Western Saints of the Orthodox Church — 20th August
AMATOR (AMADOUR), (Date Unknown), legend states that St. Amator was the first hermit in Gaul. His cell, at Quercy, about 30 km (18.5 miles) south of Cahors, was a popular place of pilgrimage. In 1126 his relics were uncovered and found to be incorrupt.
BURCHARD, a native of Hesse who received monastic tonsure at Lobbes. St. Burchard was the author of a twenty volume series on Canon Law known as Decretum Burchardi. He was appointed by Emperor Otto III, and confirmed by Archbishop Willigis of Mainz, to the See of Worms in 1000. St. Burchard served the See of Worms until his repose in 1025, during which time he oversaw the creation of numerous monasteries and churches.
EDBERT, King St. Edbert succeeded St. Ceolwulf (15th January) to the throne of Northumbria in present-day England. After twenty years of a prosperous reign, he abdicated in favour of his son and retired to York, where his brother, Ecgbert, was Archbishop. St. Edbert entered the monastery attached to the cathedral and spent the remaining ten years of his life in prayer and penance. King St. Edbert reposed in 768, and was buried in the porch of the cathedral, alongside his brother who had reposed two years earlier.
HADUIN (HARDUIN), twelfth Bishop of Le Mans, and founder of several monasteries including Notre-Dame-d’Evron. St. Haduin reposed circa 662.
MEXME (MAXIMUS, MESME), in his Glory of the Confessors St. Gregory of Tours (17th November) tells of a disciple of St. Martin of Tours (11th November) by the name of Mexme, who, in the fifth century settled in a cave in Chinon as a hermit, and went on to found the first church there which served as the centre of a small monastery which became Chinon Abbey. St. Mexme reposed circa 470.
OSWIN, (Seventh Century), King St. Oswin was a devout Christian and a close friend of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne (31st August). Following the repose of King St. Oswald (5th August), Northumbria was once again divided in two with King St. Oswin ascending to the throne of Deria, and his cousin Oswy to the throne of Bernicia. Nine years later, he was slain in battle against the forces of Oswy at Gilling near Richmond, Yorkshire, England, and King St. Oswin has since been honoured as a martyr. His tomb at Gilling became a place of pilgrimage until his relics were translated to Tynemouth Priory (about fifteen kilometres east of Newcastle upon Tyne), during the Viking invasions.
Troparion of King St. Oswin – Tone I
Courtesy and humility shone from thee, O radiant Martyr Oswin.
Trained by Saint Aidan as a Christian ruler, thou didst illumine
northern Britain. Glory to Him Who has strengthened thee; glory to
Him Who has crowned thee; glory to Him Who through thee works
healings for all.
PHILIBERT, after being educated by St. Ouen (24th August), St. Philibert received monastic tonsure at Rebais Abbey and was promoted to Abbot at the tender age of twenty. Unfortunately, his lack of experience was too great to overcome and he resigned so that he could visit other monastic communities and study their Rules. In 654, he was given land by Clovis II on which he founded Jumièges Abbey. Before his repose in 684, St. Philibert founded several other monastic communities for both men and women, including the monastery of Noirmoutier.
The Viking raid on Noirmoutier in 799 is the first recorded Viking raid on the Continent with the raiders sacking the monastery of Saint Philibert of Jumièges. The filbert nut derives its name from St. Philibert, since it ripens about 20th August in England.
PORPHYRIUS, (Date Unknown), said to have been a priest martyr in Palestrina near Rome. However, he is most likely apocryphal as the information on his life comes from the unreliable Acta of St. Agapitus of Palestrina.
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”.