Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Happy Feast! - for the Saints of March

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

Universal Church Feasts:

25th – The Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the Archangel Gabriel.

26th – The Archangel Gabriel.


2nd – St Agathon of Egypt, a contemporary of Saint Macarius the Great (January 19) and a disciple of Saint Lot (October 22), he lived in asceticism in a skete in Egypt. He was distinguished by exceptional meekness, accounting himself the most sinful of men. When asked which was more important for salvation, bodily asceticism or interior vigilance, Saint Agathon said, “Man is like a tree. Bodily asceticism is the foliage, but interior vigilance is the fruit. Holy Scripture says that ‘every tree which does not bring forth good fruit shall be cut down and thrown into the fire’ (Mt.3:10). Therefore, we should focus our attention on the fruit. But a tree also needs the protection of its foliage, which is bodily asceticism.”

7th – St Paul the Simple, a disciple of St Anthony the Great and an esteemed Desert Father in his own right:  During the many years of ascetic exploits the Lord granted Saint Paul both discernment, and the power to cast out demons. When they brought a possessed youth to Saint Anthony, he guided the afflicted one to Saint Paul saying, “I cannot help the boy, for I have not received power over the Prince of the demons. Paul the Simple, however, does have this gift.” Saint Paul expelled the demon by his simplicity and humility. After living for many years, performing numerous miracles, he departed to the Lord. He is mentioned by Saint John, the Abbot of Sinai (Ladder 24:30): “The thrice-blessed Paul the Simple was a clear example for us, for he was the rule and type of blessed simplicity....”

8th – Sts Apollonius, Philemon, and their martyr companions.  Another illustration of the power of meekness prevailing over raw power.

12th – St Maximilian, hE was the son of Victor, a Christian soldier in Numidia. According to the law which obliged the sons of soldiers to serve in the army at the age of twenty-one years, his measure was taken, that he might be enrolled in the troops, and he was found to be of due stature, being five Roman feet and ten inches high, 1 that is, about five feet and a half of our measure. But Maximilian refused to receive the mark, which was a print on the hand, and a leaden collar about the neck, on which were engraved the name and motto of the emperor. His plea was, that in the Roman army superstitions, contrary to the Christian faith, were often practised, with which he could not defile his soul. Being condemned by the proconsul to lose his head, he met death with joy in the year 296.

15th – St Nicander. The Holy Martyr Nicander suffered in Egypt under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). He was a physician and during a time of persecution he visited Christians in prison. He assisted them, brought them food, and buried the dead. Once, he came to the place where the bodies of the martyrs were thrown to be eaten by wild beasts. Fearing to bury them by day, he waited for night and buried the bodies under cover of darkness. They discovered Saint Nicander and subjected him to terrible tortures: they skinned him alive and then beheaded him in 302.

16th – St Sabinus and his six fellow martyrs.  The Holy Martyr Sabinus was administrator of the Egyptian city of Hermopolis. During a persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), Saint Sabinus and some like-minded companions hid in a remote village. His hiding place was revealed by a certain ungrateful beggar who had brought him food. The saint used to feed him and help him with money, but the man betrayed him for two pieces of gold. Sabinus was seized with six other Christians, and after torture they were all drowned in the Nile in 287.

17th – A host of martyrs in Alexandria.  There deaths brought about the downfall of many heathen practices and temples all across Egypt.

21st – St Serapion the Great.  Saint Serapion lived in Egypt during the fourth century. He is known as “the Sindonite” because wore only rough linen clothing (sindona). From the time of his youth he lived like the birds of the air (Matthew 6:26). He had no shelter, and for several days at a time he would eat no food, because he did not have money to buy bread. When he saw a beggar shivering from the cold, he gave him his sindon, and was left half-naked. He proved to be a prime example of philanthropy and mercy, distributing his own wealth, and whatever his faithful visitors gave him for himself, to the poor. Then he became a monk and lived in the desert of Sketis. He was dedicated to spreading the Word of God in many different ways.
The rest is here:

22nd – St Deogratius.  He became Bishop of Carthage in North Africa in 456, fourteen years after the repose of his predecessor, St Quodvultdeus, who had been driven into exile by the Arian Vandals. He sold all that he or his church possessed in order to ransom prisoners of the Arian King.

22nd – St Octavian and his martyr companions.  Octavian, Archdeacon of the Church in Carthage in North Africa, was martyred with several thousand companions under the Arian Vandal King Hunneric.

23rd – Sts Victorian, Frumentius, and those martyred with them.  Victorian, a former pro-consul in Africa, and four wealthy merchants were martyred in Hadrumetum under King Hunneric for refusing to become Arians.
The details of their heroism, as well as some others martyred with them, are related here:

27th – St John the Clairvoyant of Egypt.  For his venerable life and teachings, visit this page:

29th – St Armogastes and those martyred with him.  Armogastes and Saturus, high officers at the palace, suffered in North Africa during the Arian persecution under the Vandal King Genseric. First they were tortured, then sent to hard labour in the mines, finally condemned to slavery as cowherds near Carthage. They were not put to death 'in case the Romans should venerate them as martyrs'.

Asia Minor:

9th – The 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste.  They were 40 soldiers who endured a night in a freezing lake and other tortures and then death by burning the next day because they would not worship the Roman idols.  Miracles attended their contest for the Orthodox Faith.
You abandoned all earthly armies, / cleaving to the heavenly Master, O Forty Martyrs of the Lord. / Having passed through fire and water, O Blessed Ones, / you have fittingly received heavenly glory and many crowns.


17th – St Gertrude of Nivelles.  SHE was daughter of Pepin, of Landen, mayor of the palace to the French Kings of Austrasia, and younger sister to St. Begga. She was born in 626. Her father’s virtuous palace was the sanctuary of her innocence, and the school of her tender piety. Being pressed to marry, she declared in presence of King Dagobert: “I have chosen for my spouse him, from whose eternal beauty all creatures derive their glory, whose riches are immense, and whom the angels adore.” The king admired her gravity and wisdom in so tender an age, and would not suffer her to be any more disturbed on that account. Her mother, the blessed Itta, employed St. Amand to direct the building of a great nunnery at Nivelle, in Brabant, for Gertrude. It is now a double chapter of canons and canonesses. The virgin was appointed abbess, when only twenty years of age. Her mother, the blessed Itta, lived five years under her conduct, and died in the twelfth year of her widowhood, in 652. She is honoured in the Belgic Martyrologies on the 8th of May. Gertrude governed her monastery with a prudence, zeal, and virtue that astonished the most advanced in years and experience. She loved extreme holy poverty in her person and house; but enriched the poor. By assiduous prayer and holy meditation she obtained wonderful lights from heaven. At thirty years of age, she resigned her abbey to her niece Wilfetrude, and spent the three years which she survived, in preparing her soul for her passage to eternity, which happened on the 17th of March, in 659. Her festival is a holyday at Louvain, and throughout the duchy of Brabant.


6th – St Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz in the east of France, he took part in several Councils. He introduced the Roman liturgy and singing into his diocese and the north of Europe in general.
Much more here:


5th – St Piran. This saint has been venerated as the patron-saint of tin miners and is one of the patrons of Cornwall together with the Archangel Michael1 and St. Petroc. He is one of the greatest saints of Cornwall and probably one of the earliest. St. Piran is listed among the most successful missionaries who came to Cornwall from Ireland and Wales in the fifth and sixth centuries and enlightened the area. For many years St. Piran lived as a hermit near the present-day town of Padstow. He performed so many miracles and brought so many people to know Christ and the joy of the Gospel that he was loved and venerated by everyone already in his lifetime.


9th – St Constantine.  This saint is mentioned in the Genealogies of the Kings of Dumnonia, by the Annals of Wales and the Ulster Annals (Ireland), in the eleventh-century Life of St. David of Wales and in other later sources. St. Constantine lived in the sixth century. He was a king or prince of Cornwall, a brother of St. Illtyd and in his youth led an impious life, but with time repented of all his sins and embraced the Christian faith. It was St. Petroc who helped him in this path. The Life of St. Petroc relates that Petroc converted him to the true faith when Constantine was chasing a deer—this scene from his Life was subsequently depicted in art. Thus, Constantine firmly decided to dedicate the rest of his life to the service of God: to spreading the Gospel and founding churches. First he studied at Menevia (Mynyw) Monastery in Wales under St. David, the patron-saint of this country. After that he spent some time in Ireland, and from there moved to what is now Scotland. In Scotland he labored for the glory of Christ for many years, and after fruitful missionary work he was murdered there by thieves. The exact date of his martyrdom is unknown, but some sources give the year 576.  The rest of the account is here:


2nd – St Chad of Lichfield, Apostle of Mercia and Wonderworker.
St. Chad (Ceadda) was born in the early seventh century and reposed on March 2 (according to the old calendar), 672 or 673. Pious English people, especially ordinary folk, have deeply loved and venerated this saint for more than 1300 years as one of their protectors. His veneration is similar to that of Sts. Aidan and Cuthbert of Lindisfarne and Swithin of Winchester; he lived absolutely in the same spirit with them. Thirty-three ancient parish churches and several holy wells across England are dedicated to him, in addition to numerous modern Anglican and Catholic dedications. The name “Chad”, which is perhaps of old Welsh origin and means “battle”, remains a boy’s baptismal name both in the UK and the USA to this day.

2nd – St Cynibil, a brother of Sts Chad and Cedd who helped enlighten England.

4th – St Owen, after working as a steward in the household of St Audrey (Etheldred), he became a monk at Lastingham in England with St Chad. When the latter became Bishop of Mercia, he settled St Owen with other monks at a monastery near Lichfield.

6th – St Bilfrith, a hermit at Lindisfarne and an expert goldsmith, who bound in gold the Lindisfarne Gospels, written and illuminated by Bishop Edfrith.
More about the Lindisfarne Gospels is here:

6th – Sts Cyneburgh, Cyneswith, and Tibba. Cyneburgh and Cyneswith were daughters of Penda of Mercia in England, who was notorious for his opposition to Orthodoxy. The former founded a convent in Castor in Northamptonshire and was followed as abbess by her sister. Tibba was a relative who joined them at the convent. Their relics were enshrined together.

7th – St Eosterwine, a Northumbrian noble, he entered the monastery of Wearmouth with his relative St Benedict. He succeeded St Benedict as abbot. He was celebrated for his gentleness.
His life is recounted in St Bede’s book on the Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow (in this version, his name is spelled at times ‘Easterwine’):

18th – St Edward, king and martyr (+978).  He is one of the most venerated saints of England.  After his murder, his holy relics were revealed by a miraculous light, and they have continued to work wonders to this very day.  This is approximately what “the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle” wrote on St. Edward late in the tenth century: “Since the Angles came to the island of Britain they have not committed a more terrible crime than this one. People killed him, but the Lord glorified him: in lifetime an earthly king, and after death—a Heavenly saint. The murderers wiped the memory of him from the face of the earth, but the Heavenly Father made him holy both in Paradise and on Earth. Those who did not kneel before him when he was alive now humbly venerate his precious relics. Now we see that the wisdom of men, guile and plans of this world are nothing in comparison with the providence of God.”

19th – St Alcmund the Passion-Bearer.  The holy Martyr Alkmund was the son of Alchred and brother of Osred, kings of Northumbria. He succeeded to the throne of Northumbria after the murder of his brother, and ruled with great humility and love, being a liberal father to the poor, the orphans and the widows. He always longed to die for Christ, and this the Lord in His goodness granted him. The men of Wiltshire called on King Alkmund to help them. And he, wishing to die for Christ, and remembering the words of the Lord, Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends, consented to their desire. In the ensuing battle, the Wiltshire men won, but both of the leaders and Alkmund were killed. The place where the holy Martyr-King fell was the scene of many miracles. His body was transferred to the ancient Church of Lilleshall, and then later to the White Church in Derby. This was the scene of further miracles. The sick, the deaf, the blind and those suffering from various diseases were brought to the tomb, and there they received healing through the intercessions of St Alkmund. Some years later, when at the request of many of the faithful, the priests of this Church raised the Holy relics, a most beautiful fragrance issued from the tomb. This fragrance persisted for a long tome, as the people praised and glorified God and his Holy Martyr.  . . .
Much more is here
and here

20th – St Cuthbert, the Wonderworker of England.  Perhaps the greatest Saint of the English people – an heroic ascetic, bishop, evangelist, and wonderworker.  His relics remained incorrupt for centuries and now rest in Durham where they continue to be venerated by the faithful.
Hymns and services for the Saint:

23rd – St Ethelwald of Inner Farne.  In 687, Saint Ethelwald, a holy priest-monk of Ripon Monastery, succeeded Saint Cuthbert (f.d. March 20) as the hermit on the lonely island of Farne. The Venerable Bede (f.d. May 26) relates the story of a miracle wrought by Ethelwald: His prayers abated a severe wind storm, which had threatened Guthrid and two other visiting monks from Lindisfarne with shipwreck. Upon Ethelwald's death, his body was translated to Lindisfarne and laid next to those of Saints Cuthbert and Edbert (f.d. May 6). Later his relics were carried from place to place with those of Cuthbert until they were settled in Durham cathedral. Many miracles were attributed by Florence of Worcester to the intercession of Saint Ethelwald.

24th – St Hildelith, Abbess of Barking.  A princess from England who became a nun either at Chelles or at Faremoutiers-en-Brie in France. She was recalled to England by St Erconwald of London to Barking, where she later became abbess, admired for her wisdom and culture.


1st – St Swithbert the Elder, a monk from Northumbria in England who went to Friesland in Holland with St Willibrord in 690. He preached the Gospel here with success. In 693 he was consecrated bishop at Ripon and returned to preach along the right bank of the Rhine in Germany. His work here was undone by Saxon invaders and he withdrew to the small island of Kaiserswerth on the Rhine near Düsseldorf. Here in 710 he founded a monastery, where he reposed and where his relics are still venerated.


13th – St Gerald of Lindisfarne, born in England, he followed St Colman from Lindisfarne to Ireland and became his successor in the English monastery in Mayo.


1st – St Aubin, born in Vannes in Brittany. A monk and Abbot of Tincillac, he then became Bishop of Angers in France (c 529-554). He played an important role at the third Council of Orleans (538). The monastery of Saint-Aubin in Angers was dedicated to him. Saint-Aubin de Moeslain (Haute Maine) is also a place of pilgrimage.

3rd – St Winwaloe, born in Brittany, he became a disciple of St Budoc on Lauren Island and founded the monastery at Landevennec. Several churches in Cornwall are dedicated to him, indicating that the saint had some connection there.
The summary, as is often the case with the Saints, does not do justice to him.  The longer account here is very edifying:

21st – St Lupicinus.  Brother of St Romanus of Condat, with whom he founded the monasteries of St Claud (Condat) in the Jura, and Lauconne.
On the importance of Sts Lupicinus and Romanus to the spread of Christianity in France, see the entry for St Romanus on Feb. 28th:

22nd – St Paul of Narbonne.  Consecrated in Rome towards the middle of the third century and sent to France to preach the Gospel, which he did with great success in Narbonne.

28th – St Gontram, King of Burgundy.  A repentant King of Burgundy in France. Having divorced his wife and ordered the execution of his doctor, he was overcome with remorse and lamented these sins for the rest of his life.  Aside from those few indiscretions, his reign was a model for other Christian kings, and his holiness became such that God worked miracles through him.


8th – St Felix of Dunwich, born in Burgundy in France, he went to England to work for the enlightenment of East Anglia. In about 631 he went to Dunwich, or possible Felixstowe, and built his Cathedral, now beneath the sea. He preached with great success in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and is honoured as the Apostle of East Anglia, where several places are named after him and Orthodox still honour his memory.


20th – St Wulfram, Bishop of Sens, he worked to enlighten the Frisians, helped by monks from the monastery of Fontenelle. After many years among the Frisians, he returned to Fontenelle where he reposed. His relics are still in Abbeville in the north of France.


27th – St Rupert of Salzburg.  Probably born in France, he became Bishop of Worms and began to spread Orthodoxy in the south of Germany. He started in Regensburg and pushed his way along the Danube. The Duke of Bavaria gave him the old ruined town of Iuvavum, which Rupert rebuilt and called Salzburg. Here he founded the monastery of St Peter and the convent of Nonnberg, where his sister Ermentrude was abbess. He is venerated as the first Archbishop of Salzburg and Apostle of Bavaria and Austria.


1st – St Leo, born in Carentan in France, he became Bishop of Rouen but later preached the Gospel in Navarre in Spain and the Basque provinces, which had been devastated by the Saracens. He was beheaded near Bayonne, where he is the patron-saint.


3rd – St Cunegund the Empress, wife of Henry II, she founded the convent of Kaufungen, which she entered on the first anniversary of her husband's death, showing great humility.
It is further said of her, ‘After she was consecrated to God in religion, she seemed entirely to forget that she had been empress, and behaved as the last in the house, being persuaded that she was so before God. She feared nothing more than whatever could bring to her mind the remembrance of her former dignity. She prayed and read much, worked with her hands, abhorred the least appearance of worldly nicety, and took a singular pleasure in visiting and comforting the sick. Thus she passed the fifteen last years of her life, never suffering the least preference to be given her above any one in the community.’

14th – St Maud (Matilda), wife of the German king Henry the Fowler, she was very generous and founded, among others, the monasteries of Nordhausen, Pöhlde, Engern and Quedlinburg in Germany. She was a widow for thirty years and suffered greatly at the hands of her sons, by whom she was despoiled of most of her possessions. They were reconciled, however, and then she began her work of monastic building.  She loved the life of prayer, meditation, and humility.

26th – St Ludger, Apostle of Saxony.  Born in Frisia, he returned to his homeland from England, but mainly preached in Westphalia of which he is the Apostle. His gentleness did more to attract the Saxons to Christ than all the brutal armies of Charlemagne. He lived for a time at Montecassino in Italy. He was the first Bishop of Münster in Germany. 
Also a wonderworker and prophet.


10th – St Quadratus and those martyred with him at Corinth.  During a persecution against Christians (in the third century) a certain pious woman named Rufina fled from Corinth to a mountain, to escape from her pursuers. There she gave birth to a son Quadratus, and died soon afterward. By the Providence of God the infant remained alive and was nourished in miraculous manner: a cloud appeared over him, dropping a sweet dew into his mouth. The childhood and youth of Saint Quadratus were spent in the wilderness. When he was a young man, he chanced upon Christians, who enlightened him with the light of the true Faith. Quadratus studied grammar, and later learned the physician’s art and attained great success in it. But most of all, Quadratus loved the wilderness solitude and he spent the greater part of his time in the hills, in prayer and meditation upon God. Many years passed, and his friends and followers frequently came to the saint to hear his instruction. Among them were Cyprian, Dionysius, Anectus, Paul, Crescens and many others.  They and many others suffered cruel torments and executions at the hands of the persecutors in Corinth.

16th – St Christodoulos of Patmos. He was from the region of Nicaea, and was named John by his parents Theodore and Anna. He took up the monastic life at an early age, and was renamed Christodoulos ('Slave of Christ'). After going far in the ascetical life, he was given permission by the Emperor Alexis I (1081-1118) to establish a church and monastery on the island of Patmos, dedicated to St John the Evangelist. Both the church and the monastery stand and continue in use to this day. When Patmos was attacked by the Arabs, he and his disciples fled to Euboea, where he reposed. The Saint's disciples brought his relics back to his own monastery, where they continue to work miracles today.


5th – St Mark the Ascetic.  St Mark was a disciple of St John Chrysostom, tonsured a monk at the age of forty by St John himself. He then withdrew to the Nitrian desert and lived for sixty years as a hermit, devoting himself to fasting, prayer, and writing spiritual discourses. Saint Mark knew all the Holy Scriptures by heart. His compassion was so great that he wept at the distress of any of God's creatures: once he wept for the blind pup of a hyena, and the pup received its sight. Though he lived alone in the desert, it is said that he received Communion from an angel. The holy and scholarly Patriarch Photios held his writings in the highest esteem, and at one time there was a saying, 'sell all that you have, and buy Mark.' Some of these beautiful and profound writings may be read in English in the first volume of the Philokalia.


5th – St Kieran of Saighir, called 'the first-born of the saints of Ireland'. Born in Ossory, he was probably consecrated bishop by St Patrick and has been venerated from time immemorial as the first Bishop of Ossory and founder of the monastery of Saighir.

8th – St Senan, a monk in Kilmanagh in Ireland. Having founded a monastery, probably in Enniscorthy, he is said to have visited Rome and on his way home stayed with St David in Wales. On his return to Ireland he founded more churches and monasteries, notably one in Iniscarra near Cork. Finally he settled on Scattery Island in the Shannon estuary where he was buried.

11th – St Angus (Oengus) the Culdee, a monk at Clonenagh in Ireland and then at Tallacht, he is remembered for his celebrated hymn to the saints, called Felire. From Tallacht he returned to Clonenagh where he became a bishop.
A fuller account of this important saint is here:

12th – St Mura McFeredach, Born in Donegal, Ireland; died c. 645. Saint Mura was appointed the first abbot of Fahan (Innisowen, County Donegal) by Saint Columba, whose staff and little bell still exist. The crosier can be found in the Royal Irish Academy and the bell in the Wallace Collection in London. His cross is also preserved at Fahan as a National Monument. He is the special patron of the O'Neill clan and of Fahan.

13th – St Mochoemoc, Mochoemoc was raised by his aunt, Saint Ita (f.d. January 15), and educated by Saint Comgall (f.d. May 10) in the Bangor Abbey, County Down, where he also entered religious life. Comgall sent him to establish a house at Arderin. Later Mochoemoc founded and became abbot of the great monastery of Liath-Mochoemoc (Liath-mor, now Leamokevoge), in County Tipperary, around which a large town was raised, which still bears that name.

16th –St Abban.  Nephew of St. Ibar, the apostle of Wexford (a predecessor and contemporary of St. Patrick), flourished 570-620. He was the son of Cormac, King of Leinster, and he founded numerous churches in the district of Ui Cennselaigh, almost conterminous with the present County Wexford and Diocese of Ferns. His principal monastery was at Magheranoidhe, subsequently known as "Abbanstown," today, Adamstown; but he also founded an abbey at Rosmic-treoin, or New Ross, which afterwards became famous as a scholastic establishment.

16th – St Finian Lobhar, HE was son of Conail, descended from Kian, the son of Alild, king of Munster. He was a disciple of St. Brendan, and flourished about the middle of the sixth century. He imitated the patience of Job under a loathsome and tedious distemper, from which his surname was given him. The famous abbey of Innisfallen, which stood in an island of that name, in the great and beautiful lake of Lough-Lane in the county of Kerry, was founded by our saint. A second, called from him Ardfinnan, he built in Tipperary; and a third at Cluain-more Madoc, in Leinster, where he was buried.

17th – St Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish.  A Romano-Briton born in what is now England, at the age of sixteen he was abducted and taken to Ireland. However, he escaped after six years. He then went to monasteries in France and about the year 432 returned to Ireland as a bishop. He travelled throughout the country preaching, teaching, building churches, establishing monasteries and converting chiefs and bards. He was the first organiser of the Irish Church and was based in Armagh.
A much fuller account:
The life of St Patrick in his own words:
One of St Patrick’s famous prayers:
Hymns and services for the Saint:

21st - St Enda, Abbot of Inishmore, one of the fathers of Irish monasticism.  Venerable Enda (Enna, Endeus) was born in the mid-fifth century in the present-day County Meath in Ireland and it is said that Enda was the son of a minor ruler in Ulster in Ireland. In his youth he was under the strong influence of his sister St. Fanchea who gained fame as a wise abbess and is listed among the saints. As a young man he was a soldier but later gave up a military career, deciding to dedicate all his energies to the service of the Lord and people. He then went to the west of what is now Scotland and obtained an education at the monastery and school called Candida Casa, founded by St. Ninian at Whithorn. It was there, at Whithorn, where he was tonsured monk and ordained priest. Enda is one of the earliest saints of Ireland, so it is presumed that he moved to study in Scotland due to lack of monastic sites in his native land. The experience and monastic tradition, closely linked to monasticism in the East and gained at Candida Casa, contributed to the future achievements of Enda.
Much more about this wonderful man may be read here:

22nd – St Darerca.  The sister of St Patrick of Ireland. Her name means constant and firm love. She is reputed to have had fifteen sons, some ten of whom became bishops.

24th – St Caimin of Inniskeltra.  An ascetic who lived as a hermit on an island in Lough Derg in Ireland. Many disciples were attracted to him on account of his holiness. Later he founded a monastery and church on the island of the Seven Churches and worked with St Senan. A fragment of the Psalter of St Caimin, copied in his own hand, still exists.

24th – St Macartin, Bishop of Clogher.  Saint Macartin (in Irish - Aedh mac Carthin) was an early disciple and companion of Saint Patrick during the latter's missions into pagan territory. He is said to have been consecrated bishop of Clogher in Tyrone by Patrick in 454. It is said the Saint Brigid, Macartin's niece, was present at the founding of the see. Tradition names Macartan as the strong man of Saint Patrick, who established the church in Clogher and spread the Gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh.
More of his life and a poem dedicated to him are here:

26th – St Sincheall.  A disciple of St Patrick and founder of the monastery of Killeigh in Offaly in Ireland, where there were one hundred and fifty monks.
More related here:


6th – St Fridolin. Saint Fridolin, the Irish Wanderer, gained his nickname in the 7th century by his endless journeyings--through Gaul, Germany, and Switzerland. He began his missionary work in Poitiers, France. An assiduous founder of monasteries, Fridolin also found the body of Saint Hilary of Poitiers, which had been lost when the Vandals destroyed the monastery in that city, and restored the church itself. He became devoted to St. Hilary and established other monasteries under his patronage, including the abbey of Sackingen. Started as a school for young boys on an island in the Rhein, Sackingen was no sombre place. Here Fridolin happily encouraged the boys to play many different sports. He also established an Irish-influenced abbey at Chur, Switzerland, where stones sculpted in the Irish fashion can still be seen. His vita was recorded by a monk of Sackingen five centuries after his death; however, he claimed to have based it on a much earlier biography. He is venerated as the apostle of the Upper Rhein and on his feast, the houses of Sackingen are decorated with the flags of Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland.


1st – St Marnock, born in Ireland, he was with St Columba at Iona and later became a bishop, who reposed in Annandale and was much venerated on the Scottish border. He gave his name to Kilmarnock in Scotland.

10th – St Mackessog, [Bishop in the provinces of Levin and Boin in Scotland.]  BY his instructions and counsels the pious King Congal II. governed with extraordinary prudence, zeal, and sanctity. This saint was illustrious for miracles, and died in 560. A celebrated church in that country still bears the title of Saint Kessoge-Kirk. The Scots for their cry in battle for some time used his name, but afterwards changed it for that of St. Andrew. They sometimes painted St. Kessoge in a soldier’s habit, holding a bow bent with an arrow in it.


28th – St Tutilo of St Gall.  When St. Gall, the companion of St. Columbanus, died in Switzerland in 640, a monastery was built over the place of his burial. This became the famous monastery of St. Gall, one of the most influential monasteries of the Middle Ages and the center of music, art, and learning throughout that period. About the middle of the ninth century, returning from a visit to Rome, an Irishman named Moengul stopped off at the abbey and decided to stay, along with a number of Irish companions, among them Tuathal, or Tutilo. Moengul was given charge of the abbey schools and he became the teacher of Tutilo, Notker, and Radpert, who were distinguished for their reaming and their artistic skills. Tutilo, in particular, was a universal genius: musician, poet, painter, sculptor, builder, goldsmith, head of the monastic school, and composer. He was part of the abbey at its greatest, and the influence of Gall spread throughout Europe.  The rest is at


14th – St Benedict of Nursia.  One of the greatest saints of the West.  His monastic Rule and the numerous monasteries that have used it have had a tremendous impact on the West.


14th – St Boniface Curitan, AN ardent zeal for the salvation of souls brought this servant of God from Italy to North-Britain. Near the mouth of the Tees, where he landed, he built a church under the invocation of St. Peter, another at Tellein, three miles from Alect, and a third at Restennet. This last was served by a famous monastery of regular canons of the order of Saint Austin, when religious houses were abolished in Scotland. St. Boniface, by preaching the word of God, reformed the manners of the people in the provinces of Angus, Marris, Buchan, Elgin, Murray, and Ross. Being made bishop in this last county, he filled it with oratories and churches, and by planting the true spirit of Christ in the hearts of many, settled that church in a most flourishing condition. He died about the year 630, and was buried at Rosmark, the capital of the county of Ross. The Breviary of Aberdeen mentions that he founded one hundred and fifty churches and oratories in Scotland, and ascribes many miracles to his intercession after his death.

North America:

31st – St Innocent, Apostle to the Aleuts and Enlightener of North America. Saint Innocent (Veniaminov), Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomensk (August 26, 1797—March 31, 1879), was glorified by the Russian Orthodox Church on October 6, 1977. He was born in the village of Anginsk in the Irkutsk diocese. The Apostle of America and Siberia proclaimed the Gospel “even to the ends of the earth”: in the Aleutian islands (from 1823), in the six dialects of the local tribes on the island of Sitka (from 1834), among the Kolosh (Tlingit); in the remotest settlements of the extensive Kamchatka diocese (from 1853); among the Koryak, Chukchei, Tungus in the Yakutsk region (from 1853) and North America (in 1857); in the Amur and the Usuriisk region (from 1860). Having spent a large part of his life in journeys, Saint Innocent translated a Catechism and the Gospel into the Aleut language. In 1833, he wrote in this language one of the finest works of Orthodox missionary activity INDICATION OF THE WAY TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
The rest of his holy life is recounted here:
For links to his works including his book mentioned just above (the INDICATION):
You evangelized the northern people of America and Asia, / proclaiming the Gospel of Christ to the natives in their own tongues. / O holy hierarch father Innocent, / enlightener of Alaska and all America, whose ways were ordered by the Lord, / pray to Him for the salvation of our souls in His Heavenly Kingdom!

Old Rome:

1st - Two hundred and sixty martyrs condemned to dig sand on the Salarian Way in Rome and later shot to death with arrows in the amphitheatre under Claudius II.

12th – St Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome.  He is the one who sent St Augustine and his monks to evangelize the English in 597.

15th – St Zacharias, Bishop of Rome.  He was born in San Severino in Calabria in Italy of a Greek family. Chosen Pope of Rome in 741, he was influential in helping Europe remain Orthodox. A good diplomat and very compassionate as well.

17th – St Alexis the Man of God.  A saint originally distinguished by the title of 'the man of God'. The son of a Roman senator, in order to serve God in humility. He set sail for Edessa where after seventeen years an Icon of the Mother of God proclaimed him 'the man of God'. He fled again and eventually returned to Rome and for years lived unrecognised as a beggar in his own home. After his repose a mysterious voice again proclaimed him 'the man of God'.

19th – Sts Chrysanthus and Daria and their fellow martyrs.  Sts Chrysanthus and Daria were husband and wife but lived as brother and sister.  The people of Rome complained to the eparch Celerinus that Saints Chrysanthus and Daria were preaching celibacy and attracting too many young men and women to monasticism. Saint Chrysanthus was sent to the tribune Claudius for torture. Then the emperor Numerian ordered Saints Chrysanthus and Daria to be turned over to the executioners. After many cruel tortures, the martyrs were buried alive in the ground. In a cave near the place of execution, Christians began to gather to honor the anniversary of the saints’ martyrdom. They celebrated Church services and partook of the Holy Mysteries. Learning of this, the pagan authorities sealed the entrance to the cave, and those within received the crown of martyrdom.
The full account is here:


3rd – Sts Marinus and Asterius.  Both of noble families, Asterius being a Roman senator, they were beheaded for confessing Christ.

11th – St Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.  A highly esteemed pastor of the Church in Jerusalem.  Here is a little about him:  ‘Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was born in Damascus around 560. From his youth he was distinguished for his piety and his love for classical studies. He was especially proficient in philosophy, and so he was known as Sophronius the Wise. The future hierarch, however, sought the true philosophy of monasticism, and conversations with the desert-dwellers. He arrived in Jerusalem at the monastery of Saint Theodosius, and there he became close with the hieromonk John Moschus, becoming his spiritual son and submitting himself to him in obedience. They visited several monasteries, writing down the lives and spiritual wisdom of the ascetics they met. From these notes emerged their renowned book, the LEIMONARION or SPIRITUAL MEADOW, which was highly esteemed at the Seventh Ecumenical Council.’  The rest is at

18th – St Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem.  An opponent of heretics (from whose hands he suffered much) and great writer on spiritual themes.  His Catechetical Homilies remain very valuable.

18th – St Alexander, Archbishop of Jerusalem.  He suffered under two persecutions, dying in prison during the second of them.

20th – The Holy Martyrs of the Monastery of St Sabbas.


20th – St Martin of Braga, Apostle of the Suevi.  Born in Pannonia, he became a monk in Palestine, but later went to Galicia in Spain where he preached to the pagan Suevi. He was Bishop of Mondoñedo and then of Braga. He introduced monasticism throughout north-western Spain and Portugal. Several of his writings still exist.


1st – St Monan. ST. ADRIAN, bishop of St. Andrew’s, trained up this holy man from his childhood, and when he had ordained him priest, and long employed him in the service of his own church, sent him to preach the gospel in the isle of May, lying in the bay of Forth. The saint exterminated superstition and many other crimes and abuses, and having settled the churches of that island in good order, passed into the county of Fife, and was there martyred; being slain with above 6000 other Christians, by an army of infidels who ravaged that country in 874. His relics were held in great veneration at Innerny, in Fifeshire, the place of his martyrdom, and were famous for miracles. King David II. having himself experienced the effect of his powerful intercession with God, rebuilt his church at Innerny of stone, in a stately manner, and founded a college of canons to serve it.

2nd – St Marnan, TO his holy prayers Aidan, king of the Scots, ascribed a wonderful victory which he gained over Ethelfrid, the pagan king of the Northumbrian English; and by his councils Eugenius IV. who succeeded his father Aidan in the kingdom soon after this battle, treated all the prisoners with the utmost humanity and generosity, by which they were gained to the Christian faith. The Northumbrian princes, Oswald and Oswi, were instructed in our holy religion, and grounded in its spirit by St. Marnan, who died in Annandale, in the year 620. His head was kept with singular devotion at Moravia, and was carried in processions attended by the whole clan of the Innis’s, which from the earliest times was much devoted to this saint. St. Marnan is titular saint of the church of Aberkerdure upon the river Duvern, formerly much frequented out of devotion to his relics kept there.

3rd – St Lamalisse, a hermit in Scotland, he left his name to the islet of Lamlash off the coast of the Isle of Arran in Scotland.

4th – St Adrian and those martyred with him.  WHEN the Danes, in the ninth century, made frequent descents upon the coast of Scotland, plundered several provinces, and massacred great part of the inhabitants, this holy pastor often softened their fury, and converted several among them to Christ. In a most cruel invasion of these pirates, he withdrew into the isle of May, in the bay of the river Forth; but the barbarians plundering also that island, discovered him there, and slew him with another bishop named Stalbrand, and a great number of others: the Aberdeen Breviary says six thousand six hundred. This massacre happened in the reign of Constantine II. in the year 874. A great monastery was built of polished stone in honour of St. Adrian, in the isle of May, the church of which, enriched with his relics, was a place of great devotion.

6th – St Baldred, a priest in Lindisfarne in England, he became a hermit at Tyningham on the Scottish border, where he lived on Bass Rock, near North Berwick, surrounded by the sea. His relics were enshrined in Durham, with those of St Bilfrid.

13th – St Kennocha, [In the reign of King Malcolm II.]  FROM her infancy she was a model of humility, meekness, modesty and devotion. Though an only daughter, and the heiress of a rich and noble family, fearing lest the poison which lurks in the enjoyment of perishable goods, should secretly steal into her affections, or the noise of the world should be a hinderance to her attention to heavenly things and spiritual exercises, she rejected all solicitations of suitors and worldly friends, and, in the bloom of life, made an entire sacrifice of herself to God, by making her religious profession in a great nunnery, in the county of Fife. In this holy state, by an extraordinary love of poverty and mortification, a wonderful gift of prayer, and purity or singleness of heart, she attained to the perfection of all virtues. Several miracles which she wrought made her name famous among men, and she passed to God in a good old age, in the year 1007. Several churches in Scotland bore her name, particularly one near Glasgow, still called St. Kennoch’s Kirk, and another called by an abbreviation of her name Kyle, in which her relics were formerly kept with singular veneration.


6th – St Cadroe, born in Scotland, he lived in Armagh in Ireland. He went to France and lived as a monk at Fleury. He then became Abbot of Waulsort on the Meuse in Belgium and finally lived in Metz.


18th – St Nikolai Velimirovich.  Words fail to describe the spiritual nobility of this new apostle to the West.  We will simply recommend to everyone to read his life and his writings, both of which are very edifying.
O golden-tongued preacher proclaiming the risen Christ, / Everlasting guide of the cross-bearing Serbian people, / Resounding harp of the Holy Spirit, and dear to monastics who rejoice in you, / Pride and boast of the priesthood, teacher of repentance, master for all nations, / Guide of those in the army of Christ as they pray to God, / Holy Nikolai teacher in America and pride of the Serbian people, / With all the saints, implore the only Lover of mankind / To grant us peace and joy in his heavenly kingdom!


30th – St John Climacus, the holy monk and abbot of the monks of Mt Sinai and author of the all-venerable book The Ladder of Divine Ascent.
An account of his angelic life:
The book he wrote:


1st – St Rudisend (Rosendo), born of a noble family in Galicia in Spain, he became Bishop of Mondoñedo and then of Compostella. In this capacity he opposed with equal success both the Vikings and the Saracens. Exiled from Compostella through an intrigue, he founded the monastery of Celanova and other monasteries.

3rd – Sts Emeterius and Chelidonius.  THEY were soldiers of distinguished merit in the Roman army in Spain, and suffered martyrdom at Calahorra, but it is not known in what persecution. Their courage and cheerfulness seemed to increase with their sharpest torments, and to them fires and swords seemed sweet and agreeable. Prudentius says, that the persecutors burned the acts of their martyrdom, envying us the history of so glorious a triumph. He adds, that their festival was kept in Spain with great devotion by all ranks of people; that strangers came in devout pilgrimages to visit their relics, praying to these patrons of the world; and that none poured forth their pure prayers to them who were not heard and their tears dried up: “For,” says he, “they immediately hear every petition, and carry it to the ear of the eternal king.” See Prudentius, de Coro, hymn 1.

8th – St Julian of Toledo, a monk at Agali in Spain under St Eugene, whom he succeeded first as Abbot and in 680 as Archbishop of Toledo. He was the first Metropolitan of All Iberia. Presiding over several national Councils, revising and developing the Mozarabic liturgy, he was a prolific writer and outstanding churchman.

11th – St Eulogius of Cordoba, a prominent priest in Cordoba in Spain when the Moorish persecution was at its height. Outstanding for his courage and learning, he encouraged the Orthodox in their sufferings and wrote The Memorial of the Saints for their benefit. He himself suffered martyrdom for protecting St Leocritia, a young girl converted from Islam.
For much more about this heroic saint and the Muslim persecution of Orthodox Spain, see these pages:

26th – St Braulio.  A monk at the monastery of St Engratia in Saragossa in Spain, he was ordained priest by his own brother, John, whom he succeeded as Archbishop of Saragossa.
HE was the great assistant of St. Isidore of Seville, in settling the discipline of the Church of Spain, and is one of those holy pastors to whose zeal, learning, and labours it has always professed itself much indebted. He died in 646, in the twentieth year of his episcopacy. He has left us two letters to St. Isidore, an eulogium of that saint, and a catalogue of his works: also a hymn in Iambic verse in honour of St. Emilian, and the life of that servant of God, who after living long a hermit, was called to serve a parish in the diocess of Tarragon, where a famous monastery now bears his name.


1st – St David, born in south Wales, he founded a monastery in Mynyw (Menevia) in the far west and is honoured as the first bishop of what is now called St Davids. The monks lived a very ascetic life and their monastery became a seedbed of saints. He attended the Council of Brefi in c 545. The foundation of a dozen monasteries and many miracles are attributed to him. His relics survive and are enshrined in the Cathedral and he is the patron-saint of Wales.

15th – St Aristobulus.  The Holy Apostle Aristobulus of the Seventy was born on Cyprus. He and his brother, the holy Apostle Barnabas of the Seventy, accompanied the holy Apostle Paul on his journeys. Saint Aristobulus is mentioned by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Romans (Rom 16:10). Saint Paul made Aristobulus a bishop and sent him to preach the Gospel in Britain, where he converted many to Christ. He endured the torments and malice of the pagans, and eventually baptized them. Saint Aristobulus died in Britain among the people he had evangelized. His memory is celebrated on October 31 and also on the Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles January 4.

29th – Sts Gundleus and Gladys, father and mother of St Cadoc.  St. Gwladys was one of numerous children of the famous saintly King Brychan of Brecknock, and in her youth was very beautiful. She married Gundleus, then a ferocious pagan, who was a minor king in south-east Wales. They had several sons, the greatest of whom was St. Cadoc. Under the influence of his pious Christian wife and his glorious son Cadoc the king subsequently repented of all his past sins and became a devout Christian. In a miraculous vision Gundleus was soon told to found a hermitage together with his spouse on Stow Hill near Newport in South Wales (now within the city of Newport). Thus, this devout royal couple began to lead austere ascetic life. Already at an advanced age, they lived in such abstinence that they ate nothing but bread and herbs, drank nothing but water and prayed even on winter nights in the River Usk (which was a common practice among Celtic saints). They attended church every day, kneeling in prayer before the holy altar. But the holy couple did not stop at this. On St. Cadoc’s advice they abstained from marital relations and lived separately in solitude and unceasing prayer till the end of their lives. St. Gwladys then moved to the spot called pencanau in Bassaleg near Newport where she lived an extremely austere life in her cell, standing every day in the river Ebbw in prayer. Shortly before her death she moved to Gelligaer in Caerphilly where she probably reposed. Many sites near Newport and Gelligaer were connected with her and a number of churches, chapels and holy wells were dedicated to this saint. Today Gwladys is the patroness of both Newport and Gelligaer, though she is especially venerated in the town of Bargoed in Caerphilly, where a church is dedicated to her and a school bears her name. Girls in Wales and throughout Britain used to be called “Gladys.” As for Gundleus, up to his death he wore rags, ate barley bread and drank a little water, and combined prayer with manual labor. On his deathbed he was visited by St. Cadoc who gave him communion. Today he is co-patron of Newport together with his wife Gwladys; the local Anglican cathedral in this city is dedicated to him and a street bears his name. This is a remarkable example of family holiness in ancient Britain.


3rd – St Nonna, the mother of St David, patron-saint of Wales, she probably came from a ruling family in Dyfed: a chapel and a well near her son's Cathedral still bear her name. Another can be found in Altarnum in Cornwall, where she may have moved and where her relics survived, even though she reposed in Brittany.

12th – St Paul Aurelian, a Romano-Briton by origin, he was born in Wales and became a monk with Sts Illtyd, David, Samson and Gildas. He lived for a time on Caldey Island, from where he went to Brittany. He established a monastery at Porz-Pol on the Isle of Ouessant and finally went to Ouismor (now Saint-Pol-de-Léon) where he became bishop. He was tireless in sharing the Gospel with the heathen in Brittany, whom he brought into the fold of Christ with God’s help.


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

Anathema to the Union!