) and Æthelstan, King of the Anglo-Saxons (r. 924–927). At some point St. Thurcytel withdrew from court life and received monastic tonsure. He restored Crowland Abbey (Lincolnshire, England) following its sack by the Danes, and served as its first post-restoration abbot. St. Thurketyl reposed circa 975.
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”.