Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
ANNOBERT (ALNOBERTUS, ALNOBERT), a monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Almenèches in Normandy. St. Annobert was consecrated Bishop of Séez, also in Normandy, circa 685, and reposed circa 689.
Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home?
Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?
Shall I put myself wholly at Thy mercy, without silver, without a horse,
without fame, without honour?
O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?
O Christ, wilt Thou help me on the wild waves?
— Prayer of St. Brendan the Voyager
Troparion of St. Brendan the Voyager — Tone IV
The Divine Likeness has been perfected in thee, O holy Father Brendan,
For taking up the Cross thou hast followed Christ,
And by thy deeds thou hast taught us to disdain the flesh for it passes away,
But to cultivate the soul for it is immortal:
Wherefore, O holy father, thy spirit rejoices with the Angels.
BRENDAN the VOYAGER, our venerable and God-bearing father Brendan the Voyager was an Irish monk, and perhaps the first Orthodox Christian to set foot on North American soil. After founding several monasteries in Ireland, including the famous Abbeys of Ardfert in Co. Kerry and Clonfert in Co. Galway, and authoring a monastic Rule remarkable for its austerity, he embarked upon numerous missionary and pastoral travels to Scotland and perhaps Wales. According to an anonymous Hiberno-Latin work, probably from the ninth century, entitled Navigatio Sancti Brendani, St. Brendan, accompanied by a group of monks, sailed west to what many believe might very well have been North America. One of the questions as to the veracity of the story is whether a boat such as the one St. Brendan used would be capable of sailing from Ireland to North America. However, in 1976, British explorer Tim Severin built a replica of the boat St. Brendan would have used, and over two summers sailed from Ireland via the Hebrides, Faroe Islands and Iceland to Newfoundland to demonstrate that the saint’s purported voyage was feasible. St. Brendan reposed circa 578 at Annaghdown (Eanach Dhúin), in Co. Galway, and was buried in Clonfert Cathedral. He is venerated as the patron saint of sailors, and numbered amongst the ‘Twelve Apostles of Ireland’
CARANTAC (CARANTOG, CAIMACH, CARNATH), (Fifth Century), St. Carantac was a Welsh prince and disciple of St. Patrick (17th March) with whom he worked in the evangelisation of Ireland in the fifth century. There are sources who consider St. Carantac and St. Carantog to have been two separate saints, however there is insufficient information extant to support this opinion.
CARANTOC, (Sixth Century), St. Carantoc, a Welsh abbot, is credited with founding the church of Llangranog. There are several legends that connect this saint with Cornwall and Somerset in England, as well as Brittany, however, there is little information to support these theories, and what does exist seems to be unreliable.
DOMNOLUS, an abbot of an abbey near Paris, who, in 543 he was consecrated Bishop of Le Mans. Well-loved for his sanctity and holiness of life, and care for his flock, St. Domnolus founded monasteries, churches, and hospitals. He also had a prominent role at the Second Council of Tours (566). St. Domnolus reposed circa 540.
FELIX and GENNADIUS, (Date Unknown), two martyrs whose relics were enshrined in Uzalis, Africa Proconsularis (present-day El Alia, Tunisia). No further information about them is extent.
FIDOLUS (PHAL), the son of a government official in Auvergne who was kidnapped by soldiers of King Clovis’ army and sold into slavery. St. Fidolus was ransomed by Aventinus, Abbot of Aumont in the present-day village of Saint-Phal, whom he later succeeded as abbot. Following St. Fidolus’ repose, circa 540, the Abbey was re-named Saint-Phal in his honour. He reposed circa 540.
FORT, (First Century ?), traditionally considered the first Bishop of Bordeaux, St. Fort is thought to have been martyred along with an unknown number of fellow Christians.
FRANCOVEUS (FRANCHY), a seventh century monk at the Abbey of St. Martin de la Bretonnière (part of present-day Sainte-Marie, Nièvre, France). Following the destruction of the Abbey, St. Francoveus lived as a hermit near the former abbey.
GERMERIUS, the seventh Bishop of Toulouse. St. Germerius served that See for fifty years, reposing circa 560.
HILARY, a Bishop of Pavia, just south of Milan. St. Hilary worked hard to protect his diocese from the Arian heresy. He reposed in 376.
HONORATUS of AMIENS, the seventh Bishop of Amiens, St. Honoratus reposed circa 600. The rue Saint-Honoré in the first and eighth arrondissements of Paris are named in his honour.
MAXIMA, (Date Unknown), a maiden known for her holiness who lived in the area around Fréjus in the present-day Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France.
PEREGRINUS (PEREGRINE, PELLEGRINO) of AUXERRE, a Roman appointed by Pope St. Sixtus II (6th August) to serve as the first Bishop of Auxerre. According to the Martyrologium Hieronymianum St. Peregrinus was martyred at Bouhy in Burgundy circa 304 during the Diocletianic Persecution.
PEREGRINUS of TERNI, the first Bishop of Terni in Umbria. He was a diligent pastor to his flock, and brought many people to Christ as well. The date of the repose of St. Peregrinus is variously given as circa 138, 261, or 273.
POSSIDIUS, a disciple and hagiographer of St. Augustine of Hippo (28th August) and later Bishop of Calama in Numidia in North Africa. St. Possidius played an important role in combatting the heresies of his day, and was exiled by the Arian Vandals. Ending his life in Apulia region of southern Italy circa 440.
PRIMAEL, a native of Britain who went to Brittany where he lived as a hermit near Quimper. There are several churches in Brittany dedicated to him. St. Primael reposed circa 450.
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”.