Celebrating some of the saints from the South’s Christian inheritance of various lands:
Universal Church Feasts:
50 days after Holy Pascha/Easter – Holy Pentecost, ‘the last and great day’:
The Sunday after Holy Pentecost – Sunday of All Saints:
Second Sunday after Holy Pentecost – Sunday of All Saints of North America:
11th – Holy Apostle Bartholomew.
11th – Holy Apostle Barnabas of the 70.
19th – Holy Apostle Jude.
24th – Nativity of St John the Baptist.
29th – The Martyrdom of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
A sermon by St Augustine commemorating their martyrdom:
30th – The Feast of All 12 of the Holy Apostles.
Many places East and West:
21st – Sts Julius and Julian. Preachers, wonderworkers, and church builders throughout the Roman Empire in the 5th century.
3rd – St Caecilius. A priest in Carthage in North Africa who converted St Cyprian to Christ. St Cyprian never ceased to revere his name, adding it to his own, and on Caecilius's repose, he looked after his wife and children.
Parts of the conversation leading to his conversion to the Orthodox Faith are here:
5th – St Dorotheus of Thebes. HE was surnamed the Theban, because a native of Thebes in Egypt. He retired first into a monastery, but after having learned for some time the exercises of an ascetic life under the most experienced masters, he shut himself up in a cavern in a wilderness nine miles from Alexandria, on the road to Nitria. Here he lived in most austere abstinence and labour. During the greater part of the day, even in the most scorching heat of the sun, he picked up and carried stones, and built cells for other hermits: at night he made cords and baskets of palm-tree leaves, by which he earned six ounces of bread a day, with a handful of herbs, which was his whole subsistence. His watchings were incredible; nor would he allow himself any indulgence in his old age. When his disciples entreated him to afford a little more rest to his enfeebled body, his answer was: “This enemy would destroy me; therefore I am resolved to be beforehand with it, and keep it in subjection.” It happened that his disciple, Palladius, spying an aspic in the well, durst not drink of the water; but the holy abbot, making the sign of the cross upon the cup, drank, and said: “In the presence of the cross of Christ, the devil loseth his power.” This Palladius, upon his coming into the wilderness, chose St. Dorotheus, who had then lived an anchoret in the same austere manner sixty years, for his first master. The saint died towards the end of the fourth century.
5th – St Anubius of Egypt. Another of the great Desert Fathers. Three days before his end Saint Anubius was visited by the desert-dwellers Cyrus, Isaiah, and Paul, who asked the Elder to tell them about his life for the edification of believers. The saint replied, “I do not recall that I did anything great or glorious.” However, swayed by the entreaties of his questioners, in deep humility he related to them that during the time of persecutions he confessed the Name of Christ under torture, after this he had never defiled his lips with a lie, since after he had confessed Truth, he did not want to utter falsehood.
7th – St Daniel of Sketis. Abba Daniel lived in the sixth century, becoming a monk at Sketis when he was a young boy. He was taken prisoner when Sketis was attacked by barbarians, who held him captive for two years. Saint Daniel was was bought by a devout Christian, but then he was recaptured. After six months, while attempting to escape, he struck one of his captors with a stone and killed him, and then he made his escape and returned to Sketis. The sin of murder was a heavy burden on his conscience. Uncertain about what he ought to do, he went to Patriarch Timothy of Alexandria, and asked for his advice. . . . The lengths St Daniel went to to calm his conscience are instructive for us; they are detailed here:
9th – St Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria. One of the great Church Fathers of any age.
10th – St Neaniskos the Martyr. Saint Neaniskos lived in the time of Maximius, the ruler of Alexandria. During the persecution of the Church by Emperor Diocletian (284-304), a female slave denounced the most wise and handsome athlete of Christ. The ruler tortured him for seven days in various ways, trying to make him deny Christ. When the tyrant saw that he was unable to do so, he ordered him to be put to death. As he was led to the place of execution, he noticed the slave girl who betrayed him in the crowd that had followed him. Then Saint Neaniskos made signs for her to approach him, and when she came near he gave her his gold ring as a token of his gratitude; because by her complaint he would now draw near to Christ, Whom he had desired for so long, and he would inherit everlasting life. When they arrived at the place of execution, he prayed for a time, and then they beheaded him
12th – St Onuphrius the Great. A wonderful and very holy ascetic of the African desert. No summary is acceptable; read his full life:
Related desert-dwelling saints also celebrated today:
15th – St Doulas the Passion-Bearer of Egypt. An excellent ensample of how to endure unjust accusations.
19th – St Paisius the Great. One of the greatest of the African Desert Fathers.
28th – St Irenaeus of Lyons. A great enlightener of the Gauls. Born in Asia Minor, he was a disciple of St Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John the Divine. He went to France and became Bishop of Lyons (c 177), where he was later martyred. His writings against Gnosticism are a witness to Apostolic Tradition.
16th – St Tikhon, Bishop of Amathus. A warrior for Christ in the face of heathen resistance to the Gospel, and a wonderworker and friend as regards the creatures of nature.
1st – St Wistan (Winston) the Passion-Bearer. + 850. Of the royal house of Mercia in England, he was murdered at Wistanstow in Shropshire and was buried at Repton. His relics were later enshrined in Evesham.
1st – St Wite. Martyred by the Danes in Dorset in England. Her relics still exist in their shrine at Whitchurch Canonicorum: the only ones to have survive in a parish church in England. Pilgrims still honour her at the shrine and there is a holy well at Morcombe Lake nearby.
2nd – St Oda the Good. Born in East Anglia of Danish parents, he became a monk at Fleury in France, then Bishop of Ramsbury in England and in 942 Archbishop of Canterbury. As Archbishop he played a prominent role under Kings Edmund and Edgar and paved the way for monastic restoration under Sts Dunstan, Oswald (Oda's nephew) and Ethelwold.
4th – St Edfrith. Bishop of Lindisfarne in England after St Edbert, he illuminated the Lindisfarne Gospels in honour of St Cuthbert.
10th – St Ithamar. In 644, Ithamar became the first Anglo-Saxon bishop in England when he was consecrated by Pope Honorius to succeed Saint Paulinus in the see of Rochester. The Venerable Bede relates that though he was a man of Kent, he equalled his predecessors in piety and learning. In 655, Ithamar consecrated a South Saxon, Frithona or Saint Deusdedit, as archbishop of Canterbury. Because he had a reputation as a miracle-worker, Ithamar is titular patron of several churches. In approximately the year 1077 Ithamar's relics were enshrined at Rochester.
15th – St Edburgh of Winchester. Daughter of Edward the Elder and granddaughter of Alfred the Great, she was placed as a child in the convent which King Alfred's widow had founded in Winchester in England. Her shrine in Pershore in Worcestershire was famous for its miracles.
17th – St Botolph of Iken, an especially important Saint for New England, where so many East Anglians settled. Boston is named after him. St. Botolph (also Botulf) is one of the most venerated saints in Eastern England and one of the greatest English missionaries in the 7th century. This wonderful saint has for many centuries been venerated not only throughout England but also in many other European countries. Over 70 ancient churches in England are dedicated to St. Botolph and this fact indicates a special love of the English faithful for the saint. The rest of the account of St Botolph is here:
20th – St Alban, the first martyr of Britain.
c 303. Venerated as the Protomartyr of Britain. He was a citizen of Verulam, now in England, converted by a persecuted priest whom he had sheltered in his house. He was executed on Holmhurst Hill and on this site was built the monastery of St Alban's, by which name Verulam has since been known.
A much fuller account of this important Saint is here:
Service to the Saint:
23rd – St Audrey (Etheldreda) of Ely, the most venerated English woman saint. +679. Born in Suffolk in England, she was a daughter of King Anna of East Anglia and a sister of Sts Saxburgh, Ethelburgh and Withburgh. Twice married, she remained a virgin. She became a nun at Coldingham and then went to Ely where she became abbess. She lived a life of great holiness and simplicity. Her body remained incorrupt after death and her hand-relic survives in Ely to this day.
A much fuller account of her life and legacy are here:
A service to St Audrey:
5th – St Boniface. Born in Crediton in Devon in England, his baptismal name was Winfrid. At the age of five he entered the monastery in Exeter. In 718 he left England for Germany as a missionary and enlightened Bavaria, Hesse, Friesland, Thuringia and Franconia. In 723 Pope Gregory II consecrated him bishop with full jurisdiction over the Germanies. In 731 he became Metropolitan beyond the Rhine and in 747 Archbishop of Mainz. He established many monasteries and convents, including Fulda, where his relics are still venerated. He put these monasteries under the charge of English monks and nuns. He was also responsible for reorganising the corrupt Frankish Church. He was martyred in his old age, with fifty-two companions, ain Dokkum in Holland. He is known as the Apostle of Germany.
For a life of the Saint by a contemporary, visit this site:
A shorter account is here:
25th – St Adalbert. Born in Northumbria in England, he became a monk at Rathmelgisi in Ireland and accompanied St Willibrord as a deacon to Frisia. He worked around Egmont in Holland and became the patron-saint there.
1st – St Caprasius. + c 430. Born in France, he went to live as a hermit to the island of Lérins. He was followed by Sts Honoratus and Venantius. Together they went to the East to learn from the monasteries there. Venantius reposed in Greece; the other two returned to Lérins, where St Honoratus founded the monastery of Lérins. Later he became Bishop of Arles and was succeeded by Caprasius as abbot.
– Photinus (or Pothinus), Sanctius (Sanctus), Vetius, Epagathus, Maturus,
Ponticus, Biblis (Biblides), Attalus, Alexander, Blandina and Companions.
+177. Martyrs in Lyons in France under Marcus Aurelius. The details of their martyrdom are given in a letter written by the Churches of Vienne and Lyons to those in Asia. The writer may have been St Irenaeus. The martyrs were attacked by a pagan mob and later tried and condemned for their faith. Photinus, their leader, bishop of the city, an old man aged ninety, reposed in his dungeon. The others were thrown to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre at the public games.
The full account of their glorious martyrdom for Christ is given here:
3rd – St Clotilde. Born in Lyons in France and daughter of the King of Burgundy, she married Clovis, King of the Franks, and led her husband to Orthodox Christianity. She suffered much because of the quarrels of her three sons.
Much more about this good Queen:
3rd – St Genesius. Bishop of Clermont in Auvergne in France. He is described as learned, benevolent, surpassingly good, loved by old and young, rich and poor.
3rd – St Lifard. A prominent lawyer in Orleans in France, at the age of fifty he founded the monastery of Meung-sur-Loire.
4th – Sts Frontasius, Severinus, Severian, and Silanus. The Holy Martyrs Frontasius, Severinus, Severian, and Silanus suffered for Christ under the emperor Claudius (41-54). They had been sent to preach the Word of God in southern Gaul (now France) by Bishop Frontonus of Petragorium. The governor, a pagan named Squiridonus, arrested them and demanded that they renounce Christ. But the martyrs firmly confessed their faith, saying they had but one desire, to either live or die for Christ. The enraged Squiridonus ordered that the saints be taken out before the city, tied to pillars, and have nails thrust into their heads like a crown of thorns. After this they were beheaded. Tradition says that the holy martyrs continued to live by the power of God. They picked up their heads and went to the church of the Mother of God, where the holy bishop Frontonus, who had sent them preaching, was at prayer. Placing their heads at the feet of the bishop, they crossed themselves and died.
6th – St Claude. [Patron of the Diocess of St. Claude.] THE PROVINCE of eastern Burgundy, now called Franche Compté, received great lustre from this glorious saint. He was born at Salins about the year 603, and was both the model and the oracle of the clergy of Besançon, when, upon the death of Archbishop Gervaise, about the year 683, he was chosen to be his successor. Fearing the obligations of that charge, he fled and hid himself, but was discovered and compelled to take it upon him. During seven years he acquitted himself of the pastoral functions with the zeal and vigilance of an apostle; but finding then an opportunity of resigning his see, which out of humility and love of solitude he had always sought, he retired to the great monastery of St. Oyend or Ouyan on Mount Jura, and there took the monastic habit in 690. Violence was used to oblige him soon after to accept the abbatial dignity. Such was the sanctity of his life, and his zeal in conducting his monks in the paths of evangelical perfection, that he deserved to be compared to the Antonies and Pacomiuses, and his monastery to those of ancient Egypt. Manual labour, silence, prayer, reading of pious books, especially the Holy Bible, fasting, watching, humility, obedience, poverty, mortification, and the close union of their hearts with God, made up the whole occupation of these fervent servants of God, and were the rich patrimony which St. Claude left to his disciples.
8th – St Eustadiola. +690. Born in Bourges in France, as a widow she spent her fortune building the convent of Moyenmoutier, where she became a nun and abbess.
9th – St Vincent the Martyr of Agen. HE was a Levite, that is, probably, a deacon, and preached the faith in Gaul in the second or third century. Being seized by the Pagans at Agen, he was condemned by the governor to be laid flat on the floor with his body stretched out and fixed on the ground by four pointed stakes; in that posture, he was most cruelly scourged and afterwards beheaded. St. Gregory of Tours and Fortunatus of Poitiers testify, that in the sixth and seventh centuries many flocked from all parts of Europe to Agen in pilgrimages to his tomb.
10th – St Landericus (Landry) of Paris. Bishop of Paris in France from 650. He founded the first hospital - Hôtel-Dieu - in Paris.
10th – St Evermund (Ebremund). + c 720. Born in Bayeux in France, he married but with his wife's consent founded several monasteries and convents, including Fontenay-Louvet near Séez, where he became monk and abbot. His wife had entered a convent as a nun.
14th – Sts Rufinus and Valerius (+3rd century). THEY were overseers of the imperial taxes near the river Vesle, in the territory of Soissons. They were Christians, and their fasts and plentiful alms-deeds were proofs of their extraordinary piety. The emperor Maximian Herculius, having defeated the Bagaudæ near Paris, left the bloody persecutor, Rictius Varus, the præfectus-prætorii, in Gaul, with an order to employ all means in his power to extirpate, if possible, the Christian name. After much blood spilt at Rheims, he came to Soissons, and gave orders for Rufinus and Valerius to be brought before him. They had hid themselves in a wood, but were discovered, put on the rack, torn with scourges armed with leaden balls, and at length beheaded on the high road leading to Soissons.
14th – St Richard of St Vannes. Called 'Gratia Dei, 'Thanks be to God', from a phrase he often said. He became a monk at St Vannes in Verdun in the north of France.
16th – St Aurelian. He became Bishop of Arles in France in 546. He founded two monastic houses, one for monks and one for nuns, and drew up for each a rule, based on that of St Caesarius.
26th – St Barbolenus. Babolenus migrated to France, where he became a monk at Luxeuil under Saint Columbanus. Later he was appointed the first abbot of Saint Peter's near Paris, which was renamed Saint-Maur-des-Fosses when the relics of Saint Maurus where brought there from Anjou. He was helped by Saint Fursey in the erection of many churches and hospitals in the diocese of Paris. Together they served the whole diocese under Bishops Audebert and Saint Landry.
26th – St Maxentius (Maixent). Born in Agde in the south of France, he became a monk at a monastery in Poitou, now called after him Saint-Maixent, where he later became abbot. He was highly esteemed by the local population whom he protected from the invading barbarians.
27th – St John. Born in Brittany, he became a hermit in Chinon in the west of France. Here he became the spiritual father of Queen Radegund. He confined himself to a little cell and oratory, with an orchard over against the church, and declined all superfluous commerce with men. In his orchard, which he cultivated himself, he planted a few laurel-trees, which, says, St. Gregory, are now so grown, that the boughs being brought together they form an agreeable shade. Under these laurel trees he used to sit reading or writing. After his death he was interred in the same place, and many sick were restored to their health by his intercession with God, as the same author assures us. St. John flourished in the sixth century.
30th – St Martial. ST. GREGORY of Tours informs us, that he was one of the first apostles of France, whither he was sent from Rome with St. Dionysius of Paris, about the year 250. He was the first bishop of Limoges, and his name is famous in ancient Martyrologies. Great miracles have been wrought at his relics. See St. Gregory of Tours, who places him in the number of holy confessors, Hist. Franc. l. 1. c. 30. l. de Glor. Confess. c. 27.
3rd – St Lucian and those martyred with him. He was a Roman nobleman, a disciple of the Apostle Peter. Pope Clement sent him, along with St Dionysius the Areopagite, to preach the Gospel in Gaul, ordaining them both as bishops before they left. The Emperor Domitian later sent soldiers to Rome to seize Christian evangelists. They killed St Dionysius in Rome, then, hearing of the work of St Lucian, tracked him until found him in what is now Belgium. There he was beheaded along with his two fellow-missionaries, Maxianus the priest and Julian the deacon. A church was built over his relics.
8th – St Medard. c. +558. Born in Picardy in the north of France, he was ordained at the age of thirty-three. In 530 he became Bishop of Vermand, later Noyon and then Tournai in Belgium.
He is one of the most illustrious prelates of the church of France in the sixth century. Some parts of the diocess of Tournay lay benighted under the shades of idolatry. St. Medard visited them all, and though he was often threatened, and sometimes seized by the Pagans with a view of taking away his life, he overcame all obstacles, and by his zealous labours and miracles, the rays of the gospel dispelled the mists of idolatry throughout the whole extent of his diocesses. St. Medard, with incredible pains, brought over the most rude and wild people [of Flanders] from their barbarous manners, inspired them with the meek spirit of the gospel, and rendered them a civilized and Christian nation, abounding with examples of eminent virtue. After his blessed repose in the Lord, his body was buried in his own cathedral; but King Clotaire was so moved by many miracles wrought at his tomb, that he desired to translate his precious remains to Soissons, where he then chiefly resided. Having begun to build a stately church and abbey at Soissons, after the death of that holy man, [King Clotaire] caused his relics to be translated, thither from Noyon in a shrine covered with most precious stuffs, seeded with diamonds, and adorned with plates of gold; the king himself, the princes, his children, and all the chief lords of the court attending the procession: the king thought himself honoured by sometimes putting his royal shoulders under the burden. The body was laid at Crouy or Croiac, a village eastward of Soissons, near the gates, and a small church or oratory of wood was raised over it, till the church in Soissons could be finished. Clotaire dying in 561 at Compiegne, the structure of this abbey was completed by King Sigebert, one of his younger sons. It has been sometimes styled by popes the chief of all the Benedictin abbeys in France. Fortunatus and St. Gregory of Tours, who lived before the close of the same century, testify, that in their time the festival of St. Medard was celebrated in France with great solemnity. A small portion of his relics was procured for the parish church which bears his name in Paris. The whole account of St Medard is here (we have left out quite a bit, and his life is worth reading):
15th – St Landelinus. Born near Bapaume, Landelinus lived for a time as a robber, but he repented and became a monk. He was later ordained and founded monasteries in France and Belgium, at Lobbes in 654, Aulne (656), Walers (657) and Crespin (Crepy) in 670.
8th – St Clou. Son of St Arnulf, Bishop of Metz. He too became Bishop of Metz, succeeding his father in 656 and was bishop for forty years.
His virtues distinguished him both in high government office and as a bishop:
22nd – St Paulinus, Bishop of Nola. c 354-431. Pontius Meropius Amcius Paulinus was born in Bordeaux in France, the son of a Roman patrician. Appointed prefect of Rome, after the death of his only child in 390 he left the world and went to Spain, where the people of Barcelona forced him to accept the priesthood. Finally he settled as a hermit near Nola in Campania in Italy and there the people chose him as their bishop (400). He proved to be one of the finest bishops of his age. He suffer greatly during the invasion of Campania by the Goths under Alaric. Most of his writings survive.
A fuller account of this extraordinary Saint is here:
This is just a little from the opening:
‘In his pedigree, both by the father and mother’s side, was displayed a long line of illustrious senators, and his own father, Pontius Paulinus, was præfectus prætorio in Gaul, the first magistrate in the western empire. But the honours and triumphs of his ancestors were eclipsed by his superior virtues, which rendered him the admiration of his own and all succeeding ages, and excited St. Martin, St. Sulpicius Severus, St. Ambrose, St. Austin, St. Jerom, St. Eucherius, St. Gregory of Tours, Apollinaris, Cassiodorus, and others to vie with each other in celebrating his heroic actions, and to become the publishers of his praises to the corners of the earth. . . .’
Germany and many other places, East and West:
1st – St Simeon of Trier. +1035. Born in Syracuse in Sicily and educated in Constantinople, Simeon lived as a hermit by the Jordan. He became a monk in Bethlehem and later lived near Mt Sinai as a hermit, first in a small cave near the Red Sea and then on the summit of Mt Sinai. From there he was sent by the Abbot of Mt Sinai to seek alms in Normandy. Eventually he settled in Trier in Germany, one of the last great figures linking the Orthodox West with the Orthodox East.
2nd – St Nicholas the Pilgrim. +1094. A Greek Fool-for-Christ who went to the south of Italy and wandered through Apulia carrying a cross, crying 'Kyrie eleison', calling for repentance. Crowds of people, especially children, followed him repeating the same cry. He was taken for a simpleton but after his repose in Trani, aged nineteen, so many miracles took place at his tomb that he was recognised as a saint
3rd – St Kevin of Glendalough. Born in Leinster, he was a disciple of St Petroc who then lived in Ireland. He is remembered as the founder of Glendalough, one of the most famous names in Irish history. St Kevin is one of the patron saints of Dublin.
6th – St Jarlath. First Bishop of Tuam in Connaught in Ireland, where he established a monastery of which St Brendan of Clonard and St Colman of Cloyne were monks.
More is at
14th – St Nennus. HE was of the family of the O’Birns. In 654 he succeeded St. Endeus upon his demise in the government of the great monastery of the isles of Arran, which formerly were two, before the name of Bute was given to one of them. The festival of St. Nenus has been always kept with great solemnity in many parts of Ireland.
17th – St Molling. Born in Wexford in Ireland, he became a monk at Glendalough and afterwards Abbot of Aghacainid (Teghmolin, St Mullins). Later he succeeded St Aidan as Bishop of Ferns.
Giraldus Cambrensis calls SS. Patrick, Columb, Moling, and Braccan the four prophets of Ireland, and says their books were extant in his time in the Irish language.
In addition to his eminent sanctity, manifested by the gifts of prophecy and miracles, this saint is celebrated in Ireland for the abundant Gaelic poetry he wrote--more than any other saint except Columba.
4th – St Breaca. A disciple of St Brigid who crossed from Ireland to Cornwall (c 460) with several companions. There is evidence that the holy woman travelled all over Cornwall and her missionary endeavors were successful despite the fierce pagan opposition in some districts. St. Breaga was held in great veneration after her death for many centuries, and her relics were famous for working miracles. In the Middle Ages St. Breaga was venerated across Cornwall and Devon, including in the Diocese of Exeter, and an annual fair in honor of this saint was held at Breage on the third Monday of June.
2nd – St Adalgis. Adalgis, an Irish monk and disciple of Saint Fursey (f.d.January 16), holds a place in the folklore of northern and eastern France. He settled with his brothers Saints Gobain (f.d. June 20) and Etto (f.d. July 10) in the forest of Thierache and became one of the apostles of Picardy. Venturing forth from their little cell, known as Cellula, they evangelized in the area around Arras and Laon. The village of Saint-Algis grew up around the small monastery he founded.
14th – St Psalmodius. HE was of an illustrious Irish or Scottish family, and renounced the world to form himself in the school of virtue, under the discipline of St. Brendan. By the advice of that holy man, he passed into France, and addressed himself to St. Leontius, bishop of Saintes, about the year 630, under whose spiritual direction he made still higher progress in Christian perfection. The latter part of his life he spent in a little cell in the forest of Grie, in the territory of Limoges. His relics are kept in a silver shrine in the collegiate church of St. Agapetus, in Languedoc.
9th – St Columba of Iona. c 521-597. Born in Garton in Co. Donegal, he became a monk at Glasnevin and was ordained priest. The rest of his life was spent founding monasteries and churches, in Ireland and Scotland. On Whitsun Eve 563 he landed with twelve companions on the island of Iona (Holy Island), where he established the most famous of his monasteries, which became vital in the conversion of the Picts, the Scots and the Northern English. His biographer and successor, Adamnan, wrote that: 'He had the face of an angel, was of an excellent nature, polished in speech, holy in deed, great in counsel … loving to all'. His relics were transferred to Dunkeld in 849 and his 'Cathach', a copy of the Psalms in his own hand, still exists.
Longer accounts of this wonderful Saint’s life are here:
Hymns to the Saint:
The cell of St Columba has likely been found:
15th – Sts Vitus (Guy), Modestus and Crescentia. Fleeing from Sicily, they were all martyred in Italy under Diocletian. St Vitus is called on in prayer against epilepsy and the nervous disorder called St Vitus's dance.
19th – Sts Gervasius and Protasius (+2nd century), first martyrs of Milan. The finding of their holy relics occurred in a miraculous way, and many miracles occurred as they were transferred into a church built by St Ambrose. These martyrs have been honored throughout the West for centuries.
16th – Sts Ferreolus and Ferrutio. +c 212. Ferreolus, a priest, and Ferrutio, a deacon, were brothers from Asia Minor. They were sent by St Irenaeus of Lyons to enlighten the area round Besançon in France, where they preached for thirty years and were finally martyred.
2nd – Sts Marcellinus and Peter. MARCELLINUS was a priest, and Peter an exorcist, both of the clergy of Rome, and eminent for their zeal and piety. In the persecution of Dioclesian, about the year 304, they were condemned to die for their faith: and by a secret order of the judge, the executioner led them into a forest, that the holy men being executed privately, no Christians might be acquainted with the place of their sepulchre. When he had brought them into a thicket overgrown with thorns and briers, three miles from Rome, he declared to them his sanguinary commission. The saints cheerfully fell to work themselves, grubbed up the brambles, and cleared a spot fit for their sepulchre. After they were beheaded, their bodies were buried in the same place. Some time after, Lucilla, a pious lady, being informed by revelation, and assisted by another devout lady named Firmina, took up their bodies, and honourably interred them near that of St. Tiburtius on the Lavican road in the Catacombs.
6th – Sts Archelais, Thekla, and Susannah, virgin martyrs. The Holy Virgin Martyrs Archelais, Thekla and Susanna sought salvation in a small monastery near Rome. During the persecution by Diocletian (284-305), the holy virgins dressed themselves in men’s clothing, cut their hair and went to the Italian province of Campania. Settling in a remote area, they continued to pursue an ascetical life of fasting and prayer. They received the gift of healing from God, and treated the local inhabitants, converting many pagans to Christ. When the governor of the district heard about them, he had them brought to Salerno. He threatened Saint Archelais with torture and death if she did not offer sacrifice to idols. The rest is at
7th – St Marcellinus, bishop of Rome. He offered sacrifice to the heathen gods in a moment of weakness during the Roman persecutions, but repented and suffered a glorious martyrdom. His story is told here:
9th – Martyrs Primus and Felicianus. THESE two martyrs were brothers, and lived in Rome many years, mutually encouraging each other in the practice of all good works. They seemed to possess nothing but for the poor, and often spent both nights and days with the confessors in their dungeons, or at the places of their torments and execution. Some they encouraged to perseverance, others who had fallen they raised again, and they made themselves the servants of all in Christ that all might attain to salvation through him. Though their zeal was most remarkable, they had escaped the dangers of many bloody persecutions, and were grown old in the heroic exercises of virtue when it pleased God to crown their labours with a glorious martyrdom. The Pagans raised so great an outcry against them, that by a joint order of Dioclesian and Maximian Herculius they were both apprehended and put in chains. This must have happened in 286, soon after Maximian was associated in the empire, for the two emperors never seem to have met together in Rome after that year. These princes commanded them to be inhumanly scourged, and then sent them to Promotus at Nomentum, a town twelve miles from Rome, to be further chastised, as avowed enemies to the gods. This judge caused them to be cruelly tortured, first both together, afterwards separate from each other; and sought by various arts to cheat them into compliance, as by telling Primus that Felician had offered sacrifice. But the grace of God strengthened them, and they were at length both beheaded on the 9th of June. Their names occur on this day in the ancient western calendars, and in the Sacramentary of St. Gregory the Great. Their bodies were thrown into the fields; but taken up by the Christians, and interred near Nomentum. They were removed to Rome by Pope Theodorus, about the year 645, and deposited in the church of St. Stephen on Mount Celio.
18th – Sts Marcus and Marcellianus. Twin brothers and deacons who suffered in Rome under Maximian Herculeus.
Their acts of martyrdom are described here:
22nd – St Flavius Clemens. + c 96. Brother of the Emperor Vespasian and uncle of Titus and Domitian, whose niece, Flavia Domitilla, he married. In the year 95 he held consular office together with Domitian. The following year Domitian had him beheaded for the Orthodox Faith.
24th – The First Christian Martyrs of Rome under Nero.
Old Rome/New Rome-Constantinople:
27th – St Sampson the Hospitable. Saint Sampson (Σαμψών) was born in Rome, the son of wealthy, but devout and virtuous parents. He received an excellent education, studying philosophy and medicine, among other subjects. From his earliest childhood, he lived an exemplary Christian life. After the death of his parents he transformed the family estate into a clinic for the sick. Word of his healing skills spread, and so many people came to him that he had to hire a staff to care for the increasing numbers of people who sought his help. When he had an adequate staff, he donated all of his wealth to the clinic, and was content to live in poverty (Luke 12:33-34). He later moved to Constantinople and became a great miracle worker, healing many illnesses, and also showing deep concern for the poor. The rest of the account is here:
8th – St Melania the Elder. She was a wealthy and noble lady, born in Spain. Her husband and two of her children died and, seeing the vanity of worldly things, she travelled to Egypt to visit the monks at Nitria. She gave away most of her great wealth to the needy, and to Egyptian Christians being persecuted by the Arians. It is said that in three days she fed some 5,000 people. When the Orthodox in Egypt were exiled to Palestine, she went with them to Jerusalem, where she built a convent for virgins; she entered the convent herself, and reposed there in 410. Her grand-daughter, Melania the Younger, is commemorated on December 31.
5th – Abba Dorotheus. One of the great teachers of the Church. The Holy Abba Dorotheus was a disciple of Saint John the Prophet in the Palestinian monastery of Abba Seridus in the sixth century. In his youth he had zealously studied secular science. “When I sought worldly knowledge,” wrote the abba, “it was very difficult at first. When I would come to take a book, I was like a man about to touch a wild beast. When I forced myself to study, then God helped me, and diligence became such a habit that I did not know what I ate, what I drank, whether I had slept, nor whether I was warm or not. I was oblivious to all this while reading. I could not be dragged away by my friends for meals, nor would I even talk with them while I was absorbed in reading. When the philosopher let us go, I went home and washed, and ate whatever was prepared for me. After Vespers, I lit a lamp and continued reading until midnight.” — so absorbed was Abba Dorotheus in his studies at that time. He devoted himself to monastic activity with an even greater zeal. Upon entering the monastery, he says in his tenth Instruction, he decided that his study of virtue ought to be more fervent than his occupation with secular science had been. The rest of the story of this remarkable Saint is here:
15th – Holy Prophet Amos.
1st – St Justin the Philosopher and those martyred with him. Born in Nablus in Palestine of pagan parents, when he was about thirty he was converted by reading the Scriptures and witnessing the heroism of the martyrs. His Apologies for the Christian Religion and Dialogue with the Jew Trypho are among the most edifying of second-century writings. He was beheaded in Rome with other Christians.
14th – St Elisha the Prophet.
12th – St Ternan. An early missionary bishop among the Picts in Scotland. He is said to have lived in Abernethy and been consecrated by St Palladius. He founded the monastery of Culross in Fifeshire.
25th – St Moluog of Lismore, one of the most venerated saints of Scotland. + c 572. Born in Scotland, he went to Ireland and then returned to his native land as a missionary. His main work as a bishop was the enlightenment of the Hebrides. He died in Rossmarkie but his shrine was in Mortlach.
Much more about this wonderful Saint is here:
3rd – St Isaac. +852. Born in Cordoba in Spain, he became proficient in Arabic and a notary under the Moorish government. He resigned in order to become a monk at Tabanos, a few miles from Cordoba. During a public debate in Cordoba he denounced Mohammed and was martyred.
5th – St Sancho (Sanctius, Sancius). +851. Born in Albi in France, he was taken to Cordoba in Spain as a prisoner of war, educated at the Moorish court, and enrolled in the guards of the Emir. He was martyred by impalement for his refusal to embrace Islam.
7th - Peter, Wallabonsus, Sabinian, Wistremundus, Habentius and Jeremiah. +851. Peter was a priest; Wallabonsus, a deacon; Sabinian and Wistremundus, monks of St Zoilus in Cordoba in Spain; Habentius, a monk of St Christopher's; Jeremiah, a very old man, had founded the monastery of Tábanos, near Cordoba. For publicly denouncing Mohammed they were martyred under Abderrahman in Cordoba. Jeremiah was scourged to death; the others were beheaded.
14th – Sts Anastasius, Felix and Digna. +853. Anastasius was a deacon of the church of St Acisclus in Cordoba in Spain, who became a monk at Tábanos near the same town. Felix was born in Alcalá of a Berber family, became a monk in Asturias but joined the monastery at Tábanos, hoping for martyrdom. Digna belonged to the convent there. The three were among the first to confess Christ in Cordoba and were beheaded by order of the Caliph.
15th – St Benildis. A woman of Cordoba in Spain who was so moved by the courage of the priest Athanasius during his martyrdom at the hands of the Moors, that she braved death at the stake on the following day. Her ashes were thrown into the Guadalquivir.
20th – St Florentina (Florence). +c 636. Born in Carthagena in Spain, she was the only sister of Sts Leander, Fulgentius and Isidore. Losing her parents at an early age, she was placed under the guardianship of St Leander. She went to a convent where she later became abbess.
26th – St Pelagius (Pelayo). +c 912-925. A young boy from Asturias in Spain left as a hostage with the Moors in Cordoba. He was offered freedom and other rewards if he would accept Islam. These inducements were repeatedly put before him during the three years that he was kept in prison. On his stubborn refusal, he was tortured, which he endured for six hours before finally reposing. His relics were transferred to Leon in 967 and to Oviedo in 985.
28th – St Argymirus. +856. Born in Cabra near Cordoba in Spain, he held a high position among the Muslims of the city. He was deprived of his office on account of his faith and became a monk. Shortly afterwards he openly renounced Islam, confessed Christ and was beheaded.
– St Eurgain. The British llanau (churches) were
centres of not just spirituality, but also education. In fact, the very early
Roman Church's first bishop, Pope Linus, was half British and two of his
successors were also British. Linus was related to the Silurian
chieftain Caractacus (Caradog) who was taken to Rome in 51 AD after instigating
an uprising against the Romans. Surprisingly, Caradog was pardoned by Emperor
Claudius and he and his family were kept in Rome until 57 AD when they returned
to South Wales. According to Welsh historical records, Caradog's daughter,
Eurgain, brought twelve Christians with her, and as such, was the mother of the
British Church. In fact, she had been converted to Christianity whilst in Rome
by St Paul. Eurgain's sister was Gwladys (born 36 AD) - also known as Claudia
after she married Rufus Pudens Pudentius, a Roman citizen, in 53 AD. Claudia's
home, Pallatium Brittanicum (British Palace), in Rome was given to the young
couple as a dowry by Caradog and was also used for Christian worship. The
church of St Pudentiana now stands on the site. Pudens had vast estates in
Umbria and according to the Roman Martyrology, he brought 400 servants from his
estates to the Pallatium. The 'Roman Martyrologies' states that in 56
The children of Claudia were brought up at the feet of St
Paul. The second Pope, Clemenus Romanus (Clement) confirmed
that St Paul had resided at Claudia's home, the Pallatium Britannicum, and had
instructed her brother, Linus, the first Bishop of Rome or Pope. Linus is
mentioned by St Paul in his Epistle to Timothy, and was buried, according to
Bishop Irenaeus, alongside St Peter at the foot of the Vatican hill. Linus was
Caradog's grand-son and the son of Claudia. . . . The rest of the account
17th – St Herve. Blind from childhood, he was born in Wales but was taken when very young to Brittany. Though blind, he became Abbot of Plouvien, from where he moved with some of his monks to Lanhouarneau.
More about this unique Saint is here:
21st – St Maine (Mevenus, Mewan, Meen). HIS eminent virtues, his wonderful miracles, his monastery and his tomb famous for the devotion of the pilgrims who visit it, have rendered his name most illustrious among the saints in that country. In the legend of his life he is usually called Conard-Meen. He was born of a rich and noble family in the province of Gwent in South Wales, and is said to have been related by the mother to Saint Magloire and St. Samson: he was at least a disciple of the latter, whom he accompanied into Brittany in France, and was employed by him in preaching to the people, of which commission he acquitted himself with admirable zeal and success. . . . The rest is at
7th – St Meriadoc. Born in Wales, he became a hermit and later Bishop of Vannes in Brittany.
Meriadoc had been a rich man. Before becoming a hermit he gave all his money to poor clerics, distributing his lands to the needy. So great became his reputation for sanctity that he feared he would become vain and retired even further from the world. Instead of the silks and purple that he once wore, Meriadoc new dressed in rags, eating simple food, living in complete poverty. When his relatives tried to make him leave his new life and return to the world, he told the viscount of Rohan who had come with these relatives that he would be better engaged extirpating the thieves and robbers of the neighbourhood. The viscount took the saint at his word, and a great evil was removed from Brittany. Although Meriadoc was unanimously elected bishop of Vannes, he took the bishopric reluctantly. After his consecration he continued a life of abstinence and love for the poor. He died kissing his brethren and crying, Into your hands, ‘Lord, I commend my Spirit’.
6th – St Gudwall. St. Gudwall, Gunwall, or Gunvell, was born in Wales about A.D. 500. Being entirely devoted to religion, he collected eighty-eight monks in a little island called Plecit, being no more than a rock surrounded by water. For some reason however, he abandoned this establishment, and passed by sea into Cornwall; and from thence he went into Devonshire, where he betook himself to the most holy, perfect, and useful state of a solitary anchorite; at length however again emerging, he sailed into Brittany, and there succeeded St. Malo, as bishop of that see, although he is said even then to have dwelt in a solitary cell, and to have died there at a very advanced age. His relics have been widely distributed, and various places in France have been called by his name. St. Gudwal is known to have been a prominent figure in the Breton Church during the sixth century, from whence his relics were removed during a period of Viking activity. They were translated with due ceremony in 959 to the abbey of Mont Blandin, Ghent, where subsequently his feast was kept on 6 June.
17th – St Nectan of Hartland. Born in Wales, he is the patron saint of Hartland in Devon, now in England, where he was a hermit.
He became very dear to King Athelstan and to many other people and places in England:
4th – St Petroc. The Gospel was brought to Cornwall in the fifth century or even earlier, and monastic life began there in 475. At that time Cornwall became known as “the land of saints” or “the Thebaid of saints”. Indeed, between the fifth and seventh centuries Cornwall produced so many saints, ascetics, hermits, abbots, missionaries, holy bishops and kings, that nearly each town and village in the region has its own patron-saint. The most venerated saint in Cornwall, who is considered to be one of the main enlighteners of Dumnonia, is St. Petroc (Petrock/Peter), who together with the Archangel Michael and St. Piran, has for many years been the patron-saint of Cornwall. The full account of St Petroc is here:
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!