Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
BERCTHUN (BERTIN, BRITWIN), when St. John of Beverley (7th May) founded an abbey at Inderawood, later Beverley, in Northumbria, he appointed his disciple St. Bercthun as the first Abbot. Following St. John’s repose St. Bercthun enshrined his remains at Inderawood. St. Bercthun reposed in 733.
BERTHA and RUPERT, (Ninth Century), St. Bertha was a daughter of Pepin II, married to a pagan, and mother of St. Rupert. Following the death of her husband, St. Bertha went on a pilgrimage to Rome, and upon returning sold all her possessions and spent the rest of her life as a hermitess on a hill near present-day Bingen am Rhein in Germany, which came to be known as Rupertsberg. There she was joined by her son, St. Rupert, who later reposed following a pilgrimage to Rome.
CAESAREA, (Date Unknown), a maiden in southern Italy, who was forced to flee her home in defence of her virtue. St. Caesarea hid in a cave near Otranto, where she seems to have lived as a hermit. The cave later became a popular pilgrimage site.
CASSIUS, VICTORINUS, MAXIMUS, and COMPANIONS, a group of Christians in Clermont in Auvergne, said by some sources to have numbered in excess of six thousand. All of whom were martyred, circa 264, by the Teutonic horde who had overrun Gaul.
COLMAN MC O'LAOIGHSE, (Sixth Century), St. Colman, also known as St. Columbanus, was a disciple of SS. Columba (9th June) and Fintan of Clonenagh (3rd January). After spending several years at Iona, he was blessed by St. Columba to return to Ireland as the founding Abbot of a monastery in Oughaval in Co. Laois. St. Columba is said to have had a vision which revealed the time of St. Colman’s repose. He is also the patron of St. Colman of Oughaval Orthodox Church in Stradbally, Co. Laois.
Kontakion of St. Colman Mc O'laoighse — Tone II
Shining bastion of the Faith and warrior against the passions,
O Father Colman, thou art the adornment of Oughaval,
where following the guidance of the great abbots Columba and Fintan,
thou didst establish a monastic beacon to illuminate Leinster.
We honour thee, we hymn thee,
and we praise thy name rejoicing in thy glorious memory.
DYMPHNA (DYMPNA), (Sixth or Seventh Century), the Christian daughter of a pagan Irish Chieftain, St. Dymphna was forced to flee her homeland to protect her virtue, it seems, against the incestuous advances of her father. Accompanied by her priest and spiritual father St. Gerebern (vide infra), St Dymphna settled at Gheel, south-east of Antwerp near the present-day border with the Netherlands. St. Dymphna’s father had pursued them and once found beheaded both Saints. The site of her martyrdom has long been a place of pilgrimage and the miraculous healings of people suffering from mental illness. St. Dymphna is the patron saint of those who suffer from mental illnesses and nervous system disorders, epileptics, mental health professionals, incest victims, and runaways.
GEREBERN (GEREBRAND), (Sixth or Seventh Century), an Irish priest and spiritual father of St. Dymphna (vide supra). St. Gerebern accompanied St. Dymphna when she fled Ireland, and was beheaded along with her. St. Gerebern is patron-saint of the village of Sonsbeck in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, where his relics (with the exception of his head, which is in Gheel) are enshrined.
HILARY, a hermit near the River Ronco in present-day Italy. St. Hilary, together with a few fellow hermits, built an abbey at Galeata in the present-day Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The abbey was later called the Abbey of Sant'Ellero. St. Hilary reposed in 558.
SIMPLICIUS, the first Bishop of Gallura in north-east Sardinia. During the Diocletianic Persecution, St. Simplicius was martyred by being buried alive, 304.
TORQUATUS, CTESIPHON, SECUNDUS, INDALETIUS, CAECILIUS, HESYCHIUS, and EUPHRASIUS, (First Century), seven disciples who were consecrated bishops and then sent by the Apostles to evangelise Hispania. St. Torquatus established his See at Cadiz, and the others each choosing a prominent city for theirs. Whilst no reliable information on their activities are extent, it seems their mission was quite fruitful, bringing many to Christ.
WALDALENUS, (Seventh Century), son of SS. Rictrudis (12th May) and Adalbald (2nd February), and brother of SS. Maurontius (9th January), Eusebia (20th September), Clotsindis (30th June) and Adalsindis (25th December). He was also the founder of the Abbey of SS. Peter and Paul of Bèze.
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”.