Saturday, May 2, 2020

Happy Feast! - for the Saints of April

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

Universal Church Feasts:

Palm Sunday

Holy Pascha/Easter

Day of Rejoicing (2nd Tuesday after Holy Pascha/Easter):
On Tuesday of Saint Thomas week we remember those Orthodox Christians from all ages who have died in faith, and in the hope of resurrection. Today the Church remembers its faithful members at Liturgy, and koliva is offered in remembrance of those who have fallen asleep. Priests visit cemeteries to bless the graves of Orthodox Christians, and to share the paschal joy with the departed. It is also customary to give alms to the poor on this day.

30thSt James the Apostle, Brother of St John the Theologian.


1st – Our Holy Mother Mary of Egypt, one of the greatest saints of the Church and an icon of the extraordinary fruits true repentance can produce.  Our venerable mother Mary of Egypt was a desert ascetic who repented of a life of prostitution. She lived during the sixth century, and passed away in a remarkable manner in 522. The Church celebrates her feast day on the day of her repose, April 1; additionally, she is commemorated on the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt, the fifth Sunday in Great Lent.

5th – Martyrs of Northwest Africa.  A large group martyred at the Easter liturgy by Genseric, the Arian King of the Vandals. The reader who was singing the Alleluia had his throat pierced by an arrow.

5th – St Publius of Egypt.  A desert-dweller mighty in prayer.  By his prayers he withheld a demon from carrying out the orders of the Emperor Julian the Apostate.

6th – Sts Marcellinus and Agrarius.  Marcellinus was the imperial representative in North Africa at the time of the Donatist heresy. He and his brother, the judge Agrarius, tried to enforce the decisions of a conference in Carthage against Donatism, but the Donatists resorted to false accusation and the two brothers were martyred.

9th – Martyrs of Northwest Africa.  MENTIONED by Bede,  and famous in ancient calendars. We have a sermon preached by St. Austin on their festivals.  They suffered in Africa, and probably derived their name from Massyla, or the adjacent country, on the sea-coast.

10th – St Terrence and his 40 martyr companions at Carthage. The Holy Martyr Terence and his companions suffered under the emperor Decius (249-251). The emperor issued an edict commanding all subjects to offer sacrifice to the pagan idols. When the governor of Africa Fortunianus received this edict, he gathered the people into the city square, set out cruel instruments of torture and declared that everyone without exception had to offer the sacrifice to the idols. Many, afraid of torture, complied. However, Saint Terence and forty other Christians bravely affirmed their faith in the Savior and ridiculed the idols. Fortunianus was amazed at their boldness and he asked how they as rational people, could confess as God, One Whom the Jews crucified as a malefactor.  The rest is at

25thSt Mark the Holy Apostle and Evangelist.

25th – St Anianus. THE ACTS of St. Mark tell us, that he was a shoemaker in that city, whose hand, wounded with an awl, St. Mark healed when he first entered the city. Such was his fervour and progress in virtue and learning, that St. Mark constituted him bishop of Alexandria, during his absence; and Anianus governed that great church four years with him, and eighteen years and seven months after his death, according to the Oriental Chronicle.—He died in the year 86, on the 26th of November; but is named in the Roman Martyrology on the same day with St. Mark. “He was a man,” says Eusebius, “well-pleasing to God, and admirable in all things.” St. Epiphanius mentions a church in Alexandria built in his honour.

29th – St Memnon. Saint Memnon the Wonderworker from his youth lived in the Egyptian desert. By his arduous ascetical efforts, he attained a victory of spirit over the flesh. As Igumen of one of the Egyptian monasteries, he wisely and carefully guided the brethren. Even while aiding them through prayer and counsel, the saint did not waver in his efforts in the struggle against temptation. He received the gift of clairvoyance through unceasing prayer and toil. At his prayer a spring of water gushed forth in the wilderness, locusts destroying the harvest perished, and the shipwrecked who called on his name were saved. After his death, the mere mention of his name dispelled a plague of locusts and undid the cunning wiles of evil spirits.

30th – Sts James and Marianus, and their companions in martyrdom.  Confessors and martyrs in Numidia of North Africa.  Their heroic deeds and the wonders that accompanied them are recounted here:


20th – Sts Marcellinus, Vincent, and Domninus. Born in North Africa, they went to France and preached in the Dauphiné. St Marcellinus was consecrated first Bishop of Embrun by St Eusebius of Vercelli. The relics of the three saints are venerated in Digne in the Alps.

Asia Minor:

23rdSt George, the Greatmartyr, Victorybearer, and Wonderworker.  A soldier in Diocletian’s Roman Army.  His life, tortures, death, and the miracles associated with them cannot be summed up with any kind of justice.  They must simply be read.  Holy Greatmartyr George, pray for us sinners!


9th – St Waldetrudis. [Or Vautrude, commonly called Vaudru.] SHE was daughter to the princess St. Bertille, elder sister to St. Aldegondes, and wife to Madelgaire, count of Hainault, and one of the principal lords of King Dagobert’s court. After bearing him two sons and two daughters, she induced him to embrace the monastic state at Haumont, near Maubeuge, taking the name of Vincent. He is honoured in Flanders among the saints on the 20th of September, and called St. Vincent of Soignies. She remained two years longer in the world, devoting herself entirely to exercises of piety, under the direction of the holy abbot St. Guislain. Being by that time disengaged from the encumbrances of the world, she received the religious veil at the hands of St. Aubert, bishop of Cambray, in 656, and lived in a little cell, adjoining to which was a chapel in a solitary place called Castriloc, or Castle-place, now Mons.—Many other ladies resorting to her, she formed a religious community, which is at present a rich royal chapter of canonesses. From her reputation and from this community arose the city of Mons, now the capital of Hainault. Whilst her sister Aldegondes governed her great monastery at Maubeuge, Vautrude sanctified herself in her little cell by holy poverty, meekness, patience, continual fasting and prayer. She suffered much from the slanders of men, and from severe interior trials and temptations: but God, after some years, recompensed her fidelity with a holy peace, and great spiritual consolations. On the 9th of April, 686, she went to receive the crown promised by God to those who serve him. Her relics are esteemed the most precious treasure of the great church which bears her name. She is titular patroness of Mons, and all Hainault.


19th – St Ursmar. Abbot-bishop of the Monastery of Lobbes on the Sambre and founder of Aulne and Wallers, also in present-day Belgium. His work as a bishop in Flanders was of great importance.


30th – St Onenne. Onenne was the daughter of King Judael of northern Armorica. She was venerated by the local people and become the local patron saint of the parish of Trehorenteuc. Living at the end of the 6th century and beginning of the 7th century, she had a very humble destiny, despite her noble origin. She vowed herself to poverty, and became a goose-keeper. Thanks to those birds, one day she was saved from an aggressor, the population hearing their noise came to her rescue. Today, she is still venerated in the Morbihan, in Trehorenteuc (canton of Mauron), where the church and a well are dedicated to her name. Pilgrims still come to the church builted on the place of her burial. They ask for the healing of eye-illnesses. The well, being on private ground, is only accessible 2 days a year, during the pilgrimages. In an earlier time, there was a procession to that healing-well, with a group of geese walking first in the procession. In our days, this tradition is being revitalised.


25th – St Kebius (Keby). Saint Kebius was ordained bishop by Saint Hilary of Poitiers, and, returning into his own country, preached conversion in Cornwall.

29th – St Endellion. Probably born in Cornwall, she was the sister of St Nectan of Hartland. Part of her shrine in St Endellion in Cornwall still exists.
More is at these pages:


23rd – St Adalbert. Born in Czechia, he became Bishop of Prague (983). Disheartened, he went to Rome and became a monk. Twice he returned to his former mission and twice he had to abandon it. On each occasion he preached in Poland, Prussia and Hungary. He was martyred by the Prussians near Danzig.
His life and work in central Europe are worthy of reading:


6th – St Elstan.  A monk at Abingdon in England with St Ethelwold, he was celebrated as a model of obedience. He became Bishop of Ramsbury and succeeded St Ethelwold as Abbot of Abingdon.

9th – Sts Hedda, Theodore, and their martyr companions. + c 869. Hedda was the Abbot of Peterborough in England. He and eighty-four monks of his monastery were martyred by the Danes. Theodore was Abbot of Crowland in England and he and his monks were martyred by the Danes. Besides the abbot, several others were mentioned by name: Askega and Swethin, Elfgete, a deacon, Sabinus, a subdeacon, Egdred and Ulric, and also Grimkeld and Agamund, both centenarians.

10th – Sts Beocca, Hethor, and those martyred with them. + 869. In their onslaught on England, the Danes attacked monasteries in particular. They martyred Sts Beocca, Abbot, Ethor, monk-priest and some ninety monks at Chertsey in Surrey; at Peterborough they martyred St Hedda, Abbot, and others at his monastery; at Thorney, St Torthred and others.

11thSt Guthlac of Crowland. St. Guthlac of Crowland (c. 673-714) is one of the greatest hermit-saints of the early English Church and is considered to be the most popular pre-Norman English saint after St. Cuthbert. Orthodox Christians call him “the English St. Anthony the Great”. Crowland Abbey Church, situated in the quiet village of Crowland in Lincolnshire close to the Cambridgeshire border in the district known as the Fens—the site of ascetic life of Guthlac—attracts Orthodox and other Christian pilgrims every year. The Fens is a low, flat area of parts of present-day Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, formerly well-known as a dominantly marshy region, though the swampland was reclaimed chiefly from the 17th to 19th century. As is generally known, numerous desert fathers in ancient times, especially in Egypt, lived in deserts. However, the hermits of the British Isles chose small islands, shores, cliffs, sometimes forests, mountains and hills as their “deserts” as Britain does not have natural deserts. Guthlac was unique even for English saints as he preferred to live as a hermit, surrounded by dangerous and impassable bogs and swamps from all sides. His spiritual labors and experiences in all respects resembled the life of the venerable monks of the Egyptian deserts.

Here is a saint that Southerners can certainly relate to.  Knowing of his life is, therefore, very valuable to us:
Hymns and prayers to the Saint:

19th – St Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury. A monk at Deerhurst in Gloucestershire in England, then Abbot of Bath, he became Bishop of Winchester in 984 and thirtieth Archbishop of Canterbury in 1005. He was greatly loved by his flock and during the Danish invasion of 1011 he was urged to pay a ransom. He refused, was taken prisoner and martyred in Greenwich, the only Orthodox Archbishop of Canterbury to be martyred. His relics were enshrined in St Paul's in London and later in Canterbury.

20th – St Cadwalla. A King of Wessex in England, he was a cruel and cunning pagan. He was converted and went to Rome, where he was baptised by Pope Sergius and died in the white robe of baptism.

24th – St Mellitus. Abbot of St Andrew's on the Coelian Hill in Rome, he was sent by St Gregory the Great to England in 601. He spent three years in Kent, and then became Bishop of London. He was exiled to France for refusing to give communion to apostates. In 619 he was recalled to Kent to succeed St Laurence as third Archbishop of Canterbury.

30th – St Erconwald. Of noble origin in the east of England, he founded a monastery in Chertsey and a convent in Barking. He became abbot of the former and his sister St Ethelburgh the abbess of the latter. In 675 he became Bishop of London. His shrine at St Paul's became a centre of veneration and he was called 'The Light of London'.


24th – St Egbert. A monk at Lindisfarne in England, he moved to Ireland and lived at Rathelmigisi in Connaught. Here he prepared several monks to preach the Gospel in Germany. He went to Iona in Scotland and persuaded the monks to adopt the Orthodox date for Easter.


1st – St Valery of Leuconay. A monk at Luxeuil in France, he later founded the monastery of Leuconay at the mouth of the Somme. Two towns in that area are named Saint-Valéry after him.
He was a great preacher, full of humility, and a farmer and wonderworker as well.

2nd – St Nicetius, Archbishop of Lyons.  [Called by the French Nizier.]  HE was descended from an ancient noble Gaulish family in Burgundy, and, by the care of virtuous parents, received a learned and pious education. Humility and assiduous prayer were his favourite virtues from the cradle. In his father’s house he always chose to appear the lowest in the family, though by birth he had a right to claim the highest place next his parents. He readily gave a preference in all things to his brethren, and took a singular delight, during his hours of recreation, in performing the most servile offices. He instructed, with the utmost diligence, the servants and children in all Christian duties, and taught them the psalter and church office. He succeeded his uncle, St. Serdot, in the See of Lyons in 551, which he governed with indefatigable zeal during twenty-two years, till his happy death on the 2nd day of April, in 577. Great miracles confirmed the opinion of his sanctity: his relics are preserved in the parish church of his name, in Lyons: his memory is famous in France.

3rd - St Burgandofara, nobly born, she shunned marriage and founded and was abbess of the very influential monastery of Faremoutiers.  Also commemorated the 7th of December.

8th – St Perpetuus, Bishop of Tours.  Of a senator’s family, he was illustrious in virtues.  He enlarged the church housing St Martin of Tours’s relics, and, like him, attained to a high degree of holiness.  In his will, he left much of his wealth to the poor.  The reading of the whole account of his life is recommended.  A truly great saint of the West.

16th – St Paternus. Born in Poitiers in France, he became a monk at Ansion and later a hermit near Coutances. Eventually he became Bishop of Avranches. He was a vigorous preacher of the Gospel amongst the heathens of old Gaul.

17th – St Landericus (Landry). The eldest son of Sts Madelgarus and Waldetrudis. From 641 to 650 he was Bishop of Meaux in France, but on the repose of his father he succeeded him as Abbot of Soignies.

20th – St Hugh of Anzy-le-Duc. Born in Poitiers in France, he became a monk at Saint Savin. Later he restored monastic life in several monasteries. He reposed at Anzy-le-Duc.

22nd – Sts Epipodius and Alexander. Two young friends and citizens of Lyons in France, martyred under Marcus Aurelius. St Epipodius was beheaded. St Alexander is also commemorated on April 24, the day he was crucified.
Their feats of martyrdom are detailed here:

22nd – St Opportuna. Born near Ayesmes in the north of France, she was the sister of St Chrodegang, Bishop of Séez. At an early age she became a nun at the convent of Monteuil, of which she became abbess. She was described as 'a true mother to all her nuns'.
She is highly venerated in France, as is related here:

24th – Sts Bova (Beuve) and Doda. ST. BEUVE was of the royal blood of France, nearly related to King Dagobert, and one of the principal ladies of the court. She edified the whole kingdom by her virtues in the world above thirty years, but rejected all solicitations to marry, desiring to devote herself entirely to the service of God. Her brother, St. Baudry, or Balderic, who had some years before founded the monastery of Montfaucon, which he governed in quality of abbot, built a nunnery in honour of the Blessed Virgin, in the suburbs of Rheims, in 639: St. Beuve there took the religious habit, and, notwithstanding her tears and opposition, was chosen the first abbess of this house. By her example she conducted her religious sisters in the perfect spirit of humility, poverty, mortification, and prayer, and died in 673, leaving behind her a sweet odour of her sanctity and virtues to all France. She was succeeded by her niece, St. Doda, a faithful imitator of her spirit and virtues. The bodies of SS. Beuve and Doda were afterwards removed to St. Peter’s abbey, within the city.

25th – St Phaebadius (Fiari). A bishop of Agen in the south of France who succeeded in stamping out Arianism in Gaul, together with his friend St Hilary of Poitiers. He was one of the best known bishops of his time and presided over several Councils.

26th – St Richarius (Riquier). Born at Centula (Celles) near Amiens in the north of France, he became a priest and founded a monastery in his native village, later called Saint-Riquier after him. He was the first to devote himself to the work of ransoming captives and reposed a hermit. He died about the year 645. His relics are the chief treasure of his great monastery of Centula, now called St. Riquier. His name is famous in the French and Roman Calendars.


23rd – St Gerard of Toul. Born in Cologne in Germany, he became Bishop of Toul in France in 963. He rebuilt the Cathedral and established monasteries with both Greek and Irish monks for the furtherance of the Orthodox Faith.
Another saint whose life ought to be known more fully:


5th – St Mark of Mt Trache.  An Athenian philosopher who fled to Egypt and then Ethiopia in order to acquire the Grace of God.  The heights of his holiness in word and deed are wonderful to read about, but also convicting, in that they show us how lukewarm we are in this present age:


4th – St Tigernach.  HIS father, Corbre, was a famous general, and his mother, Dearfraych, was daughter of an Irish king, named Eochod. Tigernach was baptized by Conlathe, bishop of Kildare; St. Brigide being his godmother. In his youth he was carried away by pirates into Britain, and fell into the hands of a British king, who being taken with his virtue, placed him in the monastery of Rosnat. In the school of affliction he learned the emptiness of all earthly enjoyments, and devoted himself with his whole heart to the pursuit of true happiness in the service of God. When he returned into Ireland, he was compelled to receive episcopal consecration, but declined the administration of the see of Clogher, to which he was chosen upon the death of Bishop Mac-karten, in 506. He founded the abbey of Cluanois, or Clones, in the county of Monaghan, where he fixed his episcopal see, now united to that of Clogher. He taught a great multitude to serve God in primitive purity and simplicity. In his old age he lost his sight, and spent his time in a lonesome cell in continual prayer and contemplation, by which he in some measure anticipated the bliss of heaven, to which he passed in 550.

5th – St Becan.  Saint Becan, named as one of the 12 Apostles of Ireland in the life of Saint Molossus, is said to be the son of Murchade and Cula, of the royal house of Munster and a blood relative of Saint Columba (f.d. June 9). Becan has been declared one of the three greatest champions of virtue, together with Saint Endeus (f.d. March 21) and Saint Mochua, all of whom were leaders of saints in that fruitful age of holy men. He founded a monastery at Kill-Beggan, Westmeath. While building his church, he worked frequently on his knees, and while his hands were thus employed, he prayed with his lips and his eyes streamed with tears of devotion. He also gave his name to the church and parish of Imleach-Becain, Meath.

14th – St Tassach. Tassach was a disciple of Saint Patrick, who appointed him as the first bishop of Raholp, County Down, Ireland. He was a skilled artisan who made crosiers, patens, chalices, credences, shrines, and crosses for the many churches Patrick founded. Tassach's rule is for ever memorable for the fact that he was selected by the national Apostle to be with him in his last moments and to administer the Holy Viaticum to him. This event is thus chronicled in The Martyrology of Donegall; Tassach of Raholp gave the Body of Christ to Saint Patrick before his death in the monastery of Saul.

15th – St Ruadhan. THIS saint was born in the western part of Leinster and was one of St Finian of Clonard’s disciples. Having built the monastery of Lothraen, he assembled in it one hundred and fifty fervent monks, with whom he divided his time, between the exercises of prayer and manual labour, which he also sanctified by prayer. He was advanced to the episcopal dignity, and was called one of the twelve apostles of Ireland. He died in 584.

23rd – St Ibar. Perhaps a missionary to Ireland before Patrick, but more probably one of his disciples, Ibar preached in Leinster and Meath. There are indications that he was ordained a bishop at Rome, then preached with Saints Declan, Ailbeus, and Kieran. Usher (Antiq., c. 16), however, tells us that Patrick consecrated him bishop. He also founded a monastic school on the island of Beg-Eire (Beggery), where he trained many including his nephew Prince Saint Abban, who succeeded Ibar as abbot of Magarnoide in Kenselach. His relics were kept with singular veneration in his monastery at Beg-Eire, which attracted the attention of the English agents of the Reformation. In an attempt to stamp out his cultus and the many legends surrounding his wooden image in his little chapel, they tried to burn the image. Each time it was restored to its proper place without damage.

27th – St Asicus. One of the earliest disciples of St Patrick, who put him at the head of the monastery and diocese of Elphin in Ireland, where he is venerated as patron-saint. He excelled as a coppersmith and some examples of his work still exist.

28th – St Cronan. Born in Munster, he founded several monasteries in various parts of Ireland, especially Roscrea.  He loved to show hospitality to travelers.


18th – St Dicul (Deicola). Born in Ireland, he preached Christ in England in Norfolk and in Sussex. Dickleburgh in Norfolk may be named after him.


25th – St Maughold. HE was an Irish prince, and captain of robbers, or freebooters, whom St. Patrick converted to the faith. By baptism he was so changed into a new man, as to appear at once to have put on perfectly the spirit of Christ. To cut off all dangerous occasions and commerce, he renounced the world, and retired into the Isle of Man, about thirty English miles long, and nine broad, situated towards the coast of Lancashire, in England. In the acts of this saint, and in Gildas, it is called Eubonia, by Ptolemy Monoëda, from the British Moneitha, i. e. the further or more northern Mona, to distinguish it from the Isle of Anglesey, on the coast of Wales, called by the ancients Mona. St. Patrick had before sent to this island St. Germanus, whom he had ordained bishop, that he might plant a church there. He is honoured as the apostle of this island, and in his name is the cathedral church in Peel-castle dedicated. Upon the death of St. Germanus, St. Patrick sent thither two other preachers, named Conindrius and Romulus. In their time, St. Macull arrived there in an open boat, and, after their death, he is said to have been chosen bishop in 498, by the unanimous consent of the Manks nation. He had till then led an austere penitential life, in the mountainous tract, which, from him, is called St. Maughold, and where a city was afterwards built, which bears the same name, though now scarcely a village, Ramsey being the only town within this tract or parish. The saint, by his labours and example, exceedingly enlarged the kingdom of Christ in this island.


1st – Sts Caidoc and Fricor (Adrian).  The Irishmen Caidoc and Fricor evangelized the country of the Morini in Picardy, northern France, beginning about 622. Among the souls they won for Christ was the nobleman Riquier (Saint Ricarius; f.d. April 26), who intervened when some locals took offence to their preaching and took them into his home. Riquier became a fervent Christian, who engaged in penitential austerities and eventually was ordained. In 625, Riquier founded Centula based on the Rule of Columbanus, another Irishman. Their relics are still venerated at the parish church of Saint-Riquier in the diocese of Amiens.


17th – St Donnan and his martyr companions. St Donnan was a monk at Iona with St Columba and founded a monastery on the Island of Eigg in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland. He and his fifty-two monks were massacred by heathen raiders on Easter Sunday 618.

21st St Maelrubha. St. Maelrubha (Maolrubha) has been venerated as one of the apostles of the Picts in Scotland and of Skye—a mountainous island in the Inner Hebrides. Maelrubha was born in 642 in Ireland in what is now County Londonderry. The future saint was descended from King Nial of Ireland and his mother was a niece of the saintly abbot Comgall of Bangor. He took up monasticism and until 671 lived and studied in Bangor Monastery in present-day County Down. It was there that he was ordained a hieromonk. Wishing to imitate St. Columba of Iona, who had lived 100 years before him, Maelrubha decided to evangelize the pagan Picts in Scotland. Thus, in the year 671, together with a group of monks he moved to Scotland where he first lived on the famous Isle of Iona. In the Scottish lands the saint of God led a perfect ascetic life and was noted for his piety, learnedness, and the many miracles that he performed. In the first two years of his life in Scotland, Maelrubha travelled extensively in the Argyll region in the west where he founded many churches—there are sites dedicated to the saint in those places to this day. St. Maelrubha was the founder of the monastery of Applecross (the original name: Aber Crossan) on the very northwestern coast of Scotland in the present-day Highland region. At that time it was the land of the Picts. The date of the foundation of Applecross monastery is 673. It was from there that the revival of monastic traditions in Scotland began. Later a notated Paschal table was produced there. The very name “Applecross” is derived from an old Gaelic word meaning “sanctuary”. Originally this monastery of St. Maelrubha was surrounded by crosses marking the border of the monastic settlement. Unfortunately, only one of those crosses partly survives within a farm. According to the annals of the time and other sources, Applecross was a significant Christian and monastic center of that time from whence the Orthodox faith and Gaelic culture spread rapidly over the north of Scotland. The rest is here:

North America:

7th – St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America.  Before he began his work as Patriarch in Moscow he labored for a number of years serving and strengthening the Orthodox Church in Alaska and throughout North America.
Let us praise Tikhon, the patriarch of all Russia, / And enlightener of North America / An ardent follower of the Apostolic traditions, / And good pastor of the Church of Christ. / Who was elected by divine providence, / And laid down his life for his sheep. / Let us sing to him with faith and hope, / And ask for his hierarchical intercessions: / Keep the church in Russia in tranquility, / And the church in North America in peace. / Gather her scattered children into one flock, / Bring to repentance those who have renounced the True Faith, / Preserve our lands from civil strife, / And entreat God’s peace for all people!

Old Rome:

6th – St Celestine, Bishop of Rome.  Born in the Campagna in Italy, he succeeded Boniface I as Pope of Rome in 422. He supported St Germanus of Auxerre against Pelagianism and condemned Nestorianism.

10th – Martyrs of Rome. + c 115. A number of criminals baptised by Pope Alexander during his imprisonment. They were taken to Ostia near Rome and put on board a boat which was then scuttled.

11th – Sts Processus and Martinian. The Holy Martyrs Processus and Martinian were pagans and they served as guards at the Mamertine prison in Rome. State criminals were held in this prison, among them some Christians. Watching the Christian prisoners and listening to their preaching, Processus and Martinian gradually came to the knowledge of the Savior. When the holy Apostle Peter was locked up at the Mamertine prison, Processus and Martinian came to believe in Christ. They accepted holy Baptism from the apostle and released him from prison. The jailer Paulinus learned about this, and he demanded that Saints Processus and Martinian renounce Christ. The rest of their story is here:

13th – St Martin, Bishop of Rome.  Born in Umbria, he was elected Pope of Rome in 649. He called a Council at once and condemned Monothelitism. Imperial wrath fell on him and in 653 he was deported to Naxos in the Aegean. The following year he was condemned to death at a mock trial and finally taken as a prisoner to the Chersonese where he died of starvation.
The Saint was buried just outside the city of Cherson, in the Blachernae church of the Most Holy Theotokos. Great crowds of people visited his tomb because of the many miracles which took place there. Later, his relics were transferred to Rome, and placed in a church dedicated to Martin of Tours (November 11). The transfer of his relics is commemorated on November 12.

14th – St Ardalion the Actor. The Holy Martyr Ardalion suffered for Christ under the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311). Saint Ardalion was a talented actor. Once, he played the role of a Christian. In the play, the actor at first refused to offer sacrifice to idols, but then consented to renounce Christ. Suddenly the saint ordered everyone to be quiet and declared that he actually was a Christian. Saint Ardalion continued to confess his faith in Christ. Then the governor ordered the martyr to be thrown onto a red-hot iron grill. So Saint Ardalion attained a martyr’s crown.

14th – Sts Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus. THESE holy martyrs have always been held in singular veneration in the church, as appears from the ancient calendar of Fronto, the sacramentary of St. Gregory, St. Jerom’s Martyrology, that of Thomasius, &c. Valerian was espoused to St. Cecily, and converted by her to the faith; and with her he became the instrument of the conversion of his brother Tiburtius. Masimus, the officer appointed to attend their execution, was brought to the faith by the example of their piety, and received with them the crown of martyrdom, in the year 229. The theatre of their triumph seems to have been Rome, though some have imagined they suffered in Sicily. They were interred in the burying place of Prætextatus, which, from them, took the name of Tiburtius.

15th – Sts Basilissa and Anastasia. Noble Roman ladies, disciples of the Apostles Peter and Paul, whose bodies they buried. They were martyred under Nero.
A little more about them is at

18th – St Apollonius the Apologist. A Roman senator, denounced as a Christian by one of his own slaves and condemned to be beheaded. His eloquent defence of Orthodoxy, delivered before the Senate at his trial is a priceless document of the Faith.

24th – St Sabbas Stratelates and the 70 martyred with him. Saint Sabbas Stratelates came from a Gothic tribe. For his bravery he attained the high rank of military commander or “stratelates,” and he served under the Roman emperor Aurelian (270-275). From his youth, Sabbas was a Christian and he fervently followed the commands of Christ. He helped the needy, and visited Christians in prison. Because of his pure and virtuous life the saint received from the Lord the gift of wonderworking, healing the sick and casting out demons in the name of Christ. When the emperor learned that Saint Sabbas was a Christian, he demanded that he apostasize. The martyr threw down his military belt and declared that he would not forsake his faith. They beat him, burned him with torches, and threw him into a cauldron with tar, but the martyr remained unharmed. Looking on at his torments, seventy soldiers came to believe in Christ. They were beheaded by the sword. Saint Sabbas was thrown in prison. At midnight, while he was praying, Christ appeared to the martyr and shone on him the light of His Glory. The Savior bade him not to fear, but to stand firm. Encouraged, the Martyr Sabbas underwent new torture in the morning, and was drowned in a river in 272


8th – St Ædesius the Martyr.  Ædesius being at Alexandria, and observing how outrageously the judge proceeded against the Christians, by tormenting grave men, and delivering women of singular piety, and even virgins, to the infamous purchasers of slaves, he boldly presented himself before this savage monster, rather than a man, and reproached him with his crying inhumanity, especially in exposing holy virgins to lewdness. He endured courageously the scourge, and the greatest torments which the rage of such a tyrant was capable of inventing, and was at length cast into the sea, in 306.
The full account is a little longer:


11th – St Antipas. The Hieromartyr Antipas, a disciple of the holy Apostle John the Theologian (September 26), was bishop of the Church of Pergamum during the reign of the emperor Nero (54-68). During these times, everyone who would not offer sacrifice to the idols lived under threat of either exile or execution by order of the emperor. On the island of Patmos (in the Aegean Sea) the holy Apostle John the Theologian was imprisoned, he to whom the Lord revealed the future judgment of the world and of Holy Church. “And to the angel of the Church of Pergamum write: the words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you live, where the throne of Satan is, and you cleave unto My Name, and have not renounced My faith, even in those days when Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells” (Rev 2:12-13). By his personal example, firm faith and constant preaching about Christ, Saint Antipas began to turn the people of Pergamum from offering sacrifice to idols. The pagan priests reproached the bishop for leading the people away from their ancestral gods, and they demanded that he stop preaching about Christ and offer sacrifice to the idols instead. For the rest, go to yonder page:


24th – St Ives. According to medieval recounting, Saint Ivo was a Persian bishop who enjoyed great honour and luxury in his own land but he yearned for a more disciplined and arduous life. Together with three companions he went to England. They settled as hermits in the remote, wild fenlands in Huntingdonshire. There they died in the 7th century and would have been forgotten. However, about 1001, some relics with a bishop's insignia were found in Slepe (near Ramsey abbey). Following a peasant's revelation in a dream, these episcopal remains (bones) were identified as those of St. Ivo. The four bodies, including that believed to be Ivo, were translated to Ramsey Abbey, where a holy well sprung up, at which many miracles were performed as recorded by Ramsey's third abbot, Whitman. About a century later, light appeared at night reaching from Ramsey to Slepe, which was interpreted as meaning that the bones of Ivo's companions should be translated back to Slepe, where a new foundation from Ramsey could enjoy this subsidiary shrine. Saint Ives in Huntingdonshire is named for him.


2nd – St Constantine II, Martyr-King.  HE marched against the infidels who advanced to plunder his dominions, and, intercepting the forces of Hubba, cut off from the army of his brother, king Hinguar, by a sudden flood of the river Lenin, easily put them to flight; but was afterward vanquished by Hinguar, near the town Cararia, and slain. In his last moments he repeated those words of the Psalm lxxvii. 19. Lord Jesus, abandon not to beasts the souls which serve thee. His death is placed by bishop Lesley and Buchanan in 874. He was buried in the isle of Iona, or Y-Colm-kill, and his tomb is said to have been honoured with miracles.

9th – St Dotto. ONE of the isles of Orkney, in which he founded and governed a great monastery in the sixth century, bears his name to this day. In the same island stood other monasteries and churches dedicated to God under the patronage of St. Brenden. Though all the isles of Orkney are recommended for the healthfulness of the air, and longevity of the inhabitants, this of St. Dotto is remarkable above the rest on these accounts. Our saint lived near one hundred years, and with great joy repeated in his last moments: I have rejoiced in those things which have been told me: we will go into the house of the Lord.—Ps. cxxi.

13th – St Guinoc (Winnoc). BY his prayers and counsels, he was many years the support both of the church and state, among the Scots, in the ninth century, in the reign of Kenneth II., &c. The Aberdeen breviary and Henschenius place him under King Enos. He died about the year 838.

15th – St Munde. SEVERAL churches bear the name of this saint in Argyleshire in Scotland, in which he was formerly honoured as principal patron, and which he edified, by the shining light of his example, and by his zealous preaching, in the tenth century. He governed there a great monastery, founded several others in that province, and left behind him many great models of Christian perfection. His excellent maxims, relating to the most tender and universal fraternal charity, meekness, the love of silence and retiredness, and a constant attention to the divine presence, were handed down to posterity as sacred oracles. St. Munde died in a happy old age in 962.

20th – St Servanus (Serf). HE was first bishop and apostle of the isles of Orkney, and disciple of St. Palladius, whose apostolic spirit he inherited. He flourished in the fifth century.


7th – St Justin Popovich.  Another prophetic Orthodox voice calling the West to repentance.
A short account of his life and links to some of his writings:
Links to more of his writings:


4th – St Isidore of Seville.  Born in Cartagena in Spain, he was the brother of Sts Leander, Fulgentius and Florentina. He succeeded St Leander as Bishop of Seville in 600. He presided over several Councils, reorganised the Spanish Church, encouraged monastic life, completed the Mozarabic rite, was an encyclopedic writer and was also responsible for the Council of Toledo in 633.

9th – St Casilda. Born in Toledo, she was of Moorish parentage. She became Orthodox and led the life of an anchoress near Briviesca near Burgos. She was greatly venerated throughout Spain.

13th – St Hermenegild. Son of the Visigothic King of Spain, Leovigild, he was brought up as an Arian in Seville. He became Orthodox on his marriage to the daughter of Sigebert of Austrasia, at which his father disinherited him. Hermenegild rose up in arms, was defeated, captured and refusing to give up his Faith, was martyred at the instigation of his stepmother.

16th – St Encratia. A virgin who suffered terribly for Orthodoxy in Saragossa in Spain, where a church dedicated to her now exists. She was famous for 'her ardour in suffering for Christ'. Though counted a martyr, she outlived her torments.

16th – Eighteen Martyrs of Saragossa. Martyrs in Saragossa in Spain under Diocletian and the prefect Dacian. Prudentius, who lived in Saragossa a lifetime later, described their martyrdom.

17th – Sts Elias, Paul, and Isidore. Elias, a priest in Cordoba, was martyred in his old age by the Moors, together with Sts Paul and Isidore, two of his spiritual children. An eyewitness, St Eulogius, wrote an account of their martyrdom.

24th – St Gregory of Elvira. Bishop of Elvira in the south of Spain. He was one of the champions of Orthodoxy against Arianism and one of the few bishops who at Rimini in 359 consistently refused to compromise with them.


16th – St Fructuosus. Born in Spain of a noble family, he became a monk and then a hermit in the Vierzo Mountains, where disciples gathered around him. Fructuosus was eventually forced to become Bishop of Dumium and later Archbishop of Braga. His innocence and virtue were no security from the shafts of envy: but he overcame injuries by meekness and patience: and died laid on ashes before the altar, as he desired.


5th – St Derfel Gadarn. The memory of St. Derfel Gadarn (fifth to sixth centuries?) lives on in Wales to this day. The name means “Derfel the Strong”. He was originally a prominent soldier, but then abandoned his military career and gave himself over to spiritual labors for the glory of God. He was a hermit at Llandderfel (“Church of Derfel”) in the kingdom (and now county) of Gwynedd in Wales where he established a church or monastic community. He may also have been the abbot of two famous monasteries: those of Llantwit Major (Llanilltud Fawr in Welsh), founded by St. Illtyd, where he had probably studied, and that on the island of Bardsey (founded by his cousin St. Cadfan). St. Derfel reposed in the Lord a very old man, much venerated as a saint. In the Middle Ages Derfel was celebrated in poetry, especially as a soldier. Pilgrimages to his shrine and relics in the church of Llantarnam (the present-day county borough of Torfaen) in the south-east of Wales continued for many centuries.  More at

15th – St Paternus. Soon after Paternus’ birth his pious father with his wife’s consent moved to Ireland to lead a solitary life in prayer. The mother raised Paternus in great piety. When Paternus grew up he decided to follow in the steps of his father and, obtaining his mother’s permission and blessing, he set out to Wales together with a group of other young ascetics seeking the solitary life. But the saint was destined to lead the life of a hermit for only a short time: soon, together with other monks, Paternus with the blessing of spirit-bearing elders founded the great Monastery of Llanbadarn Fawr (“the Great Monastery of Padarn”) near to Aberystwyth in the former county of Cardiganshire, which is now Ceredigion. Some 120 monks lived in this monastery under St. Paternus. Paternus was most probably not only the Abbot of Llanbadarn but also a bishop at the same time. The saint was noted for his gift of inspired speech, love, compassion, mercifulness and humility. On making Llanbadarn Fawr the center of his mission, Paternus successfully enlightened the neighboring districts of Wales. The venerable father was Abbot of Llanbadarn for over 20 years, his community becoming one of the most celebrated centers of monastic life in line with Mynyw (Menevia in Latin) and Llandaff. St. Paternus was himself for a long time venerated as one of the founding fathers of Welsh monasticism and the most illustrious saints of this land. He staunchly opposed paganism, which at that time was still practiced by the rulers of some neighboring small kingdoms in Wales. The saint tirelessly preached to them the Good News of Christ, not losing hope for the enlightenment of pagans and their eternal salvation. For his energetic labors toward the eradication of heathenism the holy man suffered much from slander, as pagan chiefs used to malign this innocent man. More is at

21st – St Beuno. Our holy father Beuno was born in the second half of the 6th century in the Welsh kingdom of Powys (according to another tradition – in the present-day western English county of Herefordshire, which at that time was part of Wales) and most likely was a grandson of a Welsh prince. As a young man, Beuno was taught in Herefordshire and learned the monastic life in the famous Bangor Monastery that had been founded by the holy Bishop Deiniol of Bangor (today the village Bangor-on-Dee in the Borough of Wrexham in north-east Wales). In about 616 Beuno founded his main monastery at Clynnog Fawr in the historic region and modern county of Gwynedd in northwest Wales. Owing to the tireless labors of the monks of Clynnog Fawr, most of North Wales was enlightened with the Gospel. Beuno was ordained priest at Bangor and then was invited to become its abbot. In all the venerable man established no fewer than nine monastic centers in Wales and all of them became famous. It was said of Beuno that he was stern with stubborn sinners but was full of mercy and compassion for penitents and those who suffered. Towards the end of his life, Beuno was rewarded by the Lord with the gift of discernment and was able to penetrate into the depths and mysteries of the spiritual world. Throughout his life, Beuno worked numerous miracles of healing. He was also a very active and extremely successful missionary, his preaching of the Word of God reached many corners of Wales and south-west England. Among the contemporary theologians Beuno was famous for his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.  The rest is at this page:


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

Anathema to the Union!

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