Western Saints of the Orthodox Church <br class="clearfix"> — <br class="clearfix"> 18th May
ÆLFGIFU (ELGIVA), St. Ælfgifu was the wife of Edmund I, King of England (r. 939–946) and mother of St. Edgar the Peaceful, King of England (r. 957–975) (8th July). Upon the death of her husband, she entered Shaftesbury Abbey in present-day Dorset, England eventually becoming Abbess. St. Ælfgifu 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 in Umbria (Italy) where his cultus is centred, or neighbouring Spello also in Umbria. Though Church of England priest, hagiographer, and all round scholar Sabine Baring Baring-Gould (†1924) contends St. Felix’s See was Spoleto in Dalmatia in present-day Croatia.
FEREDARIUS of IONA, 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 in 523. His 33 month pontificate was primarily occupied by the scheming and intrigues of the increasingly paranoid Theodoric the Great the Arian King of the Ostrogoths (r. 475–526). Theodoric sent St. John to Constantinople as his envoy to Emperor Justin I (r. 518–527). 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 in 526 where he soon reposed from thirst and hunger.
MERILILAUN (MEROLILAUN), an eighth century British pilgrim who was martyred near Reims (north-eastern France) while on his way to Rome.
VENANTIUS (VENANZIO) of CAMERINO, a boy in his mid to late teens who was tortured and then beheaded circa 250 at Camerino in the Apennines Mountains bordering Umbria (Italy), during the Decian Persecution. 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”.