Western Saints of the Orthodox Church
BETTELIN (BERTRAM), St. Bettelin, a disciple of St. Guthlac of Crowland (11th April), lived at Crowland Abbey as a hermit under Abbot Kenulf. Information about his life is often confused and intertwined with that of St. Bettelin of Staffordshire (10th August). Many sources believe them to be the same saint. There is no means of fixing the precise date of his repose, but it is generally accepted that St. Bettelin of Crowland reposed in the eighth century. His relics were translated to Staffordshire before the destruction of Crowland Abbey by the Danes.
HYACINTH, ALEXANDER, and TIBURTIUS, (Date Unknown), martyrs in the Sabine Hills in present-day Italy of whom nothing further is known.
KIERAN (KYRAN), known as ‘The Younger’ to distinguish him from St. Kieran of Saighir (5th March), this St. Kieran was born in the province of Connaught in the west of Ireland. He received monastic tonsure at Clonard Abbey where he was a disciple of St. Finian (12th December), who prophesied that half the monasteries in Ireland would receive their Rule from him. The Law of Kieran, like the monastic Rules of the other great Celtic saints, is austere in the extreme. St. Kieran founded several monasteries, including the famous Clonmacnoise in West Meath on the River Shannon. St. Kieran reposed circa 549, and is counted amongst the ‘Twelve Apostles of Ireland’.
OMER (AUDOMARUS), a native of north-eastern Switzerland near Lake Constance, following the repose of his mother, St. Omer and his father received monastic tonsure at Luxeuil Abbey. As a spiritual child of St. Eustace (29th March) St. Omer developed a reputation for holiness and a remarkable knowledge of Scripture. When a bishop was needed for the See of Thérouanne in the northern French county of Artois, St. Omer was chosen. As bishop he built the Abbey of St. Peter at Sithiu (later the Abbey of St. Bertin), suppressed idolatry, and rejuvenated the diocese into one of the most thriving in all of France. St. Omer reposed circa 670.
OSMANNA (ARGARIARGA), a maiden from Ireland who went to Brittany, where she lived as an anchoress near Saint-Brieuc, reposing circa 650.
WULFHILD, St. Wulfhild was most likely a member of the Anglo-Saxon nobility, and was raised at Wilton Abbey. She desired to enter monastic life; however, she was ardently pursued by King Edgar for betrothal. After repeatedly rebuffing his proposals, St. Wulfhid was able to obtain the king’s permission to receive monastic tonsure, and eventually served simultaneously as Abbess of both Barking Abbey in present-day London, and Horton Abbey in Kent. St. Wulfhild reposed circa 1000.
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”.