Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
ANTONINUS (ANTONINO, FONTANA), an Archbishop of Milan for one year. St. Antoninus' holiness of life was so evident that his flock proclaimed him a saint even before his repose in 660.
ARNULF, a monk at the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew (Novalesa Abbey) in Piedmont who was martyred by the Saracens circa 840.
BEGU, according to St. Bede the Venerable (25th May), St. Begu was an Anglo-Saxon nun either at a double monastery at Hackness in North Yorkshire, or Abbess of a community of nuns at Hartlepool, County Durham, both in England. St. Bede the Venerable relates the story of St. Begu’s vision of the soul of St. Hild (17th November), the foundress of Hackness, being escorted to heaven by angels following St. Hild’s repose at Whitby, some 30 km (19 mi.) away.
St. Begu reposed circa 690, though some sources state that her repose was in 660. This is impossible as St. Hild reposed in 680. It is most likely that this St. Bega is confused with St. Bega (6th September), who reposed in the mid-seventh century.
Around 1125 the monks at Whitby Abbey were seeking relics to replace those of St. Hild, which had been translated to Glastonbury during the tenth-century Viking raids. It has been related that, through a revelation, the monks were led to Harkness where they found a sarcophagus bearing the inscription Hoc est sepulchrum Begu (This is the grave of Begu). These relics were then translated to Whitby where miracles, the nature of which is now unknown, were reported. English historian and hagiographer David Hugh Farmer points out that the lack of any literary references to a cult of St. Begu at Whitby is noteworthy.
ERC (ERTH, HERYGH, URITH), (in Ireland 2nd November) St. Erc mac Dega (Latin: Ercus; Cornish: Erth) is believed to have been a pagan druid converted by St. Patrick (17th March), who later consecrated him first Bishop of Slane, Co. Meath, Ireland. According to tradition, St. Erc founded the original Abbey on the Hill of Slane as well as the school at Slane Abbey, where King St. Dagobert II (23rd December) is believed to have received part of his early education. St. Erc was also a friend and tutor of St. Brendan the Voyager (16th May).
Around 450 St. Erc was chosen by St. Patrick to continue St. Benignus of Armagh's (9th November) evangelisation of Co. Kerry, when the later was sent to Northern Co. Clare and the present-day Province of Connaught. Initially St. Erc's jurisdiction appears to have included a large part of south-west Co. Limerick, including the monastery of St. Ita (15th January) at Killeedy. Shortly before his repose, St. Patrick expanded the area over which St. Erc was responsible to include Co. Cork, thereby placing most, if not all, of the area that comprises present-day Province of Munster under St. Erc’s supervision.
St. Erth of Cornwall is generally believed to be the same man as St. Erc. Brother of SS. Uni (17th September) and Ia (3rd February), he is thought to have crossed from Ireland to Cornwall, where a church and the village of St. Erth are dedicated to him. This is based upon local tradition, supported only by fifteenth-century English chronicler William of Worcester’s note from 1478: “Saint Herygh, the brother of Saint Uny, a bishop, lies in a certain church situated under the cross of the church of St. Paul in London; his day is kept on the vigil of All Saints, that is, the last day of October ... Saint Hya ... the sister of Saint Herygh ...” Herygh is an incorrect corruption of St. Erc’s name, and the reference to St. Paul’s is undoubtedly the result of confusing St. Erc with St. Erconwald (30th April).
St. Erc spent the last years of his life in prayer and solitude at a hermitage in Slane. According to the Annals of Ulster, St. Erc reposed 2nd November 512. His feast is kept on 2nd November in Ireland and on the calendar of the Moscow Patriarchate, and on 31st October in Cornwall.
Troparion of St. Erc (Cornwall) — TONE VIII
For four score years and ten thou didst grace the Cornish land/
with thy godly presence, O Father Herygh./
Therefore pray to God for us that we may devote every year of our lives to His service,/
that at the end we may be found worthy of eternal salvation.
Troparion of St. Erc (Ireland) — Tone I
Even in the darkness of heathendom/
thou didst recognize the God-given authority of Ireland's Enlightener, O Hierarch Erc,/
and wast baptized at his hands./
Wherefore we beseech thee, pray to Christ our God/
that being blessed with the virtue of humility/ we may be found worthy of eternal salvation.
FOILLAN, brother of SS. Fursey (16th January), and Ultan (2nd May). Leaving Ireland for East Anglia, St. Foillan became the Abbot of Burgh Castle near Yarmouth. Following the destruction of his monastery, St. Foillan and his brothers went to the area of present-day Liege Belgium. There they built a monastery on land donated by SS. Ida of Nivelles (8th May) and Gertrude of Nivelles (17th March), at Fosses, with St. Foillan serving as abbot. St. Foillan was murdered by highwaymen one night, circa 655, as he was out ministering to his flock. In as much as he was on church business when killed, St. Foillan is generally considered a martyr.
NOTBURGA, a nun at the Abbey of St. Mary in the Capitol Quarter of Cologne. St. Notburga reposed circa 714.
QUENTIN (QUINTIN), a member of a noble Roman family who joined St. Lucian of Beauvais (8th January) in evangelising Gaul. St. Quentin worked in the area around Amiens and brought many souls to Christ. During the Diocletianic Persecution, St. Quentin was arrested and beheaded, the location of his martyrdom is the present-day town of Saint-Quentin.
WOLFGANG, a native of Swabia, he became a monk at Einsiedeln in Schwyz 964. In 971 he was ordained and with a group of monks went to enlighten the Magyars, but in 972 he was made Bishop of Regensburg, where he was the tutor of the future Emperor Henry II, rejuvenated St. Emmeram's Abbey, he was known as a great benefactor of the poor as well. Towards the end of his life he retired to live as a hermit, reposing in 994.
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”.