Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
ADELINDIS of BUCHAU, the foundress, along with her husband Count Warin, of Buchau Abbey (Reichsstift Buchau), in present-day Bad Buchau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. When widowed St. Adelindis entered the monastery, and may have served as its Abbess at some point. St. Adelindis reposed circa 930.
AMBROSE of SAINTES, Bishop of Saintes (south-western France) for fourteen years. He reposed circa 450, and is mentioned in the Life of his successor, St. Vivian of Saintes (vide infra).
AUGUSTINE of HIPPO, born at Tagasta in Numidia (present-day Souk-Ahras, Algeria) to St. Monica (4th May), he lived a life of depravity in his youth, and came very close to embracing Manicheanism. Whilst teaching Rhetoric in Milan, he met St. Ambrose of Milan (7th December), and began to attend his sermons. Through the prayers of his holy mother, and assisted by St. Simplician of Milan (16th August), St. Augustine was baptised on Easter Eve of 387 by St. Ambrose. St. Augustine returned to Africa in the late summer of 388, There he received monastic tonsure and in 391 was, reluctantly, ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Valerius of Hippo (present-day Annaba, Algeria). In 395 he was consecrated Bishop coadjutor of Hippo, and elevated to sole Bishop following the repose Bishop Valerius soon after.
A prolific author, and staunch defender of orthodoxy against heresies, St. Augustine is a central figure, not just in Christianity, but in the history of Western thought as well. Though listed amongst other Fathers of the Church by the Fifth Œcumenical Council, (553), he has always been a somewhat controversial figure in the Orthodox Church. By his own admission St. Augustine had a limited fluency with written Greek, and it seems he used Latin translations for his study of Greek texts. This proved to be a liability, especially as he began to lay the foundation for what became the West’s concept of Original Sin, and its departure from Orthodoxy’s understanding of ancestral sin (προπατορικό αμάρτημα). St. Augustine reposed in 430 and his relics are enshrined in the Basilica of St. Pietro in Ciel d'Oro in Pavia in Lombardy (northern Italy).
FACUNDINUS of TAINO, an early seventh century (†c. 620) Bishop of Taino in Umbria (central Italy). No further information on his life is extant.
FORTUNATUS, GAIUS, and ANTHES of SALERNO, (Early Fourth Century), according to tradition Fortunatus, Gaius, and Anthes were martyred at Salerno (south-western Italy) during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (r. 284–305). Although they have had a very popular local cultus, their acts are of questionable veracity, and they have been omitted from some recent martyrologies.
GORMAN of SCHLESWIG, a monk at Reichenau Abbey (Abtei Reichenau) in Lake Constance (Germany), who worked to enlighten northern Europe, and lastly served as Bishop of Schleswig (northern Germany). St. Gorman reposed in 965.
HERMES of ROME and COMPANIONS, according to tradition St. Hermes and an unknown number of companions were martyred at Rome circa 120 on the orders of a judge named Aurelia. There is no doubt that he existed, as his cultus dates from very early on. However, his Acts, and the details of his martyrdom are as fanciful as the mythical Acts of Pope St. Alexander I in which they appear.
JULIAN of AUVERGNE, a fourth century martyr from the Auvergne region of present-day France. Apart from his association to several aristocratic bishops of his day, especially St. Gall of Clermont (1st July) and his nephew St. Gregory of Tours (17th November), little is known of the life of St. Julian. According to tradition, St. Julian fled the persecution of Christians in his native Vienne (south-eastern France), and went into hiding in the village of Brioude in the Auvergne region (south-central France). However, he chose martyrdom over hiding and soon revealed himself to a group of pagans who promptly decapitated him. Numerous miracles have been attributed to him, beginning almost immediately after his martyrdom.
PELAGIUS of ISTRIA, the patron saint of Constance (Konstanz, south-western Germany). All that is known of St. Pelagius' life is that he was a youth who was tortured and then martyred in Istria (present-day Croatia) during the reign of the Emperor Numerian (r. 283–284). His connexion to Constance is due to the translation of some of his relics to that city circa 904.
VIVIAN of SAINTES, successor of St. Ambrose of Saintes (vide supra) as the Bishop of Saintes (south-western France). He is remembered for the great dedication and energy with which he approached caring for his flock, and his courage when facing the King of the Visigoths. St. Vivian reposed circa 460.
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”.