Western Saints of the Orthodox Church — 24th February
BETTO, a monk at Sainte Colombe in Sens in Burgundy, who was consecrated Bishop of Auxerre in 889, serving that See until his repose in A.D. 918.
ETHELBERT (ALBERT) of KENT, the first English Christian king, St. Ethelbert was married to Bertha of France. He welcomed the mission led by St. Augustine (27th May) in 597, and is believed to have been baptised by him that same year. He founded Canterbury and Rochester Cathedrals, as well as St. Paul’s, London. St. Ethelbert reposed 616, and was buried in the abbey, which he had also built, at Canterbury.
JOHN THERISTUS (The HARVESTER), having killed his father, St. John’s pregnant mother was enslaved by Saracens. They transported her from Calabria to Sicily where St. John was born. In his early teens, St. John managed to escape and travelled to Calabria where he received monastic tonsured. Once a devastating storm was approaching which would have destroyed the neighbouring crops, St. John could miraculously harvest the crop, saving the local community from starvation, and earning the sobriquet ‘Theristos’. St. John reposed 1129.
LIUDHARD (LETARD), St. Liudhard was the French bishop of unknown See – though Butler, and some others assert that he had been Bishop of Senlis in Picardy, who accompanied Queen Bertha to Kent on the occasion of her marriage to King St. Ethelbert (25th February). As with so many of his contemporaries, few definite facts are known of his life, though it is safe to assume he did have a role in ensuring the warm welcome given to St. Augustine of Canterbury (27th May) and his fellow missionaries. St. Liudhard reposed circa 600.
MODESTUS, the twenty-first Bishop of Trier from 486 until his repose in 489. He successfully led his flock through the difficult period when the city came under Frankish rule. His relics are enshrined in the church of St. Matthias in Trier.
MONTANUS, LUCIUS, JULIAN, VICTORICUS, FLAVIAN, and COMPANIONS, a group of ten disciples of St. Cyprian of Carthage (16th September), martyred in 259 in the persecution of Christians during the reign of Valerian. The first part of their Acts consists of a prison diary kept by the martyrs, and the second part eyewitness accounts of their martyrdom.
PRAETEXTATUS (PRIX), the seventeenth Bishop of Rouen from 550 to 586. His rebukes of the scandalous behaviour of Queen led to his persecution and exile, though he was reinstalled seven years later. However, he continued to reprimand the Queen who had him assassinated on Easter Sunday 586 on the steps to the altar of his cathedral.
PRIMITIVA (PRIMITIVUS), (Date Unknown), an early martyr in Rome, of whom no further information is extent.
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”.