Western Saints of the Orthodox Church — 18th May
ELGIVA, St. Elgiva was the wife of King Edmund I and mother of King St. Edgar the Peaceful (8th July). Upon the death of her husband, she entered the monastery of Shaftesbury in England eventually becoming Abbess. She reposed in either 944 or 971.
FELIX of SPOLETO, a bishop martyred circa 304 during the Diocletianic Persecution. There is debate amongst most scholars as to whether his See was Spoleto where his cultus is centred, or neighbouring Spello in Umbria. Though Baring-Gould contends St. Félix’s See was Spoleto in Dalmatia.
FEREDARIUS, a native of Ireland, St. Feredarius went to Iona, where he succeeded St. Columba (9th June) as Abbot. It was during his Abbotship that the relics of St. Columba were translated to Ireland to protect them from the invading Danes, and were enshrined with those of St. Patrick (17th March). St. Feredarius reposed circa 863.
JOHN I, Archdeacon of Rome elected fifty-third Pope of Rome 523. His short pontificate was primarily occupied by the scheming and intrigues of the increasingly paranoid Theodoric, the Arian King of the Ostrogoths. Theodoric sent St. John to Constantinople as his envoy to Emperor Justine I. Upon St. John’s return from Constantinople, Theodoric’s deluded belief that St. John and Emperor Justin were plotting against him, led Theodoric to imprison St. John who soon reposed from thirst and hunger, 526.
MERILILAUN (MEROLILAUN), an eighth century British pilgrim who was martyred near Rheims while on his way to Rome.
VENANTIUS (VENANZIO), a boy in his mid to late teens who was tortured and then beheaded at Camerino in the Apennines Mountains bordering Umbria, during the Decian Persecution, circa 250. St. Venantius is the patron saint of Camerino, and his relics are enshrined in the Basilica of San Venanzio in Camerino.
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”.