The South, as we have said here before, is a child of Wessex. It is therefore very meet to highly exalt the man who carried the Christian Faith to our ancestors, and thus to us as well in an indirect manner. That man is our holy father, St Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester-on-Thames, whose feast is celebrated today (3 December). He it was who converted and baptised King Cynegils of Wessex and many of his subjects in 635 A.D., laying a solid foundation for that kingdom for years to come (which was nevertheless broken quite badly by the corruptions of the Norman conquerors in the 11th century).
A brief account of the life of St Birinus is available on pages 64 and 65 of this book by Vladimir Moss.
Holy Father and Missionary Birinus,
intercede with the merciful God
to grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
(Icon courtesy of Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries.)