Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
BROTHEN and GWENDOLEN, (Sixth Century), beyond their names and records of the local cultus we know nothing of the Lives of SS. Brothen and Gwendolen. St. Brothen is patron saint of Llanfrothen, Gwynedd, Wales where the church is dedicated to him. Both Llanwyddelan, Powys and Dolwyddelan (Welsh for the meadow of Gwendolen), Clwyd, Wales derive their names from St. Gwendolen.
GWEN, this St. Gwen was the daughter of Brychan of Brycheiniog (6th April), and the sister of St. Cledwyn (1st November). She was martyred by pagan Saxons at Talgarth, Powys, Wales on 18th October, 492.
Troparion of St. Gwen — Tone IV
O Brychan’s jewel and holy daughter, most pious Gwena,
Thou didst defy the heathen Saxons, thereby winning a martyr’s crown.
Being, therefore, numbered among the saints,
Intercede for us before the Throne of Grace,
that we may be granted great mercy.
GWEN, (Fifth Century), the Lives of the two St. Gwens commemorated on this day are often intertwined, and there is little in the way of reliable information on this St. Gwen. It is believed she was the sister of St. Non (3rd March), which would make her the aunt of St. David (1st March), it has also been claimed she was the mother of SS. Cybi (8th November) and Cadfan (1st November).
JUSTUS of BEAUVAIS, a nine-year-old child from Auxerre traveling in 285 with his father to Amiens to ransom a family member. This was during the height of the Diocletianic Persecution, and when soldiers confronted them at Beauvais, St. Justus confessed to being a Christian and was beheaded on the spot. One legend states that St. Justus stood upright and picked up his head, at which sight the soldiers fled.
MONON (MUNO), a hermit in the Ardennes Forest, originally from Scotland or Ireland. St. Monon was martyred by bandits circa 645 near Nassogne in present-day Belgium.
TRYPHONIA, (Fifth Century), a Roman widow and martyr. According to one tradition she may have been the widow of the Christian persecutor, Emperor Trajanus Decius or the widow of his son.
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”.