Saturday, February 29, 2020

Happy Feast! - for the Saints of February

Celebrating some of the saints from the South’s Christian inheritance of various lands:

Universal Church Feasts:

2nd – The Meeting of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple.


1st – Sts Perpetua and Felicity and those martyred with them at Carthage.  Vivia Perpetua was a young married woman of good social position. Felicity, also married, was a slave. The others were catechumens and Saturus perhaps their instructor. All were imprisoned together in Carthage in North Africa as a law of Septimus Severus forbade conversions to the faith. Secundulus died in prison: the others were thrown to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre on March 7. Their Acts were written by Saturus, one of the martyrs, and completed by an eyewitness.
A full account of their martyrdom by the early Church historian Tertullian:

3rd – St Celerinus, born in North Africa, he earned the title of martyr on account of the sufferings he endured under Decius during a visit to Rome. Freed, he returned to Carthage, where he was ordained deacon and later a church was dedicated to him.

4th – St Isidore of Pelusium, a great teacher of practical wisdom from the Holy Scriptures, much praised by other Church Fathers for that and for his holy life.  He also was a driving force behind the convening of the Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus.

11th - Saturninus, Dativus, Felix, Ampelius, Victoria and Companions, A group of forty-six martyrs in Albitina in North Africa. They were arrested at the liturgy and sent to Carthage for examination. Saturninus was a priest, and with him suffered his four children, Saturninus and Felix, readers, Mary, a virgin, and Hilarion, a young child. Dativus and another Felix were senators. Other names from this group which have come down to us are: Thelica, Ampelius, Emeritus, Rogatian and Victoria, a holy virgin of undaunted courage. The child Hilarion, when threatened by the magistrates while his companions were being tortured, replied: 'Yes, torture me too; anyhow, I am a Christian'. They all died in prison.
A fuller account is here:

11th – Martyrs of Northwest Africa, known as the 'Guardians of the Holy Scriptures'. They preferred martyrdom to giving up the sacred books to be burnt. They suffered under Diocletian.

20th – St Bessarion the Wonderworker, An Egyptian by birth, Abba Bessarion was initiated into the angelic life by Saint Anthony the Great. He later became a disciple of Saint Macarius, the founder of Scetis (19 Jan.), and then set out to lead the life of a wanderer, borne hither and thither by Providence like a bird by the wind. All his wealth lay in the Gospel, which he always had in his hand. Living in the open air, he patiently endured all weathers, untroubled by care for a dwelling or for clothing. Fortified by the strength of the faith, he thus remained untouched by all the passions of the flesh.  The rest of his remarkable life is told here:

24th – Sts Montanus, Lucius, Julian, Victoricus, Flavian, and Companions, a group of ten martyrs in North Africa, disciples of St Cyprian of Carthage, who suffered in that city under Valerian. The story of their imprisonment was told by themselves and that of their martyrdom by eyewitnesses.
A longer version is here, and is worth the time to read it:

27th – Martyrs Julian, Chronion, Besas, and Mekaro of Alexandria.  WHEN the persecution of Decius filled the city of Alexandria with dread and terror, many, especially among the nobles, the rich, and those who held any places in the state, sacrificed to idols, but pale and trembling, so as to show they had neither courage to die, nor heart to sacrifice. Several generous soldiers repaired the scandal given by these cowards. Julian who was grievously afflicted with the gout, and one of his servants, called Chronion, were set on the backs of camels, and cruelly scourged through the whole city, and at length were consumed by fire. Besas, a soldier, was beheaded.

28th – The Martyrs who died during a great plague that swept through Alexandria c. 261 caring for the sick and dead.

28th – St Proterius, Patriarch of Alexandria, and the others martyred with him.  For defying the Monophysite heretics, he was murdered on Holy Saturday in this wise:  The insolent heretics broke into this refuge and killed the Patriarch and six men who were with him. The fact that it was Holy Saturday and the Canon of Pascha was being sung did not stop them. In their insane hatred they tied a rope to the body of the murdered Patriarch, and dragged it through the streets. They beat and lacerated it, and finally they burned it, scattering the ashes to the wind.  But this did not stop God from glorifying his Saints:  Regarding the death of the Hieromartyr Proterius, four Thracian bishops of his time wrote: “We consider His Holiness Proterius to be in the ranks and choir of the saints, and we beseech God to be compassionate and merciful to us through his prayers.”


12th – St Modestus, Modestus was martyred in Carthage in North Africa and venerated as the patron-saint of Cartagena in Spain.


11th – St Blaise, bishop of Sebaste, a most courageous martyr and wonderworker.  He healed the ailments of men and beasts.  The cave he lived in for some time was like a return to Eden, where St Blaise’s holiness made the wild beasts tame.  His life is wonderful to read:
Godly shoot, unfading flower, / most fruitful branch of Christ the Vine, God-bearing Blaise, / fill with joy those who in faith honor your memory / as you unceasingly intercede for us all.

Asia Minor:

8th – St Theodore Stratalates, a general in the Roman army who converted many in Heraclea to Christianity (in this he is like many generals in the Confederate Army who held revival services in their camps).  For this he was brutally tortured, but God healed him of his wounds to convert even more people to the Orthodox Faith.  He received his crown by beheading and is considered the patron saint of soldiers.
Truly enlisted with the King of Heaven, / you became an outstanding general for Him, passion-bearer Theodore; / you armed yourself wisely with the weapons of faith / and conquered hordes of demons, revealing yourself as a victorious athlete. / Therefore, in faith we always call you blessed.

10th – St Charalampus and those martyred with him.  He was the pastor of Magnesia, who converted many to the Orthodox Faith, and through whom God was pleased to work a host of miracles during his tortures to bring even more into the Church.
You became a firm column in the Church of Christ, wise Charalampus; / A lamp of everlasting light to the world: / Well known to the world through your martyrdom, / You dispelled the dark night of idolatry. / Boldly intercede with Christ God that He may save our souls.

15th – St Onesimus, Apostle of the Seventy, in his youth was a servant of Philemon, a Christian of distinguished lineage, living in the city of Colossae, Phrygia. Guilty of an offense against his master and fearing punishment, Saint Onesimus fled to Rome, but as a runaway slave he wound up in prison. In prison he encountered the Apostle Paul, was enlightened by him, and was baptized.  He later became a bishop and preached in several places in Europe before his martyrdom in Italy.

17th – St Mariamne, sister of the Apostle Philip who helped him in his missionary work.

19th – Sts Archippus, Philemon, and Apphia, Apostles and Martyrs for Christ in Phrygia, fellow-workers with St Paul.

23rd – St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, a disciple of the Holy Apostle John and an illustrious martyr for Christ.
The eyewitness account of his martyrdom can be read here:


2nd – St Adalbald, born in Flanders in Belgium, he was a son or grandson of St Gertrude of Hamage. He married a lady named Rictrude, who is also venerated as a saint together with their four children, Maurontius, Clotsindis, Eusebia and Adalsindis. Adalbald was murdered by relatives of his wife who disapproved of the marriage and he was venerated as a martyr.


20th – St Eleutherius, born in Tournai in Belgium, he became bishop there in 486 and enlightened the pagan Franks who had settled nearby. He died from wounds inflicted by Arian heretics.

21st – St Pepin, Duke of Brabant, he was the husband of St Ida and the father of St Gertrude of Nivelles and St Begga. [Mayor of the Palace to the Kings Clotaire II.Dagobert, and Sigebert.]  HE was son of Carloman, the most powerful nobleman of Austrasia, who had been mayor to Clotaire I. son of Clovis I. He was grandfather to Pepin of Herstal, the most powerful mayor, whose son was Charles Martel, and grandson Pepin the Short, king of France, in whom begun the Carlovingian race. Pepin of Landen, upon the river Geete, in Brabant, was a lover of peace, the constant defender of truth and justice, a true friend to all servants of God, the terror of the wicked, the support of the weak, the father of his country, the zealous and humble defender of religion.


4th – St Rembert, he continued the missionary work of St Anschar among the Northern Europeans after his repose.


2nd – St Laurence of Canterbury, sent by St Gregory the Great to England, St Augustine sent him back to Rome to report on the English mission and to bring more help. The second Archbishop of Canterbury from 604, he suffered during the pagan reaction and thought of fleeing to France. He was rebuked by the Apostle Peter in a dream and in the end succeeded in converting Eadbald.

3rd – St Werburgh of Chester, daughter of St Ermenhild and King Wulfhere of Mercia. She became a nun at Ely under St Etheldred (Audrey) and later founded three convents. She reposed at Trentham but her body was transferred to Chester, of which she is the patron saint.  A great wonderworker as well; beloved by folks across England who used to make a yearly pilgrimage to venerate her incorrupt relics.

7th – St Richard of Hampshire, More than any other race, the Anglo Saxons are distinguished for the royal patronage bestowed upon the Christian Church, and for the way in which kings and their families have worked in the spreading of the gospel in their own lands and overseas. St. Richard and his family are outstanding examples.  A noble from the west of England and father of Sts Willibald, Winebald and Walburga. He reposed at Lucca on a pilgrimage to Rome.  God has honored him by working miracles through his holy relics.

8th – St Elfleda, daughter of Oswy, King of Northumbria in England. She was offered to God as a child at the convent of Hartlepool. She then went to Whitby with St Hilda and succeeded her mother Enfleda as abbess there. She was one of the most influential people of her time.

8th – St Cuthman of Steyning, one of the most venerated saints in southern England, probably lived in the late 7th to early 8th century. He is best remembered in the small town of Steyning in West Sussex. Sussex people have for many centuries venerated him for his meekness, humility, love, compassion, closeness to the people and many miracles.  Quite often he went out to preach the Word of God to the residents of neighboring settlements, where many miracles of healing took place due to his prayers. Soon the whole local population came to believe in Christ and began to live a devout life. The people loved Cuthman for his kindness, simple life, and sincere faith. And Cuthman loved everyone as well. He loved to pray and thank the Lord, loved his church, loved the people and took care of them, helping them by prayer.  St. Cuthman, carrying his mother on his cart, is depicted on the official emblem of the town of Steyning, to this day. The meek hermit Cuthman is now venerated as the patron saint of shepherds. He is also the patron of Steyning and West Sussex.  More at

10th – St Merewenna, the first abbess of Rumsey convent in Hampshire, when it had been restored. Under her direction the monastery prospered and attracted princesses, including Saint Elfleda by whom she lays in the abbey church.

11th – St Caedmon, a Northumbrian, who worked at the monastery of Whitby in England as a farm-labourer. He was the first Englishman to write Orthodox hymns. 
The miraculous way he became a song writer is recounted here:
He is called the Father of English Poetry. Some lines of his ‘Hymn of Creation’ are here:

13th – St Ermengild, The daughter of King Erconbert and Saint Sexburga (f.d. July 6), Erminilda was herself a queen, for she married Wulfhere, King of Mercia, and used her powerful influence to remove the remaining pockets of idolatry in a land which had been the last stronghold of Anglo-Saxon paganism. By her virtuous example and unwearied kindness she won the hearts of her subjects; she had great pity on all in distress, and throughout her life she bore her witness as a Christian queen.
Like her mother before her, the saintly Sexburga, the widowed Queen of Kent and abbess of Minster in Sheppey, she desired to be wholly devoted to God. On Wulfhere's death Erminilda joined her mother and succeeded her as abbess when her mother moved to Ely. These noble and saintly women by their selfless and devoted lives set before their people a high example of Christian service, and their gracious and ennobling influence had a far-reaching effect upon the period in which they lived. They are counted among the saints of England and take their place among the most faithful and distinguished followers of our Lord.

13th – St Huna of Ely, a monk-priest of Ely under Saint Etheldreda (f.d. June 23), whom he assisted in her last moments and buried. Soon afterwards, he retired to a hermitage at Huneya in the Fens, where he died. His relics were translated to Thorney Abbey, where they were venerated from at least the 11th century.

23rd – St Milburgh, the elder sister of St Mildred of Minster-in-Thanet in England and the second Abbess of Wenlock. Archbishop Theodore consecrated her as a nun. She had the gift of miracles and healing of the blind and lepers, as well as power over birds and the natural world.
A fuller account:

25th – St Ethelbert of Kent, first Christian King of the English.  His conversion is a momentous event in Southern history.

27th – St Alnoth, a cowherd attached to St Werburgh's monastery at Weedon in Northamptonshire in England. Later he lived as a hermit at Stowe near Bugbrooke and was martyred by robbers.

28th – St Oswald of York, born in England of a noble Danish family, he was the nephew of St Oda of Canterbury. He went to Fleury in France to learn from monastic life and later became Bishop of Worcester (961), identifying himself with St Dunstan and St Ethelwold in their efforts to revive monastic life in England. St Oswald founded monasteries at Ramsey and at Worcester. In 972 he became Archbishop of York. He reposed on his knees after washing the feet of twelve poor people, as was his daily practice.  A great miracle-worker as well.


25th – St Walburgh, sister of Sts Willibald and Winebald. She became a nun at Wimborne in Dorset in England with St Tetta and followed St Lioba to Germany. She reposed as Abbess of Heidenheim, from where her relics were translated to Eichstätt. Miraculous healings come from the oil which still flows from the rock on which her shrine is placed.  Her veneration is great in Germany and in surrounding countries.


23rd – St Boisil (Boswell) of Melrose, Abbot of Melrose in Scotland. Sts Cuthbert and Egbert were among his monks. Both admired him greatly, as did St Bede. His favourite reading was the Gospel of St John.


15th – St Sigfrid of Vaxjo, a priest and monk, probably at Glastonbury in England. He went to enlighten Sweden and was based in Vaxjo. One of his converts was King Olaf of Sweden.  He is honored as one of the Apostles of Sweden.

15th – Sts Winaman, Unaman, and Sunaman, monks and nephews of St Sigfrid whom they followed to Sweden. They were martyred by pagans.  More is said of them on the Orthodoxwiki page above about St Sigfrid.


1st – St Sigebert, Sigebert III was King of Austrasia, now eastern France. He lived piously but reposed at the age of twenty-five. He was revered as the founder of numerous hospitals, churches and monasteries, among them Stavelot and Malmédy in Belgium.

5th – St Avitus of Vienne, born in Auvergne in France, he was the brother of St Apollinaris, Bishop of Valence. Their father St Isychius, a Roman senator, had also been Bishop of Vienne. Avitus succeeded him. As a bishop he commanded the respect of his flock, both of the pagan Franks and the Arian Burgundians. He converted the Burgundian King, Sigismund. St Avitus was also a fine writer.

6th – St Vedast (Foster), he preached with St Remigius to convert the Franks. He was Bishop of Arras-Cambrai in the north of France for nearly forty years. He instructed King Clovis for baptism, built churches and cared for the poor.
Many were his miracles, and much was the fruit he harvested in his diocese from amongst the heathen:

13th – St Licinius, a fatherly bishop of Angers whose mildness and miracles brought many people into the Church:

17th – St Silvinus, a courtier who gave up his worldly life to preach the Gospel. He enlightened the area near Thérouanne in the north of France. After some forty years of unceasing work, during which he paid the ransoms of many slaves, he went to the monastery of Auchy-les-Moines, where he lived the few remaining years of his life as a monk.  His preaching and way of life saved many souls.

26th – St Victor of Arcis, a nobleman who became a clergyman, but spent the greater part of his time in prayer and thoughts about God.  His holiness shone forth in abundant miracles.

27th – St Galmier, [In Latin, Baldomerus.]  HE was a locksmith in Lyons, who had lived in great poverty and austerity, and spent all his leisure moments in holy reading and prayer. He gave his gains to the poor and sometimes even his tools. He repeated to every one: “In the name of the Lord let us always give thanks to God.” Vivencius, abbot of Saint Justus, (afterwards archbishop of Lyons,) admired his devotion in the church, but was more edified and astonished when he had conversed with him. He gave him a cell in his monastery, in which the servant of God sanctified himself still more and more by all the exercises of holy solitude, and by his penitential labour. He died a subdeacon about the year 650. His relics were very famous for miracles, and a celebrated pilgrimage, till they were scattered in the air by the Hugonots, in the sixteenth century.

28th – St Romanus.  A Gallo-Roman who at the age of thirty-five went to live as a hermit in the Jura mountains, where he was followed by his brother St Lupicinus. Many disciples soon gathered round the two brothers, who then founded the monasteries of Condat (later known as Saint-Oyend) and Leuconne, over which they ruled together, and the convent of La Beaume (later called St-Romain-de-la-Roche) where their sister was abbess.  The ascetic feats of these two brothers were a key part of the conversion of France to the Orthodox Faith.
The lives of Sts Romanus and Lupicinus are told in full in St Gregory of Tours’s Life of the Fathers:

29th – St John Cassian the Roman.  He is an important bridge who brought the depth of the spiritual riches of the African Desert Fathers to Western Europe.  Early in life he lived for years with the African Fathers.  Later in life, he settled in France and founded the monastery of St Victor in Marseilles, and then, at the request of his bishop, wrote the Cenobitic Institutions, in which he adapted the austere practices of the Egyptian Fathers to the conditions of life in Gaul. He went on to write his famous Conferences, which became the main channel by which the wisdom of the desert East was passed to the monastics of the West. Saint Benedict developed much of his Rule (which at one time governed most monasteries in the Latin world) from St John's Institutions and ordered that the Conferences be read in all monasteries. Saint John reposed in peace in 435, and has been venerated by the monks of the West as their Father and one of their wisest teachers. His relics are still venerated at the Abbey of St Victor in Marseilles.  His name ought to be highly praised in the South.


6th – St Relindis, a nun together with her sister Herlindis in Valenciennes, she was gifted in embroidery and painting. On her sister's repose, she became Abbess of Maaseik in Belgium.

9th – St Ansbert, from being Chancellor at the Court of Clotaire III he became a monk at Fontenelle in the north of France. He was chosen third abbot and in 683 became Bishop of Rouen.


20th – St Eucherius, born in Orleans in France, he became a monk at Jumièges near Rouen in about 714. In 721 he became Bishop of Orleans, opposing the theft of church lands by Charles Martel. For this he was exiled to Cologne in Germany in 737. Here he became very popular and so was sent to Liège in Belgium. He spent the rest of his life at the monastery of St Trond near Maastricht in Holland.


6th – St Amandus of Elnon, one of the great enlighteners of the West with the Gospel:
Born near Nantes in France, he lived as a hermit in Bourges for fifteen years. At the age of thirty-three he became a bishop and preached in Flanders in Belgium, Carinthia in Austria and among the Basques in Spain. He founded many monasteries in all these places, of which the best known is Elnon near Tournai, where he went in his old age and reposed aged over ninety.
For a longer account (which is much recommended to read):


24th – St Liudhard (Lethard), chaplain and bishop of Queen Bertha of Kent. He may have played an important part in the conversion of King Ethelbert, preparing for the conversion of Kent.


11th – St Benedict of Aniane, a Visigoth, by name Witiza, he was born in Languedoc in France. In 773 he became a monk at Saint-Seine near Dijon and in 779 founded a monastery in Languedoc by a stream called Aniane. The Emperor asked him to oversee monasteries in Languedoc, Provence and Gascony and eventually all those in French and Germany.


3rd – St Anschar, Born near Amiens in France, as a child he became a monk at Old Corbie in Picardy. He then went to New Corbie in Saxony, from where he was taken by King Harold of Denmark to enlighten the heathen Danes. He toiled there as Archbishop of Hamburg for thirteen years and his mission extended to Sweden, Norway and the north of Germany.
Links to more information about this great Apostle of Northern Europe are here:


16th – St Honestus, born in Nimes in France, he was ordained priest and sent to Spain by St Saturninus to preach the Gospel, which he did with success. He was martyred in Pampeluna.


2nd – Martyrs of Ebsdorf, in 880 a Christian army was caught in the ice and snow and was defeated by pagan Norsemen at Ebsdorf in the north of Germany. Among them, St Bruno and four bishops, eleven nobles and many others were slain and venerated as martyrs.


22nd – St John the Saxon, born in Saxony in Germany, he became a monk and was asked by King Alfred to restore monasticism in England after the Danish attacks. He became Abbot of Athelney.


25th – Martyr Victorinus and his six martyr companions, citizens of Corinth who finished their contest for the Orthodox Faith in Egypt.  They were brutally tortured for their faith in Christ; some of these were literally pounded to death in a giant mortar.  However, all of this only increased their fervor for Christ.


26th – St Porphyrius of Gaza, his parents were wealthy Greeks, but he left it all to become a monk in Egypt and eventually Bishop of Gaza in Palestine.  He worked miracles there and elsewhere and helped convert Gaza from a mostly pagan city to Christianity.  He was once blessed with a vision of the Lord Himself.


1st – St Brigid of Kildare, born in Faughart near Dundalk, she became a nun when still young and founded a convent in Kildare, the first in Ireland. Her life is associated with mercy and pity for the poor. A greatly venerated saint, she is the second patron-saint of Ireland after St Patrick.
O holy Brigid, you became sublime through your humility, / and flew on the wings of your longing for God. / When you arrived in the eternal City and appeared before your Heavenly Bridegroom, / wearing the crown of virginity, / you kept your promise / to remember those who have recourse to you. / You shower grace upon the world, and multiply miracles. / Intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
A longer account of her life:
Poems in her honor:

6th – St Mel, by tradition one of the four nephews of St Patrick (Mel, Melchu, Munis and Rioch), sons of Conis and Darerca, St Patrick's sister. They accompanied St Patrick to Ireland, St Mel becoming the first Bishop of Ardagh.

6th – St Mun, a nephew of St Patrick who consecrated him bishop. He ended his days as a hermit on an island in Lough Ree in Ireland.

8th – St Oncho, a pilgrim, poet, and guardian of holy relics and the Celtic tradition. While searching for memorials of the saints, he reposed at Clonmore monastery in Ireland and his body was enshrined there together with the relics which he had gathered.

11th – St Gobnata of Ballyvourney, born in Co.Clare at the end of the fifth, or the beginning of the sixth century. Later she fled to the Aran Islands to escape from some enemy. An angel appeared to her one day and told her to leave that place and to keep walking until she found nine white deer. She saw three white deer at Clondrohid, Co. Cork, and decided to follow them. Then at Ballymakeera, she saw six white deer. Finally, at Ballyvourney she came upon nine white deer grazing in a wood. There she was given land for a women’s monastery by her spiritual Father Saint Abban of Kilabban, Co. Laois (March 16), and he installed her as abbess. Excavations in 1951 proved that indeed there had been an early Christian settlement on the site. Saint Gobnata was renowned for her gift of healing, and there is a story of how she kept the plague from Ballyvourney. She is also famous for her skill as a bee-keeper and is regarded as a Patron Saint of bee keepers.

17th – Sts Loman and Fortchern, a nephew of St. Patrick, by a sister. He was at least a disciple of that saint, and first bishop of Trim, in Meath. Port-Loman, a town belonging to the Nugents in Westmeath, takes its name from him, and honours his memory with singular veneration. St. Forcherne, son of the lord of that territory, was baptized by St. Loman, succeeded him in the bishopric of Trim, and is honoured among the saints in Ireland.

17th – St Fintan of Clonenagh, a disciple of St Columba, he led the life of a hermit in Clonenagh (Ivy-Cave) in Leix in Ireland. Soon numerous disciples attached themselves to this ascetic and he became their abbot. Fintan's feast is celebrated throughout Ireland.

19th – St Odran, Saint Odran was the chariot-driver for Saint Patrick. He was assassinated in place of his master because he changed places with Patrick in the chariot when he knew that an ambush awaited them.
We salute thee, O Martyr Odran,
ever seeking to follow thee in service to Christ's holy Church
and praying for grace to shun the imperfect way of Ananias and Sophia,
that we may give all we have in selfless devotion
to Him Who holds all creation in His hands

20th – St Colgan, Colgan, surnamed 'the Wise' and 'the Chief Scribe of the Scots,' was abbot of Clonmacnoise in Offaly. He was a friend and teacher of Alcuin. Colgan is noted for the influence he exerted on the imperial schools in France, through his students.


2nd – St Columbanus of Ghent, Saint Columbanus was probably an Irish abbot who led his community to Belgium following the constant raids of the Norsemen. On February 2, 957, Columbanus became a hermit in the cemetery near the church of Saint-Bavo at Ghent, where he acquired a wide reputation for holiness. He is buried in the cathedral and is one of the patrons of Belgium.


3rd – St Ia, born in Ireland and the sister of St Ercus, she went to Cornwall with Sts Fingar, Piala and others and was martyred at the mouth of the River Hayle. The town of St Ives is called after her.


5th – St Indract, born in Ireland, on his return from a pilgrimage to Rome he was murdered by heathen with his sister St Dominica (Drusa) and others near Glastonbury in England. Their relics were enshrined there.


7th – St Tresain, he was a holy Irish priest, who having left his own country, preached with great zeal in France, and died curate of Mareuil upon the Marne, in the sixth century. His relics are held in great veneration at Avenay in Champagne.


6th – St Tanco, born in Ireland, he became Abbot of Amalbarich in Saxony and eventually Bishop of Werden in Germany. He was martyred by pagans whose savage customs he had denounced.

9th – St Alto, Alto was an Irish monk, who crossed over into Germany about 743 and settled as a hermit in a forest near Augsburg. King Pepin, hearing of Alto's holiness, gave him the land there on which Alto founded the monastery of Altomuenster in Upper Bavaria. Saint Boniface (f.d. June 5) dedicated its church in 750. In 1000 AD, according to tradition, Alto appeared in a vision to the king of Bavaria and asked him to restore the abbey, which the king did. Altomuenster, which has been a Brigittine abbey for five centuries, still survives.

10th – St Erluph, probably born in Ireland, he became Bishop of Werden in Germany and was martyred by pagans.


4th – St Modan, an Irishman who became a wonderful bishop in Scotland.  He was much loved in his diocese for his humility and other virtues.  This short account of his life is well worth the time to read:


17th – St Finan of Lindisfarne, born in Ireland, he became a monk at Iona in Scotland and succeeded St Aidan in the Northumbrian Church. With St Cedd and others he enlightened parts of the south of England.

18th – St Colman of Lindisfarne, born in Connaught in Ireland, he became a monk at Iona in Scotland. He was then chosen as third Abbot of Lindisfarne in England. He later returned to Ireland, founding a monastery on Innisboffin Island for Irish monks and a monastery for English monks (Mayo of the Saxons).  St Bede gives a glowing account of the church of Lindisfarne under Saint Colman's rule. He emphasises the example of frugality and simplicity of living set by the bishop and the complete devotion of his clergy to their proper business of imparting the word of God and ministering to their people. Alcuin also praised the monks of the Mayo of the Saxons for leaving their homeland in voluntary exile, where they shone by their learning among a “very barbarous nation”.


13th – St Modomnoc, the patron saint of bees.  St. Modomnoc descended from the royal family (or, to be more exact the clan) of O’Neil in Ulster, Northern Ireland. With all his heart young Modomnoc wished to serve God as priest, so he went to Wales to receive a good education and training in the great monastery of Mynyw, or Menevia (now St. Davids) under St. David, the patron-saint of Wales. Unlike other disciples of the great Abbot David who practiced manual labor, church singing and grew vegetables, the young ascetic Modomnoc had beekeeping as his obedience. Modomnoc loved this obedience very much and took great care of the little creatures that were in his charge. He looked after them, kept them in specially-made straw beehives in a sheltered corner of the large monastery garden where he grew the most beautiful flowers that were loved and appreciated by his bees.  Much more at


7th – St Juliana, a matron in Bologna in Italy whose piety and charity were praised by St Ambrose of Milan. Her husband left her to become a priest with her consent and she devoted herself to bringing up her four children and to the service of the Church and the poor.

7th – St Laurence, called Majoranus. Bishop of Siponto in Italy from 492, he built the church of St Michael on Mt Gargano.

10th – St Scholastica, sister of the great St Benedict. She became a nun and lived near Montecassino. St Gregory in his Dialogues (2,33), says that St Benedict saw her soul ascend to heaven in the semblance of a dove.

10th – St Soteris, ST. AMBROSE boasts of this saint as the greatest honour of his family. St. Soteris was descended from a long series of consuls and prefects: but her greatest glory was her despising, for the sake of Christ, birth, riches, great beauty, and all that the world prizes as valuable. She consecrated her virginity to God, and to avoid the dangers her beauty exposed her to, neglected it entirely, and trampled under her feet all the vain ornaments that might set it off. Her virtue prepared her to make a glorious confession of her faith before the persecutors, after the publication of the cruel edicts of Dioclesian and Maximian against the Christians. The impious judge commanded her face to be buffeted. She rejoiced to be treated as her divine Saviour had been, and to have her face all wounded and disfigured by the merciless blows of the executioners. The judge ordered her to be tortured many other ways, but without being able to draw from her one sigh or tear. At length, overcome by her constancy and patience, he commanded her head to be struck off.

20th – St Leo the Wonderworker, Saint Leo was bishop of the city of Catania, in Sicily. He was famed for his benevolence and charity, and his Christian love for the poor and the vagrant. The Lord granted him the gifts of healing various illnesses, and working miracles.  Full account:

New Rome/Constantinople:

6th – St Photios the Great, one of the most outstanding Church Fathers and defenders of the True Faith.

11th – St Theodora the Empress, Holy Empress Theodora was the wife of the Byzantine emperor Theophilus the Iconoclast (829-842), but she did not share in the heresy of her husband and secretly venerated the holy icons. After the death of her husband, Saint Theodora governed the realm because her son Michael was a minor. When Michael came of age, she was retired from governing and spent eight years in the monastery of Saint Euphrosyne, where she devoted herself to ascetic struggles, and reading books that nourished her soul. A copy of the Gospels, copied in her own hand, is known to exist. She died peacefully around the year 867.

25th – St Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople.  A senator, he became Patriarch against his will and convened a Council to defeat the Iconoclast heresy.  However, he was also very gentle and generous with those in need and a wonderworker.
You shone forth as a light of the Spirit, / adorned with an exemplary life and clothed in hierarchical vesture. / You stilled the turbulence of heresy / and became a pillar and foundation of the Church, / which praises your struggles, holy Father Tarasius.

North America:

27th – St Raphael of Brooklyn.  A Syrian by birth, he labored untiringly for the True Faith in North America (Dixieland included).  He was glorified among the Saints in 2000.  From his youth, Saint Raphael’s greatest joy was to serve the Church. When he came to America, he found his people scattered abroad, and he called them to unity. He never neglected his flock, but traveled throughout America, Canada, and Mexico in search of them so that he might care for them. He kept them from straying into strange pastures, and he protected them from spiritual harm. During twenty years of faithful ministry he nurtured them and helped them to grow. At the time of his death (+1915), the Syro-Arab Mission had thirty parishes with 25,000 faithful. He was also a scholar, and the author of several books. He wrote many, if not most, of the articles that appeared in The Word. He served his own Arabic community, and also reached out to Greeks and Russians, speaking to them in their own language. He became fluent in English, and encouraged its use in church services and educational programs. Saint Raphael came into contact with all sorts of people, and was a gentle father to them. He gained their love and respect by first loving them, and also through his charming personality and excellent character. He was always kind and merciful to others, but was strict with himself. He accomplished many good things during his earthly life, and now he joins the holy angels in offering ceaseless prayer and praise to God. Through the prayers of the holy Bishop Raphael, may we also be made worthy of the heavenly Kingdom. Amen.  The whole of his God-pleasing life may be read here:

Old Rome:

11th – St Gregory II, born in Rome, he was librarian and archivist of the Roman Church, when he was chosen Pope in 715. He is famous for encouraging the spreading of the Gospel among the Germanic peoples, to whom he sent St Boniface and St Corbinian. He restored several Italian monasteries, notably Montecassino. He also opposed Iconoclasm and checked the advancing Lombards.

14th – Two Saints and Martyrs named Valentine.  The first:  +269.  A priest and doctor in Rome martyred probably under Claudius the Goth and buried on the Flaminian Way.  In 350 a church was built over his tomb.  The Second:  + c 269.  A Bishop of Terni in Italy martyred under Claudius the Goth.

18th – St Leo the Great, Probably born in Tuscany in Italy, he became Bishop of Rome in 440. He fought against many heresies. His celebrated Tomos defined the Orthodox belief in the Two Natures and One Person of Christ. It was acclaimed as the teaching of the Orthodox Church at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The most famous event of his life was his meeting with Attila outside the gates of Rome which resulted in the salvation of the city in 452.
Closely bound up in these events is the life of another holy bishop, St Flavian of Constantinople, who suffered very greatly defending Orthodox teaching:

23rd – St Romana, a virgin born in Rome who reposed at the age of eighteen while living as an anchoress in a cave on the banks of the Tiber in Italy.


6th – Sts Barsanuphius the Great and John the Prophet.  Excellent spiritual guides for those seeking them. 
Their advice to their spiritual children is available to read:

8th – St Zechariah the Prophet, after completing his prophetic ministry he reposed in peace about the year 520 B.C.  His incorrupt relics were discovered in 415 A.D. and transferred to a church in Constantinople.


29th – St Barsanuphius. He was born a pagan in the Holy Land. As a young man he saw the truth of Christ, was baptized at the age of eighteen and immediately became a monk, given the name of John. Such was his reputation for virtue that in time he became Archbishop of Damascus. But, spurning worldly distinction and desiring only a solitary life of prayer, he secretly left Damascus and travelled to the Nitrian desert. He entered a monastery as the monk Barsanuphius, telling no one of his past. He joyfully accepted the obedience of water-carrier for the monastery, and lived out his life in humility, becoming a model of monastic life for his brethren. Only at his death was it revealed to the monks that their humble and obedient brother Barsanuphius had been an Archbishop. He reposed in peace in 457.


26th – St Photine, the Woman at the Well.  The Gospel of John (4:5-42) relates the encounter of Photine, the Samaritan woman, with Christ at Jacob's well. She repented after a very gentle and wise conversation with Christ and went and told her townspeople that she had met the Christ. For this, she is sometimes claimed as the first to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. She converted her five sisters (Ss. Anatole, Photo, Photis, Paraskeve, and Kyriake) and her two sons (St. Photinos, formerly known as Victor, and St. Joses). They all became tireless evangelists for Christ. After the Apostles Paul and Peter were martyred, St. Photine and her family left their homeland of Sychar, in Samaria, to travel to Carthage to proclaim the Gospel of Christ there. In 66 AD, under the persecutions of Emperor Nero, they all achieved the crown of martyrdom, along with the Duke St. Sebastianos, the close friend of St. Photine.


14th – St Conran, an apostle and holy bishop of the Orkney Islands (especially of Kirkwall). Tradition connects him with Saints Palladius and Sylvester.


10th – St Trumwin, appointed in 681 by St Theodore and King Edfrid as Bishop of the Southern Picts in Scotland, he set up his diocese at the monastery of Abercorn on the Firth of Forth. In 685 King Egfrid was killed by the Picts and St Trumwin and all his monks had to flee. He retired to Whitby in England and lived an exemplary monastic life there.


3rd – St Anatolius, a Scottish or Irish bishop who went as a pilgrim to Rome and settled as a hermit at Salins in the diocese of Besancon, Burgundy, about 1029. He lived the rest of life in a mountain retreat overlooking a favourite stopover of Irish pilgrims near the oratory of Saint Symphorian. At a later date a church was built in his honour at Salins. His biographer said that it would be impossible to enumerate all the miracles he worked in his lifetime.


5th – St Agatha of Palermo in Sicily.  A great virgin-martyr of the West who reposed during the Roman persecutions, but not before being tortured in mind and body.  She has miraculously saved Catania from the eruptions of Mt Etna a number of times.


12th – St Eulalia of Barcelona, THIS holy virgin was brought up in the faith, and in the practice of piety, at Barcelona in Spain. In the persecution of Dioclesian under the cruel governor Dacian, she suffered the rack, and being at last crucified on it, joined the crown of martyrdom with that of virginity. Her relics are preserved at Barcelona, by which city she is honoured as its special patroness. She is titular saint of many churches, and her name is given to several villages of Guienne and Languedoc, and other neighbouring provinces.

18th – St Helladius of Toledo, born in Toledo in Spain, he served at the court of the Visigothic Kings. He loved to visit the monastery of Agali (Agallia) near Toledo on the banks of the Tagus. Eventually he became a monk there and then abbot (605). In 615 he became Archbishop of Toledo.

19th – St Beatus, born in Asturias in Spain, he became a monk at Liebana and was famous for his firm stand against Adoptionism. When Adoptionism was condemned, the saint went to the monastery of Valcavado and wrote his famous Commentary on the Apocalypse.

27th – St Leander, Bishop of Seville and Apostle of Spain.  He was born to an aristocratic Roman family living in Spain: his father Severian was Duke of Cartagena. Saint Leander embraced monastic life as a young man in Seville, capital of the Visigoths, who had embraced Arianism and caused the Arian heresy to dominate throughout Spain. Leander became a leading figure in the struggle to restore his land to Orthodoxy, founding a school in Seville to promote the Orthodox faith. In 583 he travelled to Constantinople to seek the Emperor's support for the Spanish Orthodox; while there he met St Gregory the Great (the future Pope of Rome), with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. On his return to Spain, Leander was made Bishop of Seville.  One of the holy bishop's converts was Hermengild, one of the sons of the Arian king Leovigild. When Hermengild rose up against his father in the name of Orthodoxy, Leovigild launched a violent persecution of the Orthodox throughout his kingdom. (Leovigild had his son imprisoned, then executed on Pascha Day of 586.) By God's grace, at the very height of the persecution Leovigild fell mortally ill, repented, and embraced the true Faith; at his urging his son and successor Recared converted to Orthodoxy and convened the Third Council of Toledo in 589, at which he proclaimed that the Gothic and Suevic peoples were returning to the unity of the One Church. Saint Leander presided at the Council, and devoted the rest of his life to educating the (mostly) newly-Orthodox people of Spain in the Faith. It was he who established the early form of the Mozarabic Liturgy. He reposed in peace on March 13, 600.


1st – St Seiriol, a saint whose name is recalled by the island of Ynys-Seiriol (Puffin Island) off Anglesey in Wales where remains of his small monastery still exist.

4th – St Aldate, a Briton who lived in western England and became celebrated for his patriotism. He roused his countrymen to resist the heathen invaders. He was bishop of Gloucester. Many churches have his patronage.


9th – St Teilo, Probably born in Penally near Tenby in Wales. He was a disciple of St Dyfrig and a friend of Sts David and Samson. He founded Llandaff monastery (Landeio Fawr) in Dyfed where he was buried.  He cultivated the soil of men’s hearts as well as the soil of the earth.  Teilo performed numerous miracles in his lifetime (he raised one man from the dead, healed another one from the palsy and so on) which continued after his repose from his relics and holy wells associated with him. In the Middle Ages Teilo was loved and venerated as one of the greatest saints and Church figures in the country’s history. His veneration from Wales extended to Cornwall, Devon, Brittany and neighboring regions.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!