Celebrating some of the saints from the South’s Christian inheritance of various lands:
Universal Church Feasts:
40 Days after the Resurrection – The Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.
3rd – Sts Timothy and Maura of Egypt. These holy martyrs were husband and wife. During the persecutions of Diocletian, the governor Arian demanded that Timothy hand over his sacred books (these were rare at that time, and as a Reader he was entrusted with their care). Timothy refused, saying that he would no more do so than a father would hand over his own children to death. He was brutally tortured and, when he refused to yield, the governor summoned Timothy's wife Maura, thinking that she would urge her husband to bow to the idols, but instead she confessed herself to be a Christian too. She in turn was subjected to many tortures, and finally the couple were crucified facing one another, where they hung for nine days, encouraging one another in the Faith, before they met their blessed end. They had been married for less than a month when they received their crowns.
A longer version is at
4th – St Monica. Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo (June 15), was born in 322 in Tagaste, North Africa. Her parents were Christians, but little is known of her early life. Most of our information about her comes from Book IX of her son’s Confessions. The rest of her life is related here:
10th – St Isidora. A nun in Egypt who was a marvel of humility and holiness.
10th – St Thais. A wealthy and virtuous woman of Egypt who gives us a very good example of both the depravity we can fall into if we are not careful and the power of true and deep repentance when we turn away from sin.
15th – St Pachomius the Great, one of the founders of cenobitic monasticism.
16th – St Theodore the Sactified. A disciple of St Pachomius the Great of Egypt and a great father of monks and wonderworker in his own right.
18th – St Potamon. HE was bishop of Heraclea in Egypt. St. Athanasius says he was doubly a martyr, under the heathens and under the Arians. When Maximinus Daia, or Daza, persecuted the Christians in 310, he gloriously confessed the faith, for which one of his eyes was bored out, and probably the sinews of one ham were cut, as in the case of St. Paphnutius and others. The marks of his sufferings rendered him conspicuous in the council of Nice in 325, in which he exerted his zeal against the Arians. He accompanied and defended St. Athanasius in the council of Tyre in 335, as was related in the life of that saint on the 2nd of May. When the tyrant Gregory had usurped the patriarchal chair of St. Athanasius, he, with Philagrius, prefect of Egypt, an apostate to Arianism under Constantius, travelled over all Egypt, tormenting and banishing the Catholics [i.e., Orthodox]; and St. Potamon, for his distinguished zeal, was by their order beaten on his back with clubs so long as to be left for dead. However, by the help of medicines, he came to himself, but died shortly after a martyr for the divinity of the Son of God in 341, as St. Athanasius relates.
19th – St Caluf. The Holy Martyr Caluf the Egyptian lived during the third century, and was from the city of Thebes. For his confession of faith in Christ he was arrested and taken before the prefect of the city. He was suspended head downward, and received a cruel beating. The sufferer repeated, “I endure everything in expectation of the future life.” They then untied him and urged him to offer sacrifice to idols, but the saint did not consent. Finally, he was thrown into a fire and surrendered his soul to God. This occurred in the year 303.
20th – St Asclas. The Holy Martyr Asclas was a Christian, born in the city of Great Hermopolis (Middle Egypt). The saint suffered under Diocletian (284-305). Brought before the governor Arrian, Saint Asclas boldly confessed his faith and refused to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. By Arrian’s order, they began to torture the saint cruelly, they suspended him and raked him with iron instruments, so that pieces of his flesh fell to the ground. Saint Asclas quietly endured the torments. When one of those present said, “Look, he is already unconscious and near to death,” the holy martyr answered, “I have not lost consciousness, and unceasingly do I glorify my God and Savior.” The rest is at
22nd – Sts Castus and Emilius. Two martyrs who suffered in North Africa under Decius. At first they gave way under torture, but then repented. On being arrested a second time they were burnt to death. St. Austin, in a sermon which he preached on their festival, says, they fell like St. Peter by presuming on their own strength.
27th – Martyrs Theodora and Didymus. Theodora was a virgin condemned for her faith in Christ. Didymus was a soldier who saved her from defilement in a brothel. Both were then beheaded. A fuller account is here:
For a transcript of their trial before the Roman authorities:
31st – St Apollonios of Egypt. At the age of fifteen, the Saint retired to the inner desert of the Thebaïd (in Lower Egypt), along with his kinsman Abib. After fourteen years of the solitary life, Saint Apollonios was granted a Divine Revelation. A Voice said: “Apollonios, by your hands I will destroy the wisdom of the wise men of Egypt, and I will remove their knowledge, which is not true knowledge. You will also overthrow those who are reputed to be the wise men of Babel (the Babylon of Egypt), and all their service to devils (idolatry). Now go quickly to the desert, to the region which is near the habitations of men. There you shall beget for me a holy people, who will be exalted by their good works.” At the monastery he established he did just that. To read about his acts and teachings, mash this link:
31st – St Philosophus. The Roman authorities urged the youth to deny Christ, but he remained steadfast. After suffering various tortures, he was placed on a soft bed, bound hand and foot, and a harlot was put in the room with him to tempt him to sin. In order not to yield to sin, the saint bit off his tongue and spit it in the harlot’s face. She was so horrified that she fled from him. The executioners, seeing the martyr’s bravery and fearlessness, beheaded the saint with a sword.
22nd – St Julia. Born in Carthage in North Africa, she was sold into slavery by the Vandal conquerors. The ship on which she was being taken to Gaul stopped in Corsica. At that time heathen festival was being celebrated and when Julia refused to join in, she was immediately martyred by being nailed to a cross. She is the patron-saint of Corsica.
For a longer account of this blessed woman:
14th – St Serapion the Linen-wearer. A wandering evangelist and wonderworker from Egypt.
6th – St Job the Long-Suffering.
9th – St Christopher the Martyr and his martyr companions. The Holy Martyr Christopher lived during the third century and suffered about the year 250, during the reign of the emperor Decius (249-251). There are various accounts of his life and miracles, and he is widely venerated throughout the world. Saint Christopher is especially venerated in Italy, where people pray to him in times of contagious diseases. After many fierce torments they finally beheaded the martyr with a sword. This occurred in the year 250 in Lycia. By his miracles the holy Martyr Christopher converted as many as 50,000 pagans to Christ, as Saint Ambrose of Milan testifies. The relics of Saint Christopher were later transferred to Toledo (Spain), and still later to the abbey of Saint Denis in France. In Greece, many churches place the icon of Saint Christopher at the entrance so that people can see it as they enter and leave the building. There is a rhyming couplet in Greek which says, “When you see Christopher, you can walk in safety.” This reflects the belief that whoever gazes upon the icon of Saint Christopher will not meet with sudden or accidental death that day. The full account is here:
18th – St Theodotus the Martyr and the Seven Virgins martyred with him at Ancyra. St Theodotus was a married innkeeper who showed hospitality to the persecuted Christians of his day and who showed great piety towards the relics of the martyrs (St Tecusa, his aunt, and the six other Virgin-Martyrs commemorated today were among the latter which he had gathered for honorable burial). For such things he himself was also martyred.
29th – Sts Sisinius, Martyrius and Alexander. By tradition from Cappadocia, they were received by St Vigilius of Trent in Italy on the recommendation of St Ambrose. They were sent to enlighten the Tyrol in Austria and martyred by pagans.
24th – Sts Donatian and Rogatian. Two brothers of Nantes in Brittany martyred under Diocletian.
An account of their martyrdom is given here:
9th/11th – St Tudy. Saint Tudy was a hermit who founded monasteries and evangelized in Brittany, where place-names and dedications memorialise his activity or that of his disciples in areas such as Ile-Tudy on the mouth of the Odet (Finistere), near Quimper. He appears to have been a disciple of Saint Mawes (f.d. November 18) and fellow-worker with Saint Corentinus (f.d. December 12). There is also a parish in Cornwall named after him, which may indicate his presence there, too. He may also have been a companion of Saint Brioc (f.d. May 1).
16th – St Madern (+545). A hermit born in Cornwall, he later lived in Brittany. Many churches are dedicated to him, the most noted being at St Madern's Well in Cornwall, the reputed site of his hermitage and still a place of pilgrimage.
One of his miracles, from the 17th century, is described in detail here:
Pictures and other information about St Madern’s Well and Chapel:
1st – St Buriana. The holy virgin and anchoress Buriana (Buryan, Bruniec, Berriona, Beryon) who lived in the fifth and sixth centuries has a special place among the women saints of the Cornish land. According to a late tradition, she was born in Ireland and was the daughter of a local king. In her youth she sailed to Cornwall together with St. Piran, a co-patron of this land, to convert its people to Christ. In Cornwall the holy nun preached the Gospel, led a holy life and became famous for her miracles and repentance. More is at
11th – Sts Cyril and Methodius, Equals of the Apostles and Enlighteners of the Slavs.
6th – St Eadbert. A monk at Lindisfarne in England, who succeeded St Cuthbert as Bishop. He was remarkable for his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.
7th – St John of Beverley. St. John of Beverley (+721) is a great saint of the golden age of saints in England. St. John was born about 640 at Harpham in Yorkshire of a noble Saxon family. Harpham is a small village near the north-east coast of England, being 55 kilometres east of the City of York and 30 kilometres north of the town of Beverley. His pious parents must have been Christian since they ensured that he was educated in the Christian faith. St. Bede tells us that St. John undertook further studies with St Hilda at the great monastery she founded at Whitby on England’s northeast coast. St. John left Whitby and retired to a place of retreat near the River Tyne, spending his time in prayer and meditation. However, his love and compassion for the people led him to leave his solitude and go to preach and minister to the people of the area. It was from this time that miracles were worked by God through St. John. As part of his organisation of the education of young men, St. John founded Beverley Grammar School in the year 700. The school is the oldest state high school in England and has an excellent reputation, especially in practical subjects such as the sciences, so continuing the tradition begun by St. John. In later years, the holy Bishop found it necessary to retire and so he left York and founded a monastery at Beverley in 714. There is a tangible link with St. John, because his bishop’s throne still is situated in the Minster. For many centuries, this chair, called the Frid Stool or ‘peace chair’, was a place of sanctuary where those fleeing from the law could find safety. In his monastery, in 721, St. John ended his life in this world. The town of Beverley grew up around the monastery, and in the 13th century, the present magnificent church, Beverley Minster, was built. In the centuries which followed, the saint’s tomb at Beverley was a place of pilgrimage for kings and simple people. His monastery church was rebuilt and still stands as one of the most beautiful early churches in England. In 1548, King Henry VIII ordered the destruction of the shrine and the closing of the monastery. The saint’s relics were preserved and later buried simply under the floor of the church. God knows the help the faithful need in our times, and in 1997, an English convert to Holy Orthodoxy and his wife, finding the place where the saint’s relics were buried, went there to pray. As they did so, a beautiful fragrance arose from the spot where the sacred relics are buried. The couple’s spiritual father blessed them to tell what happened so that the faithful might take courage, knowing that the saints of Orthodox England acknowledge the veneration given to them. The full account of this wonderful St John is given at this page:
11th – St Fremund. A hermit who was martyred by the Danes. His relics were enshrined in Dunstable in England.
18th – St Elgiva. As the mother of Kings Edwy and Saint Edgar the Peaceful (f.d. July 8) and wife of King Edmund of Wessex (921-46), Saint Elgiva was the adviser and ennobler of the whole kingdom. On the death of her husband, Elgiva retired to the convent of Shaftesbury, where she ended her days and which is the centre of her cultus. William of Malmesbury praised her for her generosity, wise counsel, and the gift of prophecy. He also wrote about the miracles wrought at her intercession.
19th – St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury. Born near Glastonbury, he became a monk and abbot there. He was called to court as a counsellor but was forced into exile. He then spent a year in Ghent, a centre of monastic revival, but then he was recalled to England by King Edgar and became his main advisor. He was consecrated Bishop of Worcester in 957 and Archbishop of Canterbury in 961. Together with Sts Ethelwold of Winchester and Oswald of York, he restored monastic life in England. He reposed peacefully at Canterbury.
Hymns to the Saint:
The Christian history of Glastonbury is recounted here:
20th – St Ethelbert, King and Martyr. IN his childhood, after the hours of his studies, he stole away from his schoolfellows when they went to play, and spent most of the time allotted to recreation in prayer. He succeeded young his father Ethelred in his kingdom, which he ruled forty-four years, according to the maxims of a perfect saint. It was his usual saying, that the higher a station is in which a man is placed the more humble and benevolent he ought to be. And this was the rule of his own conduct. To secure the tranquillity of his kingdom by an heir, he was persuaded to marry; and having heard much of the virtue of Alfreda the daughter of Offa the powerful king of the Mercians, he thought of making her his royal consort. In this design he paid a visit to that king, who resided at Sutton-Wallis, on the river Lugg, four miles from the place where Hereford now stands. He was courteously entertained, but, after some days, treacherously murdered by Grimbert an officer of King Offa, through the contrivance of Queen Quendreda, that his kingdom might be added to their own. This happened in 793. He was privately buried at Maurdine or Marden; but his body being glorified by miracles it was soon after removed to a fair church at Fernley, that is, Heath of Fern, now called Hereford; which town had its rise from this church, which bore the name of St. Ethelbert when Wilfrid king of Mercia much enlarged and enriched the same.
25th – St Aldhelm. Born in Wessex in England, he became a monk at Malmesbury and taught there. In 675 he became abbot and in 705 first Bishop of Sherborne. Aldhelm was the first Englishman to attain distinction as a scholar.
A very talented man by nature, under the influence of other fathers among his contemporaries, Aldhelm became a prominent scholar, writer, poet, musician, singer, pastor, archpastor, teacher and builder of churches. Many historians have regarded Aldhelm as the greatest scholar in medieval Western Europe before Bede. Besides this, the saint always combined education with prayer and a strict ascetic life; that is why the Lord bestowed on him the ability to work miracles. The saint was very tall, cheerful, friendly and good-natured by character; though a learned man, he used to speak simply with illiterate people, which is why all came to love him in the following years. The saint took care of the ordinary people of Malmesbury and neighboring settlements, many of whom were uneducated. A very talented man, Aldhelm composed numerous songs, poems and hymns in his native Old English, and he mastered the Anglo-Saxon harp as well as other instruments (some state that he could play all the instruments available for that period). From time to time he would go to public places and sing secular songs in the vernacular. Crowds would gather around him and he would start singing spiritual songs in order to attract as many unchurched people to Christ as possible. Most often on Sundays after the church service he would often walk amid people or stand on the bridge in Malmesbury, playing the harp and performing his own hymns and songs in the manner of minstrels, and people would gather around him and listen, glorifying God.
For much more on St Aldhelm, visit
25th/27th – St Bede the Venerable. Born in Wearmouth in the north of England, as a child he entered the monastery of Sts Peter and Paul at Wearmouth-Jarrow, and spent his whole life there, 'always praying, always writing, always reading, always teaching'. He wrote many commentaries on the Scriptures. His work The History of the English Church and People earned him the title of the Father of English History. He reposed on Ascension Eve and his dying words were Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
A longer account of his life is at
26th – St Augustine of Canterbury, the Apostle of the English.
30th – St Walstan of Bawburgh. +1016. Born at Bawburgh in Norfolk in England, he spent his life as a farm labourer in Taverham and Costessey, being remarkable for his charity to all in need.
For a longer account:
8th – Sts Wiro, Otger, and Plechelm. While Wiro is believed to have been a native of Northumbria, he might possibly be from Ireland or Scotland--the record is not clear. (The Roman Martyrology styles him Wiro, bishop of Scotiae.) His biographer tells us that he was ordained a priest and with Plechelm (a fellow Northumbrian and priest) and Otger (a deacon) went to Rome, where Wiro and Plechelm were consecrated regionary bishops. Others say that Wiro was consecrated bishop of Utrecht by Saint Boniface. He joined with Boniface in his letter of correction to King Ethelbald of Mercia in 746. After doing missionary work in Northumbria, they went to Friesland in the Netherlands where they evangelized the inhabitants of the lower Meuse Valley under the direction of either Saint Swithbert or Saint Willibrord. They built a small church and monastery at Peterkloster (later Odilienberg) on land granted them by Pepin of Herstal. Later they were martyred by the Frieslanders while preaching the Gospel. The relics of Wiro and Plechelm were translated to the church they built at Roermond, but Otger's remained at their original burial place at Odilienberg. St Wiro is counted as one of the Apostles of Frisia.
1st – St Sigismund. A Vandal by origin and by character, he was King of the Burgundians in what is now eastern France. He repented for his sins by giving generously to the Church and the poor. He was murdered near the monastery of Agaunum in Switzerland which he had built and was then honoured as a martyr. God has worked many miracles through his holy relics.
5th – St Hilary of Arles. Born in Lorraine in France, he gained high office. His relative and friend, St Honoratus, invited him to the monastery founded in Lérins. Hilary received baptism and became a monk there. When St Honoratus became Bishop of Arles, he took Hilary as his secretary. St Hilary succeeded him as bishop and was famed for his zeal.
About his time as bishop, it is said of him, ‘In this high station the virtues which he had acquired in solitude shone with lustre to mankind. The higher he was exalted by his dignity, the more did he humble himself beneath all others in his heart. He reduced himself in everything to the strictest bounds of necessity: and he had only one coat for winter and summer. He applied himself diligently to meditation on the holy scriptures, and preaching the word of God, was assiduous in prayer, watching and fasting. He had his hours also for manual labour, with a view of gaining something for the poor; choosing such work as he could join with reading or prayer. He travelled always on foot, and had attained to so perfect an evenness of temper, that his mind seemed never ruffled with the least emotion of anger. He had an admirable talent in preaching.’ More is at
11th – St Majolus (Maieul). Born in Avignon in France, became a priest and then a monk at Cluny in order to avoid becoming a bishop. Later he became Abbot of Cluny, advising Popes and Emperors.
11th – St Mammertus. Archbishop of Vienne in France and a man of great piety and faith. He is famous for, among other things, instituting the Rogation Days.
11th – St Odilo. Of a noble family in Auvergne in France, he became a monk at the monastery of Cluny in about 990 and abbot in 994. Gentle and kind, he was known for his generosity to the poor.
11th – St Odo. Born in Maine in the west of France, he became a monk at Baume in 909 and Abbot of Cluny in 927. He freed Cluny from secular interference, paving the way for its rapid growth. He reposed in Tours at the tomb of St Martin, for whom he had great reverence.
12th – St Rictrudis. THIS mother of saints was a lady of the first quality in France, born in Gascony in 614, and married to Adalbald, one of the principal lords of the court of king Clovis. She had by him four children, who, copying after her example, and being happily educated in her maxims of perfect piety, deserved all to be honoured among the saints: namely, St. Mauront, abbot of Breüil; St. Clotsenda, abbess of Marchiennes; St. Eusebia, or Isoye, abbess of Hamay; and St. Adalsenda, a nun at Hamay. So great a benediction does the sanctity of parents draw upon a whole family. The rest is at
22nd – St Bobo. HE was a gentleman of Provence and a great soldier, the father of the poor, and protector of his country against the Saracens, whom he often defeated when they poured into Provence by sea from Spain and Africa. He afterwards led a penitential contemplative life for many years; and being on a pilgrimage to Rome, died at Voghera, near Pavia, in 985. His name is in great veneration in Provence, and his festival a holiday of precept in most cities in Lombardy.
23rd – St Desiderius, Bishop of Langres. THE GOOD shepherd is always ready, in imitation of his divine model, to lay down his life for his sheep. Such this holy pastor approved himself. When certain pagan barbarians ravaged that part of Gaul, St. Desiderius, accompanied with his clergy, went out to meet them; but was massacred with his followers, and fell a victim to save his flock.
24th – St Vincent of Lerins. Perhaps of a noble family in Gaul, in early life he followed a military career but abandoned it to become a monk at Lérins in southern France. He is best known as the writer of the Commonitorium, where he formulates the Orthodox principle that the only true teachings are those which have been held 'everywhere, always and by all the faithful' (Quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus). It is the Orthodox Church which interprets the Scriptures and is the source of the Faith.
For more about St Vincent and his book against heresies, visit this page:
To read his book, head over here:
28th – St Germanus of Paris, ‘the glory of the church of France in the sixth age’. Born near Autun in France, he became an abbot and later Bishop of Paris. He healed King Childebert I and converted him from an evil life. The King built the monastery of St Vincent for him, which is now known as Saint-Germain-des-Prés. St Germanus was given the title of 'father of the poor'.
For much more about this great preacher and wonderworker, head to this page:
28th – St William of Gellone (+812). After a military career, he built a monastery at Gellone in France not far from Aniane which he filled with monks. Later the monastery was named after him Saint-Guilhem-du-Desert.
5th – St Mauront. Born into a noble family, eldest son of Sts Adalbald and Rictrudis, he became a monk at Marchiennes in France. Eventually he founded a monastery at Breuil-sur-lys near Douai, of which he is the patron-saint.
23rd – St Guibertus. A noble from Lorraine in France, who after a military career lived the life of a hermit on his own estate of Gembloux in Brabant in Belgium. Eventually he turned it into a monastery before retiring to the monastery of Gorze in the east of France.
29th – St Maximinus of Trier. Born in Silly near Poitiers in France, he was a brother of St Maxentius of Poitiers. In 333 he became Bishop of Trier in Germany and was the valiant defender and host of St Athanasius of Alexandria and St Paul of Constantinople, exiled by the Arian Emperor. He was a prominent opponent of Arianism at the Councils of Milan, Sardica and Cologne and one of the most courageous bishops of his time. St. Athanasius stayed with him two years; and his works bear evidence to the indefatigable vigilance, heroic courage, and exemplary virtue of our saint, who was before that time famous for the gift of miracles. St. Maximinus, by protecting and harbouring saints, received himself the recompense of a saint.
20th – St Baudelius. 2nd (or 3rd) cent. Born in Orleans in France, he was married and worked zealously for Orthodoxy. He was martyred in Nîmes. Veneration for him spread throughout France and the north of Spain and some four hundred churches were dedicated to him.
3rd/4th – St Conleth of Kildare. A hermit in Old Connell on the River Liffey in Ireland. St Brigid came to know him and he became the spiritual father of her nuns at Kildare, of which he became the first bishop. He was a metalworker and very skilled as a copyist and illuminator.
He was known as one of the Three Chief Artisans of Ireland during his lifetime. More about St Conleth and the monastery of St Brigid in Kildare is here:
10th – St Comgall of Bangor. Born in Ulster in Ireland, he became a monk with St Fintan and founded the monastery of Bangor (Ben-Chor), where he was the spiritual father of St Columbanus and many other monks who later enlightened Central Europe. It seems that he lived for some time in Wales, Cornwall and Scotland.
Much more about this wonderful Saint is here:
14th – St Carthage the Younger. THIS eminent director of souls in the narrow paths of Christian perfection, was a native of Munster in Ireland. The famous monastery of Raithin or Ratheny in Westmeath was founded by him. He drew up a particular monastic rule, which is said to be still extant in very old Irish; but it was afterwards incorporated into that of the regular canons of St. Austin, when the abbey of Raithin adopted that institute, which, though it has been since mitigated, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, seems to have been scarcely less austere than that of La Trappe at present. St. Carthagh is said to have under his direction above eight hundred and sixty monks, who confined themselves to feed on vegetables, which they raised and cultivated with their own hands. In 631, or, according to the annals of Inisfallen, in 636, he was driven out of Raithin, which he had then governed forty years, by king Blathmac, and retired to the territory of Nandesi, or Desies, in Munster. Here, upon the banks of a river, he laid the foundation of a great monastery and school, which flourished exceedingly for many ages. The place before his coming thither was called Magh-Sgiath; it then took the name of Dunsginne, and afterwards Lismore, which name it has ever since retained. The city of Lismore, from the reputation of the sanctity and miracles of St. Carthagh, its first bishop, was esteemed in succeeding ages a holy city, which appellation its great school and monastery continued to maintain. Half of this city was an asylum into which no woman ever dared to enter, it being full of cells and holy monasteries. Thither holy men flocked from all parts of Ireland, many also from Britain, being desirous to remove from thence to Christ. St. Carthagh left an eminent share of his spirit to his disciples and successors, but died himself soon after he had erected his cathedral, on the 14th of May, in 637 or 638. He was buried in his own church at Lismore.
15th – St Colman Mc O'Laoighse. Also called Columbanus, he was a disciple of St Columba and St Fintan of Clonenagh. He founded and was abbot of a monastery in Oughaval in Ireland. He is still venerated at the nearby Orthodox church at Stradbally which is dedicated to him
16th – St Brendan the Voyager. One of the three most famous ascetics of Ireland. He was born in Kerry, becoming a disciple of St Finian at Clonard and of St Gildas at Llancarfan in Wales. He was a great founder of monasteries, especially of Clonfert. He is best known in history for his voyages and may have reached North America. St Brendan is venerated as the patron- saint of sailors.
The best source for St Brendan and his legacy (which shows up in some unexpected places, from Russia to South America!) is here:
22nd – St Conall. [Abbot of Ennis-Chavil [Inniscoel] in the County of Tyrconnel, in Ireland.] IN this province he is the most celebrated patron and titular saint of a most extensive parish, where he is honoured with extraordinary devotion; his feast is most famous, and the church and well which bear his name are visited by pilgrims.
15th – St Dymphna. Born in Ireland, she was forced to flee to Belgium accompanied by a priest, St Gerebern. Their relics were discovered at Gheel near Antwerp in the thirteenth century. Since then numberless cases of mental illness have been healed at their shrine.
We encourage folks to read the fuller account of their lives at this page; it is very edifying:
16th – St Gerebern. A priest from Ireland, he accompanied St Dympna to Belgium and shared in her martyrdom. He is patron-saint of a village in the Rhineland in Germany, where his relics are enshrined.
16th – St Maildulf. Died at Malmesbury Abbey, England, in 673. The Irish monk Saint Maildulf left his homeland to spread the Gospel in England. He settled in the lonely forest country that in those days lay in the northeast of Wiltshire. After living for a time as a hermit, he gathered the children of the neighbourhood for instruction. In the course of time his hermitage became a school, where he had Saint Aldhelm (f.d. May 25) among his disciples. The school and foundation flourished even after his death, acquiring fame as a community of scholars known as Malmesbury.
2nd – St Ultan. Born in Ireland, he was the brother of Sts Fursey and Foillan and a monk with them at Burgh Castle near Yarmouth in England. From there he went to Belgium, where he was welcomed by St Gertrude of Nivelles. He served as a priest in the convent there until he succeeded St Foillan as Abbot of Fosses and Peronne.
8th - St Gibrian. The Irish hermit Saint Gibrian was the eldest of nine (or eight) siblings, all of whom migrated to Brittany where they became saints. They include his brothers Tressan (Trasain, a priest), Helan(us) (priest), Germanus, Abran (seems to be Gibrian himself), Petran, and sisters Franca, Promptia, Possenna. Gibrian laboured near Rheims and was buried at a place now called after him Saint Gibrian. His cultus spread because of the many miracles reported at his tomb, especially the healing of blindness. His relics were translated to the basilica of Saint Remigius in Rheims.
31st – Apostle Hermas of the Seventy. He is mentioned in the Epistles of St Paul (Romans 16:14). He served as a bishop in the first-century Church, and died a martyr. His book, The Shepherd, is one of the earliest Christian writings outside of the New Testament, and was held in such esteem by the early Church that it is sometimes found in ancient collections of the Holy Scriptures.
8th – Apparition of the Holy Archangel Michael.
22nd – St Romanus. A monk who lived near Subiaco in Italy, discovered the hermitage of St Benedict, made him a monk and gave him his daily food.
31st – St Lupicinus. Bishop of Verona in Italy, described as 'the most holy, the best of bishops'.
11th – The Dedication of Constantinople, capital of the Christian Roman Empire.
22nd – The Holy Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council. The council was called by the Emperor Theodosius the Great, primarily to clarify the Church's teaching on the Holy Spirit. Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, had falsely taught that the Spirit is a creature rather than a Divine Person "Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified." Partly to correct this error, the council revised and expanded the text of the Nicene Creed into the form that we know today.
For more about this very important gathering of the Orthodox Church:
29th – The Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council. Persecution of Christians ceased during the fourth century, but heresies arose within the Church itself. One of the most pernicious of these heresies was Arianism. Arius, a priest of Alexandria, was a man of immense pride and ambition. In denying the divine nature of Jesus Christ and His equality with God the Father, Arius falsely taught that the Savior is not consubstantial with the Father, but is only a created being. Investigating these dissentions, the holy emperor Constantine (May 21) consulted Bishop Hosius of Cordova (Aug. 27), who assured him that the heresy of Arius was directed against the most fundamental dogma of Christ’s Church, and so he decided to convene an Ecumenical Council. In the year 325, 318 bishops representing Christian Churches from various lands gathered together at Nicea. Arius, with seventeen bishops among his supporters, remained arrogant, but his teaching was repudiated and he was excommunicated from the Church. In his speech, the holy deacon Athanasius conclusively refuted the blasphemous opinions of Arius. The heresiarch Arius is depicted in iconography sitting on Satan’s knees, or in the mouth of the Beast of the Deep (Rev. 13). For more on this momentous event:
7th – St Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Enlightener of North America. Saint Alexis visited many Uniate parishes, explaining the differences between Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and Uniatism, stressing that the true way to salvation is in Orthodoxy.
Like Josiah, “he behaved himself uprightly in the conversion of his people” (Sir 49:2). He was instrumental in the formation or return of seventeen parishes, planting a vineyard of Christ in America, and increasing its fruitful yield many times over. By 1909, the time of his blessed repose, many thousands of Carpatho-Russian and Galician Uniates had returned to Orthodoxy. This was a major event in the history of the North American Mission, which would continue to shape the future of Orthodoxy in this country for many generations to come. Any future growth or success may truly be regarded as the result of Father Toth’s apostolic labors. Much more may be read here:
10th – Sts Calepodius, Palmatius, Simplicius, Felix, Blanda and Companions. Martyrs in Rome under Alexander Severus. Calepodius, a priest, was the first to suffer; St Palmatius, of consular rank, died with his wife and children and forty-two members of his household. St Simplicius, a senator, was martyred with sixty-five members of his family and dependents. Sts Felix and Blanda were husband and wife.
12th – St Flavia Domitilla and those martyred with her. Flavia Domitilla was a great-niece of the Emperors Domitian and Titus and St Flavius Clemens. She became Orthodox. On refusing to marry a pagan she was exiled from Rome and martyred with her foster sisters, Euphrosyna and Theodora, in Terracina in Italy.
12th – Martyrs Nereus and Achilleus. Pretorian soldiers, baptised by tradition by the Apostle Peter, and exiled with Flavia Domitilla to Pontia and later to Terracina in Italy where they were beheaded.
13th – St Alexander. An 18-year-old soldier martyred for his faith in Christ. His kindness to his tormenters, his assistance from angels, and the touching relationship with his mother are among the noteworthy parts of his life.
16th – Blessed Musa the Maiden. A young girl honored in an exceptional way by the Mother of God.
19th – Sts Pudens and Pudentiana. SHE was sister of St. Praxedes, and daughter of Pudens a Roman senator, who was converted to the faith by the apostles SS. Peter and Paul. Her festival is mentioned in the Sacramentary of St. Gregory. Her church in Rome is esteemed the most ancient that is known in the world. It was in the first ages called the church of the Pastor, and is said to have been the palace of Pudens, in which St. Peter lodged and celebrated the divine mysteries.
20th – St Plautilla. The mother of Flavia Domitilla. By tradition she was baptised by the Apostle Peter and was present at the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul.
31st – St Petronilla. AMONG the disciples of the apostles in the primitive age of saints, this holy virgin shone as a bright star in the church. She lived when Christians were more solicitous to live well than to write much: they knew how to die for Christ; but did not compile long books or disputations, in which vanity has often a greater share than charity. Hence no particular account of her actions hath been transmitted down to us. But how eminent her sanctity was we may judge from the lustre by which it was distinguished among the apostles, prophets, and martyrs. Her name is the feminine and diminutive of Peter, and she is said to have been a daughter of the apostle St. Peter, which tradition is confirmed by certain writings quoted by the Manichees in the time of St. Austin, which affirm that St. Peter had a daughter whom he cured of a palsy. That St. Peter was married before his vocation to the apostleship we learn from the gospel; though St. Jerom and other ancient fathers testify that he lived in continency after his call. St. Clement of Alexandria assures us, that his wife attained to the glory of martyrdom; at which that apostle himself encouraged her, bidding her to remember our Lord. But it seems not certain whether St. Petronilla was more than the spiritual daughter of that apostle. She flourished at Rome, and was buried on the way to Ardea, where anciently a cemetery and a church bore her name; so famous that in it a station or place for the assembly of the city in public prayer, was established by Gregory III.
31st – Martyrs Cantius, Cantian, Cantianilla, and Protus. IF riches are loaded with the curses of the gospel, because to many they prove dangerous, and afford the strongest incentives to the passions, the greater is their crown who make them the means of their sanctification. This circumstance enhances the glory of these holy martyrs. They were of the most illustrious family of the Anicii in Rome, and near relations to the emperor Carinus, who was himself a favourer of the Christians in Gaul. They were brought up together in their own palace in Rome, under the care of a pious Christian preceptor named Protus, who instructed them in the faith, and in the most perfect maxims of our divine religion. The martyrs had left Aquileia in a chariot drawn by mules, but were stopped by an accident four miles out of the town at Aquæ-Gradatæ. Hither Sisinnius pursued them, carrying with him the order of the emperor. He entreated and conjured them to comply; but they answered, that nothing should make them unfaithful to God, declaring that all who should worship idols would be punished with everlasting fire. Wherefore they were all beheaded, together with Protus their preceptor, in the year 304. Zœlus, a priest, honourably embalmed and buried their bodies in the same monument. The place hath since changed its name of Aquæ-Gradatæ for that of San-Cantiano.
8th – St Arsenius the Great. Saint Arsenius the Great was born in the year 354 at Rome into a pious Christian family, which provided him a fine education and upbringing. He studied rhetoric and philosophy, and mastered the Latin and Greek languages. Saint Arsenius gave up philosophy and the vanity of worldly life, seeking instead the true wisdom praised by Saint James “pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits” (Jas. 3:17). Saint Arsenius entreated the Lord to show him the way to salvation. The Lord heard his prayer and one time he heard a voice telling him, “Arsenius, flee from men, and you shall be saved.” And then, removing his rich clothing and replacing it with old and tattered garments, he secretly left the palace, boarded a ship for Alexandria, and he made his way to Sketis, a monastery in the midst of the desert. Arriving at the church, he asked the priests to accept him into the monastic brotherhood, calling himself a wretched wanderer, though his very manner betrayed him as a cultivated man. The brethren led him to Abba John the Dwarf (November 9), famed for his holiness of life. He, wishing to test the newcomer’s humility, did not seat Arsenius with the monks for the trapeza meal. He threw him a piece of dry bread saying, “Eat if you wish.” Saint Arsenius got down on his hands and knees, and picked up the bread with his mouth. Then he crawled off into a corner and ate it. Seeing this, Elder John said, “He will be a great ascetic!” Then accepting Arsenius with love, he tonsured him into monasticism. The rest of his life may be read at
12th – St Pancras. A martyr buried in the cemetery of Calepodius in Rome. In the seventh century relics of the saint were sent to England and St Pancras became popular there.
Old Rome/New Rome (Constantinople):
21st – Equals of the Apostles, St Constantine the Great and his mother St Helen. As Emperor, St Constantine ended the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, established a Christian capital in Constantinople, built many churches, combated heresies, and so on. His mother St Helen uncovered the True Cross in Jerusalem and also did much to establish the Orthodox Faith throughout the Roman Empire. A fuller account is given here:
14th – St Hallvard. Of the royal family of Norway, he met his death while defending a woman who had appealed to him for help. He is the patron-saint of Oslo.
1st – Holy Prophet Jeremiah.
9th – Holy Prophet Isaiah.
10th – Holy Apostle Simon the Zealot.
22nd – St Melchizedek of Salem. He was a "priest of the most high God" (Genesis 14:18-20), who blessed our Forefather Abraham and "brought forth bread and wine," prefiguring the Holy Eucharist, centuries before the Law was given to Moses or Christ became incarnate. The Epistle to the Hebrews (ch. 7) reveals Melchizedek, the Priest-King, to be a type of Christ.
For much more on him and on what he foreshadows in Christianity:
4th Sunday after Pascha/Easter: The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman - St Photini and those martyred with her are honored on this day. The account of their martyrdom is a blessing to read:
7th – St Lydia. She is mentioned in chapter 16 of the Acts of the Apostles. A seller of purple cloth and a believer in God, she was baptized along with her household by St Paul, who stayed at her house during his missionary travels. She is the first recorded convert to Christianity in Europe.
A longer account:
Pictures of the bapistery built at the spot of St Lydia’s baptism:
18th – St Conval. Despite the efforts of Protestant reformers to eradicate the memory of Conval, archdeacon to Saint Kentigern (f.d. January 13), there is a church still in Glasgow dedicated to his memory. He was active throughout the region of Strathclyde, south of Glasgow, especially in Renfrewshire.
5th – St Diuma. Saint Diuma, a Scottish priest, was sent with Saint Cedd to convert Mercia and became its first bishop. His monastery, Saint Peter's, grew into the modern town of Peterborough.
15th – Sts Torquatus, Ctesiphon, Secundus, Indaletius, Caecilius, Hesychius and Euphrasius. 1st cent. According to tradition, they were disciples of the Apostles sent to enlighten Spain. They worked chiefly in the South, as follows: Torquatus in Guadix near Granada; Ctesiphon in Verga; Secundus in Avila; Indaletius in Urci near Almeria; Caecilius in Granada; Hesychius in Gibraltar; Euphrasius in Andujar. Most of them suffered martyrdom. The Mozarabic liturgy had a common feast for all seven.
29th – St John de Atares. + c 750. A hermit in the Pyrenees in Spain. He lived beneath a huge rock, where the monastery of St John de Ia Peña (of the Rock) was later built. This is famous in Spanish history, since the monastery became the cradle of the Kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon.
22nd – St Quiteria. Quiteria was the daughter of a Spanish Galician prince who fled to escape his demand that she marry and give up her Christianity. His followers found her at Aire, Gascony, and on his orders, beheaded her there. Quiteria is greatly venerated along the borders of France and Spain, especially in Spanish and French Navarre.
9th – St Beatus. An early hermit, venerated as the Apostle of Switzerland. His hermitage was at the place now called Beatenberg above the Lake of Thun.
More is at
13th – St Glykeria the Virgin-Martyr. A brave and wonderworking handmaid of the Lord.
1st – St Asaph. The future saint was born in the 6th century and was most likely a son of a Welsh king. Such great saints of the early Welsh Church as Deiniol of Bangor and Tysilio of Meifod were among his relatives. The activities of St. Asaph are associated with North Wales. According to late versions of the Life of St. Kentigern (also called Mungo) of Scotland, St. Asaph was tonsured a monk and became one of his closest disciples and helpers in the years when Kentigern lived in Wales. There is an account of one miracle which occurred in St. Asaph’s lifetime. Once, as a young man and disciple of Kentigern, he brought him burning coals in his clothes, suffering no harm at all from them. Seeing this miracle, Kentigern realized that Asaph was great in the eyes of God. With time Asaph became an evangelizer and labored much especially in Flintshire in Northeast Wales, where many places still keep his memory. When Kentigern left Wales and returned to Cumbria and Scotland (in around 573), Asaph returned to Llanelwy where he became his successor as abbot and the second bishop of the city. There is an opinion that at that time Asaph founded the first cathedral in Llanelwy. For the rest of his life, Asaph was a very active and exemplary bishop of Llanelwy. This saint of God reposed in about 600 or probably in the early 7th century. Veneration for St. Asaph was so strong that with time the town where his diocese was centered was renamed to St Asaph in his honor. More about this holy man is at
27th – St Melangell. Little known outside Wales and Great Britain, the secluded Welsh shrine of St. Melangel, deep in the Berwyn Mountains, is dedicated to a sixth-century Irishwoman, an anchorite who lived here for many years, alone and unknown. An early Christian treasure, it is the oldest existing Romanesque shrine in northern Europe. When the church was restored in the 1960’s, Melangell’s relics were discovered under the chapel floor, and now more than 10,000 pilgrims a year come to ask for her intercession. The rest of the story of St Melangell is here:
16th – St Carantoc. An abbot who founded the church of Llangranog in Wales. He is linked with Crantock in Cornwall and Carhampton in Somerset in England and was also venerated in Brittany.
22nd – St Helen. Saint Helen was a princess, the wife of Emperor Magnus Clemens Maximus who ruled Britain, Gaul, and Spain from 383 until 388, when he died at Aquileia while en route to Rome to obtain recognition. His wife accompanied him. Welsh tradition attributes to her the making of roads (Sarn Elen or Fford Elen) and leading a military expedition into North Wales. She was reputed to have born five children, including one named Constantine. Together with St Constantine (Gestynin) and another son St Peblig, she introduced into Wales the Celtic form of monasticism of St Martin of Tours. St. Gregory of Tours records that Elen and Macsen met St. Martin while they were in Gaul. She may be the patron of some of the Welsh churches bearing the name Helen and of Llanelen in West Gower.
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!