Dr. John (Ellsworth) Hutchison-Hall

Eastern Orthodox Christian theologian, philosopher, historian, and cultural commentator.


Home » Western Saints of the Orthodox Church » Western Saints of the Orthodox Church — 4th November

Western Saints of the Orthodox Church

4th November


4th November

BIRNSTAN (BEORNSTAN), a disciple of St. Grimbald (8th July) and successor of St. Frithestan (10th September) in the See of Winchester in England. St. Birnstan served as its twenty-first Bishop from 931 until his repose in 934. St. Birnstan is best remembered for his devotion to praying for the reposed; each night he would spend hours in the cathedral’s graveyard chanting psalms for the souls of the reposed. A tradition tells of one night when he had finished the psalms he added “may they rest in peace”, and then heard a mighty “Amen” come from the tombs. St. Birnstan was also known for washing the feet of the poor daily, and would spend hours in prayer once he had finished. St. Birnstan reposed in prayer following his daily foot washing. His cultus developed about thirty years after his death, when St. Birnstan appeared to the then Bishop of Winchester, St. Æthelwold (1st August), in a vision accompanied by two other figures whom he said were SS. Birinus (3rd December) and Swithun (2nd July). St. Birnstan then informed St. Æthelwold that he was held in equal reverence with these saints in heaven and claimed a right for equal treatment on earth. Following this he was commemorated with the other saints of Winchester, though in time popular devotion to St. Swithun eclipsed both St. Birnstan and St. Birinus.

CLARUS, a native of Rochester England of noble birth, following ordination to the priesthood, St. Clarus travelled to Normandy, where he lived as a hermit at what is today Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, 20 mi / 30 km south-east of near Rouen. St. Clarus was murdered at his hermitage, unfortunately the date is impossible to fix. The Menology of England and Wales (the English Menology), places his martyrdom as taking place sometime in the seventh to ninth century.

EMERIC, the son of St. Stephen (16th August), the first Christian King of Hungary, and a disciple of St. Gerard Sagredo of Czanad (24th September). St. Emeric was to succeed his father as King of Hungary, but he was killed by a boar whilst hunting at the age of 24. Following his repose many miracles and conversions were said to have occurred at his tomb, leading to his canonisation in 1083

GREGORY of BURTSCHEID, a Greek monk from Calabria, he is generally described as a Benedictine 'Basilian'. St. Gregory was fleeing the Saracen invasion of the south, when pausing in Rome, he met and was befriended by Holy Roman Emperor Otto III. Otto offered St. Gregory sanctuary in Germany, and even built a monastery for him at Burtscheid near Aachen in present-day western Germany. St. Gregory reposed in 999.

MODESTA, St. Modesta was the niece of St. Modoald (12th May), who was also the uncle of St. Gertrude of Nivelle (17th March). St. Modesta was the first Abbess of Oehren in Trier, which was founded by her uncle, St. Modoald who was Bishop of Treves at the time. She reposed circa 680.

PHILOLOGUS and PATROBAS, (First Century), Christians in Rome greeted by the Apostle Paul (29th June) in his letter to the Romans (16:14-18). A pious tradition is that the two saints were later consecrated bishops, with their Sees most likely in southern Italy.

PROCULUS, a martyred Bishop of Autun, of whom nothing is known beyond his listing in various martyrologies. The Roman Martyrology lists him "At Autun, St. Proculus, martyr", whilst others simply as "Proculus, a Bishop". Most sources place his martyrdom as circa 717.

VITALIS and AGRICOLA (Martyrs of Bologna), St. Vitalis was St. Agricola's slave and through whom St. Vitalis came to Christ. During the Diocletianic Persecution, circa 304, St. Vitalis was arrested, subjected to various tortures, and finally executed. St. Agricola was so taken by the courage and faith with which St. Vitalis faced martyrdom, that St. Agricola proclaimed his faith and was also martyred.

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”.

Details of British Saints excerpted from Orthodox Saints of the British Isles.
Details of continental saints from these sources.