Orthodox Saints of Western Europe
GOD IS WONDERFUL IN HIS SAINTS
The Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Jan 1
In keeping with the Law of Moses, the Savior’s parents had Him circumcised eight days after His birth (see Luke ch. 2). On this day, following Jewish custom, he received the name Jesus (Yeshua, a form of Joshua), meaning “God saves.” Thus, on this day, the Covenant of Moses was fulfilled and brought to an end, and the Salvation of God’s people was proclaimed to the world.
Almachius (Telemachus) Jan 1
+ 391. A hermit who came to Rome from the East and publicly protested against the gladiatorial combats in the Roman amphitheatre. He was seized and cut to pieces by order of the prefect Alipius. As a consequence, the Emperor Honorius is said to have abolished such spectacles.
Basil Jan 1
c 475. A priest from Arles who became second Bishop of Aix en Provence in France.
Clarus Jan 1
+ c 660. A monk at the monastery of St Ferreol, he was chosen abbot of the monastery of St Marcellus in Vienne in France.
Our Father among the Saints Basil the Great (379) – Jan 1
In its services, the Church calls St Basil a “bee of the Church of Christ”: bringing the honey of divinely-inspired wisdom to the faithful, stinging the uprisings of heresy. He was born in Cappadocia to a wealthy and prominent family. Their worldly wealth, however, is as nothing compared to the wealth of Saints that they have given to the Church: his parents St Basil the Elder and St Emmelia; his sister St Macrina (July 19), the spiritual head of the family; and his brothers St Gregory of Nyssa (January 10), and St Peter, future bishop of Sebaste (January 9).
Inspired and tutored by his father, a renowned professor of rhetoric, the brilliant Basil set out to master the secular learning and arts of his day, traveling to Athens, where he studied alongside his life-long friend St Gregory of Nazianzus. When he returned from his studies in 356, he found that his mother and his sister Macrina had turned the family home into a convent, and that his brothers had also taken up the monastic life nearby. Puffed up by his secular accomplishments, he at first resisted his sister’s pleas to take up a life devoted to God, but at last, through her prayers and admonition, entered upon the ascetical life.
After traveling among the monks of Egypt, Palestine and Syria, he settled in Cappadocia as a hermit, living in utter poverty and writing his ascetical homilies. A monastic community steadily gathered around him, and for its good order St Basil wrote his Rule, which is regarded as the charter of monasticism. (St Benedict in the West was familiar with this Rule, and his own is modeled on it.)
In about 370 he was consecrated Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Even as bishop, he continued to live without any possessions save a worn garment to cover himself. At this time the Arian heresy was rending the Church, and it became St Basil’s lot to defend Orthodoxy in Sermons and writings, a task which he fulfilled with such erudition and wisdom that he is called “Basil the Great.” He reposed in peace in 379, at the age of forty-nine.
St Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzus (374), father of St Gregory the Theologian
He converted to Christianity from paganism as an adult through the influence of his pious wife St Nonna (Aug. 5). He was made Bishop of Nazianzus in Cappadocia in 329, and served faithfully for forty-five years, defending his flock against the inroads of Arianism and the persecutions of Julian the Apostate. Late in life, he ordained his son Gregory, later known as St Gregory the Theologian (Jan. 25) to assist him. He reposed in peace, aged almost 100.
St Emilia (375), mother of Sts Macrina, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, and Theosevia
Her main commemoration is on May 8.
Concordius Jan 1
+ 175. A subdeacon martyred in Spoleto in central Italy under Marcus Aurelius.
Connat (Comnatan) Jan 1
+ c 590. Abbess of Kildare in Ireland.
Cuan (Mochua, Moncan) Jan 1
6th cent. The founder of many churches and monasteries in Ireland, he lived to nearly 100.
Elvan and Mydwyn Jan 1
2nd cent. By tradition they were two Britons sent to ask for missionaries for Britain.
Eugendus (Oyend) Jan 1
450-c 510. Fourth Abbot of Condat in France, called Saint-Oyend after him and later Saint-Claude. He became a monk at the age of seven and lived there until his repose.
Fanchea (Garbh) Jan 1
+ c ?585. Born in Clogher in Ireland, she was the sister of St Enda. She founded a convent at Rossory in Fermanagh and was buried in Killane.
Felix of Bourges Jan 1
+ c 580. Bishop of Bourges in France. He took part in the Council of Paris in 573.
Fulgentius Jan 1
+ 532. Born in North Africa, he became a monk early in life and was elected abbot. He had to flee from the Vandal persecution. In 502 or 507 he was chosen Bishop of Ruspe but was again exiled by the Vandals. He spent his exile in Sardinia where he wrote numerous works which still exist. He returned to Africa in 523.
Justin of Chieti Jan 1
+ c ? 540. Venerated from time immemorial in Chienti in Italy, he was bishop of that city.
Maelrhys Jan 1
6th cent. A saint of the Isle of Bardsey in Wales, probably born in Brittany.
Rome (Martyrs of) Jan 1
+ c 304. Thirty soldiers martyred in Rome under Diocletian.
William of Dijon Jan 1
962-1031. William was born near Novara in Italy and became a monk near Vercelli, from where he went to France. Here he was sent to restore the monastery of St Benignus in Dijon, Gentle with the poor, he showed great firmness in his dealings with the great. Towards the end of his life he founded the monastery of Fruttuaria in Piedmont and rebuilt that of Fécamp.
Beginning of the Forefeast of Theophany – Jan 2
Adalard Jan 2
c 751-827. He entered the monastery of Corbie in the north of France, where he became abbot. Exiled, he founded New Corbie (Corvey) in Saxony in Germany.
Artaxus, Acutus, Eugenda, Maximianus, Timothy, Tobias and Vitus Jan 2
3-4th cent. Martyrs in Syrmium in Pannonia.
Seraphim of Sarov (1833) – Jan 2
“Saint Seraphim was born in the town of Kursk in 1759. From tender childhood he was under the protection of the most holy Mother of God, who, when he was nine years old, appeared to him in a vision, and through her icon of Kursk, healed him from a grave sickness from which he had not been expected to recover. At the age of nineteen he entered the monastery of Sarov, where he amazed all with his obedience, his lofty asceticism, and his great humility. In 1780 the Saint was stricken with a sickness which he manfully endured for three years, until our Lady the Theotokos healed him, appearing to him with the Apostles Peter and John. He was tonsured a monk in 1786, being named for the holy Hieromartyr Seraphim, Bishop of Phanarion (Dec. 4), and was ordained deacon a year later. In his unquenchable love for God, he continually added labours to labours, increasing in virtue and prayer with titan strides. Once, during the Divine Liturgy of Holy and Great Thursday he was counted worthy of a vision of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who appeared encompassed by the heavenly hosts. After this dread vision, he gave himself over to greater labours.
“In 1794, Saint Seraphim took up the solitary life in a cell in the forest. This period of extreme asceticism lasted some fifteen years, until 1810. It was at this time that he took upon himself one of the greatest feats of his life. Assailed with despondency and a storm of contrary thoughts raised by the enemy of our salvation, the Saint passed a thousand nights on a rock, continuing in prayer until God gave him complete victory over the enemy. On another occasion, he was assaulted by robbers, who broke his chest and his head with their blows, leaving him almost dead. Here again, he began to recover after an appearance of the most Holy Theotokos, who came to him with the Apostles Peter and John, and pointing to Saint Seraphim, uttered these awesome words, ‘This is one of my kind.’
“In 1810, at the age of fifty, weakened by his more than human struggles, Saint Seraphim returned to the monastery for the third part of his ascetical labours, in which he lived as a recluse, until 1825. For the first five years of his reclusion, he spoke to no one at all, and little is known of this period. After five years, he began receiving visitors little by little, giving counsel and consolation to ailing souls. In 1825, the most holy Theotokos appeared to the Saint and revealed to him that it was pleasing to God that he fully end his reclusion; from this time the number of people who came to see him grew daily. It was also at the command of the holy Virgin that he undertook the spiritual direction of the Diveyevo Convent. He healed bodily ailments, foretold things to come, brought hardened sinners to repentance, and saw clearly the secrets of the heart of those who came to him. Through his utter humility and childlike simplicity, his unrivalled ascetical travails, and his angel-like love for God, he ascended to the holiness and greatness of the ancient God-bearing Fathers and became, like Anthony for Egypt, the physician for the whole Russian land. In all, the most holy Theotokos appeared to him twelve times in his life. The last was on Annunciation, 1831, to announce to him that he would soon enter into his rest. She appeared to him accompanied by twelve virgins martyrs and monastic saints with Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Theologian. With a body ailing and broken from innumerable hardships, and an unspotted soul shining with the light of Heaven, the Saint lived less than two years after this, falling asleep in peace on January 2, 1833, chanting Paschal hymns. On the night of his repose, the righteous Philaret of the Glinsk Hermitage beheld his soul ascending to Heaven in light. Because of the universal testimony to the singular holiness of his life, and the seas of miracles that he performed both in life and after death, his veneration quickly spread beyond the boundaries of the Russian Empire to every corner of the earth. See also July 19.” (Great Horologion)
July 19 is the commemoration of the uncovering of St Seraphim’s holy relics, which was attended by Tsar Nicholas II.
Saint Seraphim’s life became a perpetual celebration of Pascha: in his later years he dressed in a white garment, greeted everyone, regardless of the season, with “Christ is Risen!” and chanted the Pascha service every day of the year.
Aspasius Jan 2
+ c 560. Bishop of Auch in France, he took part in the Councils of Orleans in 533, 541 and 549, besides holding a Council in Auch in 551.
Blidulf (Bladulf) Jan 2
+ c 630. A monk at Bobbio in Italy who bravely denounced the heresy of the Lombard King Ariovald.
Martinian (Maternian) Jan 2
+ c 435. Bishop of Milan in Italy (423-c 435). He took part in the Third Oecumenical Council at Ephesus and wrote against Nestorianism.
Munchin Jan 2
7th cent.? Probably the first Bishop and also patron-saint of Limerick in Ireland.
Rome (Martyrs of) Jan 2
+ c 303. Many martyrs who suffered in Rome under Diocletian for refusing to give up the Holy Scriptures.
Silvester Dec 31 (In the East Jan 2)
+ 335. Silvester came from Rome and served the Church as Pope from 314 to 335, helping convert St Constantine. Most of his relics are enshrined in San Silvestro in Capite in Rome.
Vincentian (Viance, Viants) Jan 2
+ c 730. A disciple of St Menelaus, he became a hermit near Tulle in Auvergne in France.
Sylvester, Pope of Rome (335) – Jan 2
He was a native of Rome. Because of his virtue and love for all, the faithful made him Pope against his will upon the death of Pope Miltiades in 314. He was Pope when Constantine the Great ended the persecution of the Church, and personally instructed the Emperor in the Faith. Unable to attend the Council of Nicaea personally, he sent delegates to represent him and uphold the Orthodox faith there. He reposed in peace in 325.
Once, in a debate between the Saint and Zambrius, a Jewish scribe and occultist, Zambrius whispered a magic word in the ear of a bull, upon which the animal fell down dead. Zambrius then challenged the Pope to do as much in the name of Christ. The holy bishop replied, ‘My God gives life and resurrection, not death.’ Lifting his hands to heaven, he restored the creature to life. The Emperor and the crowd who witnessed the debate cheered the Saint, and many decided to be baptized.
Juliana of Lazarevskoye (1604) – Jan 2
The daughter of a devout and generous official in the Tsar’s court, she was orphaned at the age of six and reared by relatives. At the age of sixteen she was given in marriage to George Ossorguin, a nobleman who lived on an estate at Lavarevskoye, near Murom.
The couple were a model of Christian marriage. When her husband was at home, they would devote much of their time to praying together. When he was away in service to the Tsar, she would devote whole nights to prayer and handiwork. Since she was not free to give away her fortune as she desired, she earned money for almsgiving by the work of her hands, something unheard-of for a lady of her rank. When anyone died in the village she prayed for him at length, and if he were indigent she would pay for his funeral.
When two of the pious couple’s sons died, Juliana asked her husband to let her enter a monastery. He refused because they had other young children who needed her care; but he gave her permission to live a monastic life under his roof. From this time forward, she increased her fasts, spent her nights in prayer, and slept on the floor. When her husband died ten years later, her wealth was at her own disposal, and she devoted all of it to works of mercy. When her family criticized her for depriving herself so harshly, especially for her severe fasting, she answered ‘Whatever my body loses now won’t be food for worms later. What is the point of fattening the flesh only to lose the soul?’
From 1601 to 1603, Russia was struck for three years by the worst famine in its history, so severe that men ate human flesh in their desperation. Saint Juliana sold all her livestock, gave away all the provisions in her barns, and freed all her serfs who wished to leave. Those who remained became her family, with whom she shared all she had. By her prayers, bitter and inedible plants became palatable so that they could be made into bread. The holy woman, despite almost killing privation, never complained, but seemed more cheerful than ever before.
Saint Juliana reposed in peace at the age of seventy in 1604. At the moment of her death a bright halo was seen above her head. Ten years later her body was found incorrupt, and her tomb filled with a fragrant myrrh. She was venerated among the Russian people from that time forward, though it was not until 1988 that she was officially glorified by the Moscow Patriarchate.
Holy New Martyr George the Georgian (1770) – Jan 2
A native of Georgia, he was sold as a slave to a Turk and made a Muslim in his youth. He lived a long life as a Muslim, seemingly having no memory of the faith or language of his parents. Without warning, however, when he had reached the age of seventy, his conscience awakened, he presented himself to the judge and stated that he had been born a Christian and wished to die a Christian. The old man remained immovable under questioning, exhortation, threats and, finally, torture; he would only say ‘I am a Christian; I want to die a Christian!’ The executioners hanged him, then cut him down to see if this last trial would change his mind. When he assured them once again that he was a Christian, they hanged him again, and he was allowed to claim his martyrdom.
Antherus Jan 3 (In the East Aug 5)
+ 236. A Greek who was Pope of Rome for only a few weeks. He may have been martyred and was buried in the catacomb of St Callistus, the first Pope to be so.
Bertilia Jan 3
+ c 687. A noble virgin who took a vow of continence with her husband. On his death she lived as an anchoress near a church she had founded at Maroeuil (Marolles) in Flanders in Belgium.
Blitmund Jan 3
+ 660 ? A monk at Bobbio in Italy. He followed St Walaricus (St Valéry) to France, where they founded the monastery of Leucone, later called Saint-Valéry. St Blitmund was the second abbot.
Prophet Malachi (~400 BC) Jan 3
He is the last of the twelve Minor Prophets and the last of all the Prophets of the Old Testament. His name means ‘My Angel’ or ‘My Messenger.’ He returned with the exiled Jews from Babylon and took part in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. His prophecy announces to the ear of faith that the Lord will soon bring the Hebrew priesthood to an end in the coming of Christ, the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2), the eternal Priest.
Gordius of Caesarea (4th c.) Jan 3
“The Martyr Gordius, who was from Caesarea of Cappadocia, was a centurion by rank. Unable to bear the impiety of the heathen, he withdrew to the wilderness to purify himself through prayer and fasting. After he perceived that his ascetical training had prepared him sufficiently, he came down from the mountains when a certain pagan festival was held in Caesarea, attended by all, and presented himself to the multitude. Although the spectacles of the festival continued, no one paid them any heed, but all eyes were turned upon him. From his sojourn in the mountains, his look was wild, his beard was long, his raiment squalid, his body like a skeleton; yet a certain grace shone round about him. He was recognized, and a loud shout and tumult was made, as his fellow Christians rejoiced, and the enemies of the truth cried out for his death. He boldly professed his faith before the Governor, and after torments was beheaded, in the reign of Licinius in the year 314. Saint Basil the Great delivered a homily on Saint Gordius, mentioning that some of those in his audience had been present at the Saint’s martyrdom.” (Great Horologion)
Genevieve of Paris (~502) Jan 3
She was born near Paris to a family of wealthy landowners. When she was about ten years old St Germanus of Auxerre (July 31), passing through the region on his way to Britain, discerned a special divine purpose for her, and told her parents that she had been chosen for the salvation of many. “He asked her that day, and early the next, if she would consecrate herself to holy virginity for Christ and, on both occasions, she answered that it was her dearest wish. Then he blessed her and gave her a copper coin inscribed with the Cross to wear around her neck, telling her never to wear gold, silver or pearls, but to elevate her mind above the small beauties of this world in order to inherit eternal and heavenly adornments.” (Synaxarion)
Convents were unknown at that time in Gaul, so Genevieve lived as a solitary, in a cell in her own house, first with her parents then, after their death, with her godmother in Paris. She devoted herself to the poor, giving away everything that came into her hands, except the small amount that she needed to feed herself on bread and beans. (When she passed the age of fifty, she was commanded by the bishops to add some fish and milk to her diet). She kept Lent from Theophany to Pascha, during which time she never left her house. She was never afraid to rebuke the powerful for their oppression of the weak and the poor, and thus earned many powerful enemies; but the people’s love for her, and the support of the Church, kept her from persecution.
It became her custom to walk to church on Sundays in procession with her household and many pious laypeople. Once the candle borne at the front of the procession (it was still dark) blew out in a rainstorm. The Saint asked for the candle and, when she took it in her hand, it re-lit and stayed lighted until they reached the church. At several other times, candles lit spontaneously in her hand; for this reason her icon shows her holding a candle.
She traveled throughout Gaul (modern-day France) on church business, being greeted with all the honors usually accorded a bishop. Several times she saved the city of Paris from the assaults of barbarian tribes through her prayers, by pleading with barbarian chieftains, and once by organizing a convoy to bring grain to the besieged city.
Saint Genevieve reposed in peace at the age of eighty. Through the centuries since then, she has shown her holy protection of the city of Paris countless times, and her relics in the Church of Saint Genevieve have wrought innumerable healings. Her relics were many times carried in huge processions in times of war, pestilence or other national trial. These relics were mostly burned and thrown into the River Seine by the godless Revolutionaries in 1793, but, as the Synaxarion concludes, “those who continue to invoke Saint Genevieve with faith, find her to be well and truly alive.”
Daniel Jan 3
+ 168. A deacon who helped St Prosdocimus, the first Bishop of Padua in Italy. He was martyred in 168.
Finlugh (Finlag) Jan 3
6th cent. A brother of St Fintan, he went to Scotland, where he became one of St Columba’s disciples. Returning to Ireland, he became abbot of a monastery in Co. Derry.
Fintan Jan 3
6th cent. A disciple of St Comgall at Bangor in Ireland. He is honoured as the patron-saint of Doon in Limerick where his holy well still exists.
Florentius of Vienne Jan 3
3rd century? A martyred Bishop of Vienne in France.
Wenog Jan 3
? An early saint in Wales.
Synaxis of the Seventy Apostles Jan 4
In addition to the Twelve Apostles, our Lord appointed seventy disciples to go forth and bring the Good News to the world (see Luke ch. 10). Others were later added to this company by the Holy Apostles, so that their number in fact exceeds seventy, though all are still referred to as “of the Seventy.”
On this day we also commemorate the company of those who have been sent forth by the Holy Spirit through the centuries to proclaim the joyous Gospel of Christ.
Aquilinus, Geminus, Eugene, Marcian, Quintus, Theodotus and Tryphon Jan 4
c 484. A group of martyrs in North Africa under the Arian Hunneric, King of the Vandals.
Clement Nov 23 (In the East Jan 4, Apr 22, Sept 10 and Nov 25)
+ c 101. One of the Seventy Apostles, he was the third Pope of Rome. Consecrated by the Apostle Peter, he is mentioned in Philippians 4,3 and wrote a letter to the Church of Corinth which still exists. He is venerated as a martyr and he is remembered in Rome by the church of San Clemente, which may have been built on the site of his home.
Dafrosa (Affrosa) Jan 4
? Dafrosa, the mother of St Bibiana, was martyred in Rome under Julian the Apostate.
Ferreolus Jan 4
+ 581. Born in Narbonne in France, he became Bishop of Uzès. He devoted himself in particular to converting Jews and was exiled by King Childebert on that account. He also founded a monastery.
Gregory of Langres Jan 4
+ 539. A governor of Autun in France. Later in life he lost his wife, was ordained priest and became Bishop of Langres, gaining a reputation for gentleness and understanding. He was the father of St Tetricus and the great-uncle of St Gregory of Tours.
Libentius (Liäwizo) Jan 4
938-1013. Born in Swabia in Germany, he became Bishop of Hamburg in 988.
Linus Sept 23 (In the East Jan 4 and Nov 5)
+ c 79. The first Pope of Rome. A disciple of the Apostle Paul, he was one of the Seventy and is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4,21. He was Pope for twelve years (67-79) and is venerated as a martyr.
Mavilus (Majulus) Jan 4
+ 212. A martyr in Hadrumetum in North Africa, thrown to wild beasts at the time of Caracalla.
Pharäildis (Vareide, Verylde, Veerle) Jan 4
+ c 740. Probably born in Ghent in Belgium, she was married against her will. Maltreated by her husband, she became one of the patron-saints of Ghent.
Priscus, Priscillian and Benedicta Jan 4
? Martyrs in Rome buried by their father, Flavian.
Rigobert Jan 4
+ c 745. Monk and Abbot of Orbais in France, in 721 he became Archbishop of Rheims but some years later was banished by the Frank Charles Martel. He returned to Orbais and resumed monastic life. On being recalled to Rheims, he came to terms with the intruded bishop and himself became a hermit.
The Ethiopian Eunuch of Queen Candace Jan 4
His baptism by the holy Apostle Philip is told in Acts ch. 8. He was already seeking out the things of God — the story shows him reading the Book of Isaiah, and specifies that he was going to Jerusalem to worship. He returned home (“rejoicing”, say the scriptures) and proclaimed the Gospel of Christ in his native land; the ancient Church of Ethiopia traces its beginnings to his mission. He died a martyr’s death.
Apollinaria (5th c.) Jan 4
She was a maiden of high rank, the daughter of a magistrate named Anthimus in the city of Rome. Filled with love for Christ, she prevailed on her parents to allow her to travel on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem she dismissed most of her attendants, gave her jewels, fine clothes and money to the poor, and went on to Egypt accompanied only by two trusted servants. Near Alexandria she slipped away from them and fled to a forest, where she lived in ascesis for many years. She then made her way to Sketis, the famous desert monastic colony, and presented herself as a eunuch named Dorotheos. In this guise she was accepted as a monk.
Anthimus, having lost his elder daughter, was visited with another grief: his younger daughter was afflicted by a demon. He sent this daughter to Sketis, asking the holy fathers there to aid her by their prayers. They put her under the care of “Dorotheos”, who after days of constant prayer effected the complete cure of her (unknowing) sister. When the girl got back home it was discovered that she was pregnant, and Anthimus angrily ordered that the monk who had cared for her be sent to him. He was astonished to find that “Dorotheos” was his own daughter Apollinaria, whom he had abandoned hope of seeing again. After some days the holy woman returned to Sketis, still keeping her identity secret from her fellow-monks. Only at her death was her true story discovered.
Eve of Theophany Jan 5
Holy Martyrs Theopemptus and Theonas (~290)
Theopemptus was a bishop (some say in Nicomedia) who contested for Christ during the fierce persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian. For openly confessing the Faith, he was arrested and brought before the Emperor himself, whom he fearlessly convicted for his cruelty and ungodliness. The saint was then subjected to several cruel tortures, from which he miraculously emerged unhurt. He was given a deadly poison to drink, prepared by a sorcerer named Theonas. When Theonas saw that the holy bishop was unharmed by his potion, he was led to confess Christ. Finally, St Theopemptus was beheaded, and Theonas thrown in a pit and buried alive.
Cera (Ciar, Cyra, Cior, Ceara) Jan 5
7th cent. Born in Tipperary in Ireland, she was abbess of two convents, one at Kilkeary and the other at Tech Telle, now Tehelly.
Kiara (Chier) Jan 5
+ c 680. A spiritual daughter of St Fintan Munnu. She lived in Ireland near Nenagh in Co. Tipperary, at a place now called Kilkeary after her.
Convoyon Jan 5
+ 868. Born in Brittany, he became a monk and founded the monastery of St Saviour near Redon. He was driven out of his monastery by the Vikings and reposed in exile.
Syncletike (4th c.) Jan 5
She was the daughter of wealthy and devout parents in Alexandria. Though much desired as a bride for her great beauty, intelligence and wealth, she showed no interest in any worldly attraction and, when her parents died, gave away all of her large fortune. She then fled with her blind sister to the desert, where she became the foundress of monastic life for women in the Egyptian desert, just as St Anthony had for men. At first she attempted to struggle in solitude, hiding her ascetic labors from all and keeping strict silence before all people. But in time her holiness became known, and a company of young women formed around her, seeking to emulate and share in her way of life. At first she kept her silence even with them, but at last was forced out of love to give way to their pleas and reveal to them the wisdom that had been implanted in her. A settled monastic community grew around her, and she became known to all as Amma, the feminine form of the title Abba.
At the age of eighty-five, she was stricken with an agonizing cancer that slowly destroyed and putrefied her body. She bore these heavy trials with patience and thanksgiving, and told her disciples: “If illness strikes us, let us not be distressed as though physical exhaustion could prevent us from singing God’s praises; for all these things are for our good and for the purification of our desires. Fasting and ascesis are enjoined on us only because of our appetites; so if illness has blunted their edge, there is no longer any need for ascetic labors. To endure illness patiently and to send up thanksgiving to God is the greatest ascesis of all.”
Eventually her illness deprived her even of the power of speech, but it was said that the sight of her joyful and serene countenance amid her sufferings was better than any other teaching, and the faithful continued to flock to her to receive a blessing. After a three-month martyrdom, she departed this life, having predicted the day of her death.
It is said that St Syncletike was the virgin who sheltered St Athanasius the Great when he was driven into hiding for more than a year by the Arians. Her biography, which the Synaxarion calls “one of the basic texts of Orthodox spirituality,” is attributed to St Athanasius.
Emiliana Jan 5
6th cent. A Roman lady and the paternal aunt of St Gregory the Great, from whom we know of her saintly life, visions and repose.
Gaudentius of Gnesen Jan 5
+ c 1004. Younger brother of St Adalbert of Prague and also a monk at the monastery of Sant’ Alessio on the Aventine in Rome. He escaped the massacre in which his brother was martyred by the pagan Prussians and in 1000 became first Archbishop of Gnesen in Poland.
Telesphorus Jan 5 (In the East Feb 22)
+ c 136. A Greek who was Pope of Rome for ten years and was martyred under Hadrian.
The Holy Theophany of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ Jan 6
‘About the beginning of our Lord’s thirtieth year, John the Forerunner, who was some six months older than our Saviour according to the flesh, and had lived in the wilderness since his childhood, received a command from God and came into the parts of the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins. Then our Saviour also came from Galilee to the Jordan, and sought and received baptism though He was the Master and John was but a servant. Whereupon, there came to pass those marvellous deeds, great and beyond nature: the Heavens were opened, the Spirit descended in the form of a dove upon Him that was being baptized, and the voice was heard from the Heavens bearing witness that this was the beloved Son of God, now baptized as a man (Matt. 3:13 17; Mark 1:9 11; Luke 3:1 22). From these events the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Chist and the great mystery of the Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the present feast is called “Theophany,” that is, the divine manifestation, God’s appearance among men. On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated; henceforth also began the saving preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven.’ (Great Horologion)
When Thou was baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and hast enlightened the world,glory be to Thee. — Troparion of Theophany
‘But Christ’s descent into the river has also a further significance. When Christ went down into the waters, not only did he carry us down with Him and make us clean, but He also made clean the nature of the waters themselves… The feast of Theophany has thus a cosmic aspect. The fall of the angelic orders, and after it the fall of man, involved the whole universe. All God’s creation was thereby warped and disfigured: to use the symbolism of the liturgical texts, the waters were made a “lair of dragons”. Christ came on earth to redeem not only man but through man the entire material creation. When He entered the water, besides effecting by anticipation our rebirth in the font, he likewise effected the cleansing of the waters, their transfiguration into an organ of healing and grace.’ Bishop Kallistos, “Background and meaning of the Feasts” in the Festal Menaion.
The western feast of Epiphany, also on this day, commemorates not Christ’s baptism but the adoration of the Magi.
Africa, Martyrs of North-West Africa Jan 6
+ c 210. A number of Christians of both sexes burnt at the stake under Septimius Severus.
Anastasius Jan 6
4th cent. A martyr in Syrmium in Pannonia, now Hungary.
Anastasius, Jucundus, Florus, Florianus, Peter, Ratites, Tatia and Tilis Jan 6
4th cent. Martyred in Syrmium in Pannonia, now Hungary.
Diman (Dimas, Dima) Jan 6
+ 658. A monk with St Columba and afterwards Bishop of Connor in Ireland.
Edeyrn Jan 6
6th cent. Born in Britain, he was hermit and the patron saint of a church in Brittany.
Eigrad Jan 6
6th cent. A brother of St Samson, he was a disciple of St Illtyd and founded a church in Anglesey in Wales.
Frederick of Arras Jan 6
+ 1020. Son of the Count of Verdun in France, he gave his inheritance to the Bishop of Verdun. He then set out for Palestine and on his return became a monk at St Vanne and later St Vedast in Arras.
Hywyn Jan 6
+ 516. Probably a companion of St Cadfan on his return journey from Brittany to Cornwall and Wales. By tradition he founded Aberdaron in Gwynedd.
Macra Jan 6
+ 287. A holy virgin from Rheims in France, she was martyred in Fismes in Champagne before the persecution under Diocletian began.
Melanius (Melaine) Jan 6
+ c 535. Born in Brittany, he was Bishop of Rennes and succeeded in overcoming idolatry in his diocese.
Merinus Jan 6
6th cent. A disciple of Dunawd at Bangor in Wales and venerated there and in Brittany.
Peter of Canterbury Jan 6
+ c 607. A monk from St Andrew’s in Rome, he was one of the first missionaries sent to England. He became first Abbot of Sts Peter and Paul (later St Augustine’s), founded in Canterbury. While travelling to France he was drowned off Ambleteuse near Boulogne, where his relics are still honoured.
Schotin (Scarthin) Jan 6
6th cent. While still a youth, Schotin left Ireland to become a disciple of St David in Wales. On his return to his native country he lived as a hermit on Mt Mairge in Leix for many years.
Wiltrudis Jan 6
+ c 986. After her husband’s death (c 947), she founded (c 976) the convent of Bergen near Neuburg in Germany and herself became a nun and the first abbess.
The Synaxis of the Venerable and Illustrious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John. Jan 7
On the day after a great Feast we usually honor the servant of the Mystery; today we honor him who baptized the Lord: the blessed Forerunner, “greatest of the Prophets, most noble of those born of women, voice of the Word, herald of Grace, swallow presaging the spiritual spring, torch and beacon of the divine Light, spiritual dawn announcing the Sun of Righteousness, and as terrestrial angel and celestial man, stationed at the border of heaven and earth, uniting the Old and the New Testaments” (Synaxarion).
New Martyr Athanasius of Attalia (1700)
A native of Attalia, he lived in Smyrna. Once he unguardedly spoke the opening words of the Muslim confession of faith, “There is no god but God.” Hearing this, some Turks immediately surrounded him and took him to the court, claiming that he had embraced Islam. This he vehemently denied, assuring them that he was a Christian and that the words he had spoken would be unremarkable to any Christian. He was thrown into prison as an apostate and, after a sham trial, beheaded. His body was thrown to the dogs, but the usually voracious animals refused to touch his body, and it was removed by some pious Christians and given honorable burial.
Cedd, Bishop of Essex and Abbot of Lastingham (664)
He and his brother Chad (Mar. 2) were from an English family, educated under Saint Aidan (Aug. 31) of Lindisfarne. Both brothers entered monastic life at Lindisfarne and later became bishops. Cedd travelled as an evangelist among the people of Essex, where Saint Finan (Feb. 17) consecrated him to be their first bishop. He founded two monasteries in Essex, one of whose churches still stands; he built yet another monastery at Lastingham in Yorkshire, where he lived until his repose. He spoke both Irish and Anglo-Saxon, and served as a translator for the Irish at the Synod of Whitby in 664. He reposed at Lastingham not long after the Synod.
Aldericus (Aldric, Audry) Jan 7
+ 856. Bishop of Le Mans in France (832), he excelled as a saintly prelate and as an able administrator. Some of his works survive.
Anastasius Jan 7
+ 977. Archbishop of Sens from 968 to 977, he began building the Cathedral and greatly helped the monks of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif, in whose church he was buried.
Brannoc Jan 7
? Born in Wales, he crossed to Devon in England and founded a monastery in Braunton.
Crispin Jan 7
5th century. Bishop of Pavia in Italy, he signed the acts of the Council of Milan.
Cronan Beg Jan 7
7th cent. A Bishop of Aendrum in Co. Down in Ireland.
Emilian (Aemilio) Jan 7
+ 767. Born in Vannes in France, he was a monk at Saujon near Saintes and died as a hermit in the forest of Combes near Bordeaux.
Kentigerna Jan 7
+ 734. Daughter of Kelly, prince of Leinster and mother of St Coellan. After her husband’s death she left Ireland and became an anchoress on the island of Inchebroida on Loch Lomond in Scotland, where a church is dedicated to her.
Reinold (Rainald, Reynold) Jan 7
+ 960. A monk at the monastery of St Pantaleon in Cologne in Germany. He was killed by stonemasons who threw his body into a pool near the Rhine. It was later found by divine revelation.
Tillo (Thillo, Thielman, Théau, Tilloine, Tillon, Tilman) Jan 7
+ c 702. Born in Saxony in Germany, he was abducted by robbers and enslaved. Freed by St Eligius of Noyon, he became a monk at Solignac and enlightened the area around Tournai and Courtrai in Belgium.
Valentine Jan 7
+ c 470. An abbot who became a bishop in Rhaetia. He reposed in Mais in the Tyrol in Austria. Some years later his relics were translated to Trent and then to Passau.
Wittikund Jan 7
+ c 804. A noble from Westphalia in Germany, he was converted by a vision and baptised in 785. He was zealous in spreading Christianity and restoring churches.
Albert of Cashel Jan 8
7th cent. Patron-saint of Cashel in Ireland. According to some, he had been born in England, laboured in Ireland and later preached in Bavaria. He then went to Jerusalem and on his return reposed and was buried in Regensburg.
Athelhelm (Athelm) Jan 8
+ 923. Paternal uncle of St Dunstan. A monk and then Abbot of Glastonbury in England, he became first Bishop of Wells in Somerset and in 923 twenty-first Archbishop of Canterbury.
Ergnad (Ercnacta) Jan 8
5th cent. Born in Ulster in Ireland, she was made a nun by St Patrick.
Erhard Jan 8
+ c 686. Born in Ireland, he preached the Gospel as a bishop in Bavaria in Germany, mainly around Regensburg.
Eugenian Jan 8
4th cent. Bishop of Autun in France, he was a staunch defender of Orthodoxy against Arianism, for which he was martyred.
Frodobert Jan 8
+ c 673. A monk at Luxeuil in France, he founded the monastery of Moutier-la-Celle near Troyes, where he led a life of unceasing prayer and asceticism.
Garibaldus Jan 8
+ 762. First Bishop of Regensburg in Germany. He was consecrated by St Boniface in c 740. He had probably been Abbot of St Emmeran in Regensburg before this.
Gudula (Goule) Jan 8
+ 712. Daughter of St Amelberga, she spent much time with St Gertrude at Nivelles and afterwards lived a life of holiness. She is the patroness of Brussels in Belgium.
Lucian, Maximian and Julian Jan 8
+ c 290. Martyrs in Beauvais in the north of France.
Maximus Jan 8
+ 511. Bishop of Pavia in Italy, he attended Councils in Rome under Pope Symmachus.
Patiens Jan 8
2nd cent. Venerated as the fourth Bishop and patron-saint of Metz in France.
Pega Jan 8
+ c 719. The sister of St Guthlac of Crowland in England. She too lived as an anchoress. The village of Peakirk (Pega’s church) in Northamptonshire is called after her.
Severinus Jan 8
+ 482. An Eastern monk who enlightened Noricum Ripense, now in Austria. He founded several monasteries, notably one on the Danube near Vienna, where he organised help for those afflicted by the invasions of Attila and the Huns and where he reposed. Six years after his repose, the monks were driven out and took his relics to Naples in Italy, where the monastery of San Severino was built to enshrine them.
Wulsin Jan 8
+ 1002. A monk whom St Dunstan loved as a son and made Abbot of Westminster in 980. In 993 he became Bishop of Sherborne.
Domnica (Domnina) (~474) Jan 8
She was born in Rome and reared in the love of Christ. She secretly left her parents’ house and traveled by ship to Alexandria, where she found lodging with four virtuous pagan maidens. By her example and counsel these four were in time led to abandon idolatry and embrace Domnica’s faith. The five then sailed to Constantinople, where it is said that the Patriarch Nectarius (October 11) was notified of their coming by an angel and met them at the dock. The Patriarch baptized the four maidens himself, giving them the names Dorothea, Evanthia, Nonna and Timothea, then settle them and Domnica in a monastery.
Soon the fame of Domnica’s pure life, wise teaching, and wondrous healings spread throughout the city, and even the Emperor Theodosius, with the Empress and his court, came to see her. Soon the crowds made it impossible for her and her sisters to live the heavenly life for which they had entered the monastery; so they relocated the monastery to a remote, demon-haunted location where executions had once commonly been performed, since everyone avoided the area. Here a new monastery was built by order of the Emperor, and the sisters found peace.
Saint Domnica’s fame continued, and she became not only a healer but an oracle for the city of Constantinople, prophesying the death of the Emperor Theodosius and the unrest which followed it. She reposed in peace, having first entrusted the care of the monastery to Dorothea. At the moment of her death, the whole monastery was shaken, and those present saw Saint Domnica dressed as a bride, being borne heavenward escorted by a company of white-clad monks and nuns.
Atticus, Patriarch of Constantinople (425) Jan 8
Born in Sebaste in Armenia, he was reared by monks who held to the heresy of Macedonius, which denied the uncreated divinity of the Holy Spirit; but when he came of age he rejected this error and embraced the Orthodox faith. He settled in Constantinople and became a priest in the Great Church. Though he had little formal education, his amazing memory, his zeal for Christ, and his powerful sermons recommended him to all, and he was elected Patriarch in 406, during the reign of the Emperor Arcadius. He served as shepherd to the Church for twenty years, ruling always with wisdom and moderation. Though he was unbending in upholding the Faith exactly, he took a conciliatory, persuasive approach to heretics and schismatics; in this way he was able to restore many to the Church rather than driving them away. His best-known single act is his restoration of the name of St John Chrysostom to the diptychs. Saint John had been unjustly denied commemoration in the Patriarchate since his exile, which had led to a schism; restoration of his commemoration not only corrected a grave injustice but healed a schism. Saint Atticus also presided over the rededication of the Agia Sophia, which had been burned in 404 in the rioting that followed St John Chrysostom’s exile. He reposed in peace in 425.
Saint Severinus (482)
St. Severinus came to the borderland of present-day Gemany and Austria from the east — possibly the Egyptian desert — to care for the Roman Christians who were endangered by invading barbarians during the collapse of the Roman Empire. He remained there until the end of his life. While he was there he advised both common people and kings to put eternal life first, and taught them to be generous to one another and to lead a true Christian life. He built a monastery and protected from harm those who gathered around him. As he foretold, the monks and other Christians who had followed him escaped to saftety in Italy, taking St. Severinus’ incorrupt relics with them. His relics are still honored in Frattamaggiore, Italy (near Naples).
—from the 2006 Saint Herman Calendar
Adrian Jan 9
+ 710. Born in North Africa, he became Abbot of Nerida not far from Naples in Italy. Chosen to be Archbishop of Canterbury, he declined the office and recommended instead St Theodore of Tarsus, with whom he came to England. He became Abbot of Sts Peter and Paul, later called St Augustine’s in Canterbury. He was eminent for his holiness and his learning.
Brithwald (Brihtwald) Jan 9
+ 731. He became a monk and the Abbot of Reculver in Kent in England. In 693 he became the ninth Archbishop of Canterbury.
Epictetus, Jucundus, Secundus, Vitalis, Felix and Companions Jan 9
+ ? 250. Twelve martyrs in North Africa, who probably suffered under Decian. Epictetus was a bishop mentioned by St Cyprian.
Foellan (Foilan, Fillan) Jan 9
8th cent. Born in Ireland, he accompanied his mother, St Kentigerna, and his relative, St Comgan, to Scotland, where he lived as a monk. The place of repose is called Strathfillan.
Marcellinus of Ancona Jan 9
+ c 566. Born in Ancona in Italy, he became bishop there in c 550.
Marciana Jan 9
+ c 303. A virgin-martyr in Mauritania in North Africa. Accused of breaking a statue of a goddess, she was thrown to the wild beasts and gored to death by a bull.
Maurontus (Maurontius, Mauruntius) Jan 9
+ c 700. Founder of the monastery of Saint-Florent-le-Vieil on the Loire in France.
Paschasia Jan 9
+ c 178 (?) A virgin martyr venerated from ancient times in Dijon in France.
Waningus (Vaneng) Jan 9
+ c 686. Born near Rouen, he became a monk and helped St Wandrille found Fontenelle. Soon after he himself founded another important monastery in Fécamp in France.
Agatho Jan 10 (In the East Jan 20)
+ 681. Pope of Rome from 678 to 681. A Sicilian from Palermo, he called for the holding of the Sixth Oecumenical Council in Constantinople in 680 against Monothelitism.
Dermot (Diarmis, Diarmaid) Jan 10
6th cent. The spiritual father of St Kieran of Clonmacnois and later founder of a monastery on Innis-Clotran Island in Ireland.
John Camillus the Good Jan 10
+ c 660. Bishop of Milan in Italy. He worked against Arianism and Monothelitism.
Peter Urseolus Jan 10
928-987. Born in Venice in Italy, at the age of twenty Peter became Admiral of the Venetian fleet. In 976 he became Doge of Venice. After two years, he disappeared from Venice to become a monk at the monastery of Cuxa in Spain, where he later lived as a hermit.
Petronius Jan 10
+ c 463. Born in Avignon, he became a monk at Lérins and Bishop of Die in France from c 456 to 463.
Sethrid (Saethryth) Jan 10
+ c 660. Stepdaughter of Anna, King of East Anglia. She became a nun at Faremoutiers-en-Brie in France under St Fara, whom she succeeded as abbess. She was the half-sister of Sts Etheldred (Audrey) and Ethelburgh.
Thomian (Toimen) Jan 10
+ c 660. Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland 623-c 660.
Alexander Jan 11
? Born in Fermo near Ancona in Italy, he became bishop of his native city and was martyred under Decius. His relics are enshrined in the Cathedral.
Anastasius Jan 11
+ c 570. A notary of the Roman church, he became monk and Abbot of Castel Sant’ Elia in Italy. St Gregory the Great narrates that St Anastasius and his monks reposed, at the call of an angel, in quick succession.
Boadin Jan 11
? Born in Ireland, he lived as a monk in France.
Brandan Jan 11
5th cent. Born in Ireland, he took refuge from Pelagianism in Britain and then in France, at a monastery where he became abbot.
Ethenia and Fidelmia Jan 11
+ 433. Daughters of King Laoghaire in Ireland and among the first converts of St Patrick, they became nuns and reposed in holiness.
Honorata Jan 11
+ c 500. The sister of St Epiphanius, Bishop of Pavia in Italy. She was a nun at Pavia when Odoacer, King of the Heruli, captured her. She was ransomed by her brother and returned to Pavia.
Hyginus Jan 11
+ c 140. Pope of Rome from c 138 to 140, he may also have been a martyr.
Leucius of Brindisi Jan 11
+ c 180. Venerated as the first Bishop of Brindisi in Italy where he had come as a missionary from Alexandria.
Paldo, Taso and Tato Jan 11
8th cent. Three brothers, born in Benevento in Italy, who became monks at Farfa and eventually founded the monastery of San Vincenzo at the headwaters of the Volturno. Of this they successively became abbots, Paldo reposing in c 720, Taso in c 729, and Tato in c 739.
Salvius Jan 11
? A martyr in North Africa.
Arcadius Jan 12
+ c 302 A prominent citizen of Caesarea near Algiers in North Africa, who under Maximianus Herculeus was slowly and barbarously mutilated until he died under torture.
Benedict Biscop Jan 12
c 628-c 690 Born in Northumbria, Biscop Baducing made two pilgrimages to Rome early in life and after the second became a monk at Lérins. After a third journey to Rome, bringing back books and icons, he returned to England and founded the monastery of Wearmouth and Jarrow (674-682). He visited Rome twice more after that.
Caesaria Jan 12
+ c 530. The gifted sister of St Caesarius of Arles and abbess of the convent founded there by her brother.
John of Ravenna Jan 12
+ 494. Bishop of Ravenna in Italy from 452 to 494. He saved his flock from the fury of Attila the Hun and mitigated its lot when the city was taken by Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths.
Probus Jan 12
+ c 59. Bishop of Verona in Italy
Salvius (Salve, Sauve) Jan 12
+ c 625. Bishop of Amiens in the north of France. His relics were enshrined in Montreuil in Picardy.
Tatiana and Companions Jan 12
+ c 225. A renowned virgin-martyr of the eminent Tatian family tortured and slain for the Orthodox Faith together with others in Rome.
Victorian of Asan Jan 12
+ c 560. Born in Italy, he went to France and founded Asan (called San Victorian after him) in the Pyrenees in Spain.
Zoticus, Rogatus, Modestus, Castulus and Companions Jan 12
? A group of between forty and fifty soldiers martyred in North Africa.
Agrecius (Agritius) Jan 13
+ c 333. Bishop of Trier in Germany and predecessor of St Maximinus. He took part in the Council of Arles in 314. According to a late Life, composed in the eleventh century, he was aided by St Helen, who procured for him the garment of our Lord, known as the Holy Coat of Trier.
Andrew Jan 13
+ c 235. The twelfth Bishop of Trier in Germany, whom some chroniclers also call a martyr.
Berno Jan 13
+ 927. Born in Burgundy in France, he became a monk at St Martin in Autun. He restored Baume-les-Messieurs and founded monasteries at Gigny, Bourg-Dieu, Massay and Cluny (910), where he was abbot until 926.
Elian (Eilan, Allan) Jan 13
6th cent. Probably born in Cornwall, he belonged to the family of St Ismael. Llanelian in Anglesey and Llanelian in Clwyd are named after him and St Allen’s church in Cornwall is dedicated to him.
Elian ap Erbin Jan 13
? 5th cent. A saint in Wales.
Enogatus Jan 13
+ 631. The fifth successor of St Malo as Bishop of Aleth in Brittany.
Erbin (Ervan, Erbyn, Erme or Hermes) Jan 13
? 5th cent. Churches were dedicated to him in Cornwall.
Gumesindus and Servusdei Jan 13
+ 852. Two martyrs, one a parish-priest, the other a monk, who suffered in Cordoba in Spain under Abderrahman II.
Hilary Jan 13
315-368. Born in Poitiers in France of pagan patrician parents, he married early in life. Shortly after he became Orthodox and in 353 he became Bishop of Poitiers. At once he began a campaign against Arianism and for this reason was exiled to Phrygia by the Arian Emperor Constantius. But in Phrygia he was even more objectionable to the Arians, who clamoured for his recall. He returned to Poiters in 360.
Kentigern Mungo Jan 13
+ 603. The name Mungo means ‘darling’. He began preaching in Cathures on the Clyde on the site of the city of Glasgow and was consecrated first Bishop of the Strathclyde Britons. Driven into exile, he preached around Carlisle and then went to Wales, where he stayed with St David at Menevia. Returning to Scotland, he continued his labours, making Glasgow his centre. He is venerated as the Apostle of north-west England and south-west Scotland.
Potitus Jan 13
? A boy venerated as a martyr near Naples in Italy.
Rome (Martyrs of) Jan 13
+ 262. Forty soldiers who suffered on the Via Lavicana in Rome under Gallienus.
Viventius Jan 13
+ c 400. An eastern priest who travelled to the West and attached himself to St Hilary of Poitiers. He ended his life as a hermit.
Datius Jan 14
+ 552. Bishop of Milan in Italy. His diocese was overrun by Arian Ostrogoths and he had to flee to Constantinople where he spent the rest of his life.
Deusdedit Jan 14
+ 664. Born in England and baptised Frithona, he was the first Englishman to become Archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding St Honorius in 655.
Euphrasius Jan 14
? A bishop martyred in North Africa by the Arian Vandals.
Felix of Nola Jan 14
+ c 250. The son of a Romano-Syrian soldier who had settled in Nola near Naples in Italy. Felix was ordained a priest and devoted himself to his bishop, St Maximus, especially during the persecution which broke out under Decius. On account of his sufferings during the persecution, he was sometimes referred to as a martyr.
Felix Jan 14
? A priest in Rome.
Blaithmaic (Blathmac, Blaithmale) Jan 15
+ c 823. An abbot from Ireland who went to Scotland and was martyred by the Danes on the altar steps of the church of Iona.
Bonitus (Bont) Jan 15
623-c 710. Born in Auvergne in France, he became Bishop of Clermont. After ten years as bishop he resigned and lived as a monk, reposing in extreme old age.
Ceolwulf Jan 15
+ 764. King of Northumbria in England, he encouraged monastic life. St Bede dedicated his Ecclesiastical History to him. He ended his days as a monk at Lindisfarne.
Emebert (Ablebert) Jan 15
+ c 710. A brother of Sts Reineldis and Gudula, he became Bishop of Cambrai in France.
Ephysius Jan 15
+ 303. A much-venerated martyr in Sardinia, under Diocletian.
Eugyppius Jan 15
+ c 511. Born in North Africa, he was ordained priest at Rome and was a companion of St Severinus of Noricum in Austria, whose Life he wrote.
Ita (Ytha, Meda) Jan 15
+ c 570. She is second only to St Bridget in popular veneration in Ireland. She was born in Drum in Co. Waterford and founded the convent of Hy Conaill in Co. Limerick, attracting many to the monastic life.
Lleudadd (Laudatus) Jan 15
6th cent. Abbot of Bardsey in Wales, he accompanied St Cadfan to Brittany.
Malard Jan 15
+ c 650. A Bishop of Chartres in France, present at the Council of Châlon-sur-Saône (650).
Maura and Britta Jan 15
? 4th cent. Two holy virgins in France.
Maximus of Nola Jan 15
+ c 250. Bishop of Nola in Italy. He ordained St Felix. During the persecution of Decius he fled to the mountains, where he nearly died of exposure and hunger. He reposed in Nola worn out by the hardships he had endured for the Faith.
Sawl Jan 15
6th cent. The father of St Asaph of Wales.
Secundina Jan 15
+ c 250. A virgin-martyr scourged to death near Rome in the persecution of Decius.
Tarsicia (Tarsitia) Jan 15
+ c 600. An anchoress who lived near Rodez in France.
Dunchaid O’Braoin Jan 16
+ 988. Born in Westmeath in Ireland, he lived as a hermit near the monastery of Clonmacnoise until the year 969, when he became abbot there.
Ferreolus (Fergéol) Jan 16
+ c 670. Bishop of Grenoble in France.
Fulgentius Jan 16
+ c 633. Brother of Sts Isidore and Leander of Seville in Spain and of St Florentina. He was Bishop of Ecija in Andalusia and one of the leaders of the Spanish Church of that time.
Fursey Jan 16
+ c 648. Having founded a monastery at Rathmat in Ireland, he went to England and founded another at Burgh Castle in Suffolk. He finally moved to France and founded a monastery at Lagny near Paris. He was buried in Picardy. His life is famous for his remarkable visions.
Honoratus of Arles Jan 16
c 350-429. Probably born in Lorraine of a Roman consular family, he renounced paganism in his youth and went to the East to learn from monasticism. Returning to France, he founded a monastery on the Mediterranean island of Lérins. In 426 he was forced to become Archbishop of Arles, but reposed three years later.
Honoratus of Fondi Jan 16
6th cent. Founder of the monastery of Fondi in Italy.
James of Tarentaise Jan 16
? 429. A Syrian by origin, he became a monk with St Honoratus at Lérins and was venerated at Chambéry as an Apostle of Savoy in France and the first Bishop of Tarentaise.
Liberata Jan 16
5th cent. Sister of St Epiphanius of Pavia in Italy and St Honorata.
Marcellus Jan 16 (June 7 in the East)
+ 309. Pope of Rome from 308 to 309 and suffered for confessing the faith.
Priscilla Jan 16
1st cent. The wife of Manius Acilius Glabrio and mother of the senator Pudens. The tradition is that she was the hostess in Rome of the Apostle Peter. His headquarters were at her villa near the Roman catacombs which to this day bear her name.
Titian Jan 16
+ 650. For thirty years a bishop near Venice in Italy.
Triverius Jan 16
+ 550. Born in Neustria, he showed spiritual sensitivity from childhood. He lived as a hermit near the monastery of Thérouanne until he moved to Dombes. The village of Saint Trivier in France commemorates his name.
Valerius Jan 16
+ c 453. A hermit taken from his solitude by the people of Sorrento in Italy, who made him their bishop.
Antony, Merulus and John Jan 17
6th cent. Three monks at St Andrew’s on the Coelian Hill in Rome. St Gregory the Great, who was their Abbot, has left an account of their virtues and miraculous power.
Genulfus (Genou) and Genitus Jan 17
? 3rd cent. Two monks who lived in Celle-sur-Naton in France.
Joseph of Freising Jan 17
+ 764. A monk who in 752 founded the monastery of St Zeno at Isen. In 764 he became third Bishop of Freising in Germany. His relics are in Isen.
Mildgyth Jan 17
+ c 676. The youngest of the three holy virgins of Minster-in-Thanet in England – Milburgh, Mildred and Mildgyth.
Nennius Jan 17
6th cent. A disciple of St Finian of Clonard, reckoned as one of the ‘Twelve Apostles of Ireland’.
Richimirus Jan 17
+ c 715. Under the patronage of the Bishop of Le Mans in France he founded a monastery, later called Saint-Rigomer-des-Bois after him.
Sulpicius (II) the Pious Jan 17
+ 647. Bishop of Bourges in France from 624 to 647. He devoted himself to the care and defence of the poor and persecuted.
Archelais, Thecla and Susanna Jan 18
+ 293. Three holy virgins of the Romagna in Italy who went to Nola in the Campagna in order to escape death, but there too they were accused of being Orthodox, were tortured, taken to Salerno and beheaded.
Deicola (Deicolus, Desle, Dichul, Deel, Delle, Deille) Jan 18
+ c 625. A monk at Bangor in Ireland, he followed St Columbanus to Burgundy in France, where he helped found the monastery of Luxeuil. Later he founded a second monastery in Lure in the Vosges.
Leobard (Liberd) Jan 18
+ 593. A hermit in Tours in France near the monastery of Marmoutier for twenty-two years.
Liberata Jan 18
+ 580. A holy virgin in Como in Italy where with her sister St Faustina she founded the convent of Santa Margarita. Both reposed in 580. Their relics are in Como Cathedral.
Prisca Jan 18
3rd cent. (?) A virgin-martyr venerated from ancient times in Rome, where a church is dedicated to her on the Aventine.
Ulfrid (Wolfred, Wilfrid) Jan 18
+ 1028. Born in England, he became a missionary in Germany and Sweden. He was martyred for destroying an image of Thor.
Volusian Jan 18
+ 496. A married senator who was chosen Bishop of Tours in France and shortly after driven out by Arian Visigoths. He reposed in Toulouse.
Arcontius Jan 19
8th or 9th cent. Bishop of Viviers in France, killed by a mob for having upheld the rights of the Church.
Bassian Jan 19
+ 413. Born in Sicily, he became Bishop of Lodi in Lombardy in Italy. He was much esteemed by St Ambrose of Milan, with whom he attended the Council of Aquilia (381) and at whose repose he was present (390).
Branwallader Jan 19
? 6th cent. A bishop in Jersey in the Channel Islands. King Athelstan, who founded the monastery of Milton in Dorset in England translated relics of the saint there in 935.
Catellus Jan 19
9th cent. Bishop of Castellamare to the south of Naples in Italy. He is venerated as the main patron-saint of the town.
Contestus Jan 19
+ c 510. Bishop of Bayeux in France from 480 on.
Firminus Jan 19
? Third Bishop of Gabales (Gévaudan) in France.
Lomer (Laudomarus) Jan 19
+ 593. A shepherd boy near Chartres in France and then priest, he became a hermit. Disciples came and he founded the monastery of Corbion near Chartres. He lived to be over a hundred.
Marius (Maris), Martha, Audifax and Abachum Jan 19
+ c 270. Marius, a Persian nobleman, his wife Martha, and their two sons, Audifax and Abachum, travelled to Rome to venerate the tombs of the Apostles. While there, they also buried the bodies of those being martyred in the persecution of Claudius II. They too were arrested, the three men beheaded and St Martha drowned.
Messalina Jan 19
+ 251. A holy virgin in Foligno in Italy. She visited Bishop Felician of Foligno in prison, was denounced as a Christian and clubbed to death.
Nathalan Jan 19
+ c 678. Born of a wealthy family in Scotland, he became a hermit and was praised for earning his living by tilling the soil, ‘which comes closest to divine contemplation’. He became a bishop and lived in Tullicht.
Paul, Gerontius, Januarius, Saturninus, Successus, Julius, Catus, Pia and Germana Jan 19
2nd cent. (?) Martyrs in Numidia in North Africa.
Pontian Jan 19
+ 169. A martyr in Spoleto in Italy under Marcus Aurelius.
Remigius Jan 19
+ c 772. Bishop of Rouen in France from 755 on.
Agatho Jan 10 (In the East Jan 20)
+ 681. Pope of Rome from 678 to 681. A Sicilian from Palermo, he called for the holding of the Sixth Oecumenical Council in Constantinople in 680 against Monothelitism.
Fabian Jan 20 (In the East Aug 5)
+ 250. Fabian succeeded St Antherus as Pope of Rome in 236 and was martyred in 250 under Decius. St Cyprian described him as an ‘incomparable man’ and added that the glory of his death matched the purity and goodness of his life.
Fechin Jan 20
+ c 665. Born in Connaught in Ireland, he founded several monasteries. His name is connected with Fobhar (Fore) in Westmeath. Ecclefechan and St Vigean’s near Arbroath in Scotland are also called after him.
Maurus Jan 20
+ 946. He became monk and Abbot of Classe in Ravenna in Italy (926), and finally Bishop of Cesena. He built for himself a cell on a hill near the city, where he spent part of his time in prayer. After his repose the cell grew into the monastery of Santa Maria del Monte.
Molagga (Laicin) Jan 20
+ c 655. Born in Ireland, he was a disciple of St David in Wales. He founded a monastery in Fulachmhin (Fermoy) in Ireland.
Sebastian Jan 20
+ ? 288. One of the most renowned of all the martyrs of Rome. According to his Life, he was an officer in the imperial army and a favourite of Diocletian. Nevertheless, when he was discovered to be Orthodox no mercy was shown him. Tied to a tree, his body was made a target for Roman archers and he was finally martyred with clubs. His church is one of the seven main churches in Rome.
Agnes Jan 21
+ c 305. A virgin-martyr in Rome, aged only twelve or thirteen, she suffered and was buried by the Via Nomentana in Rome, where a basilica in her honour has stood since the fourth century. St Ambrose, St Damasus and Prudentius sang her praises and she is a patroness of chastity.
Brigid (Briga) Jan 21
6th cent. Known as St Brigid of Kilbride, she is venerated around Lismore in Ireland.
Epiphanius Jan 21
439-497. Born in Pavia in Italy, he became bishop there in 467. During his episcopate Odoacer destroyed Pavia and Epiphanius was largely responsible for rebuilding the city. While paying the ransom of some of his flock, he caught a fever of which he died.
Fructuosus, Augurius and Eulogius Jan 21
+ 259. Fructuosus, Bishop of Tarragoña in Spain, and his two deacons, Augurius and Eulogius, were burnt at the stake under Valerian. When the fire had burnt through their bonds, they stretched out their arms in the form of a cross and died.
Lawdog Jan 21
6th cent. Four churches are dedicated to him near St David’s in Wales.
Maccallin (Macallan) Jan 21
+ 978. Born in Ireland, he went to St Fursey’s shrine in Péronne in France and entered the monastery of Gorze. Later he became a hermit and then Abbot of St Michael’s monastery at Thiérache and Waulsort near Dinant in Belgium.
Meinrad Jan 21
+ 861. Of the noble family of Hohenzollern, he became a monk at the monastery of Reichenau on the Rhine in Germany. Later he became a hermit in Switzerland, and this later became the monastery of Einsiedeln, meaning in German ‘the Hermitage’. He lived as a hermit for twenty-five years, was murdered by robbers and is venerated as a martyr.
Patroclus Jan 21
+ c 275 (or 259). A very wealthy and exceedingly charitable Orthodox in Troyes in France, who was martyred there. His relics were translated to Soest in Germany in 960.
Publius Jan 21
+ c 112. Tradition identifies this saint with Publius, ‘chief man of the island of Malta’, who befriended St Paul after his shipwreck (Acts 28,7). He became the first Bishop of Malta and later Bishop of Athens, being martyred under Trajan.
Vimin (Wynnin, Gwynnin) Jan 21
6th cent. A bishop in Scotland, said to have founded the monastery of Holywood.
Blaesilla Jan 22
+ 383. A daughter of St Paula, married and widowed very young she consecrated herself to God, but died in Rome aged twenty.
Brithwald Jan 22
+ 1045. A monk at Glastonbury, he became Bishop of Ramsbury in 1005. He was a great benefactor of Malmesbury and Glastonbury, where he was buried.
Dominic of Sora Jan 22
+ 1031. Born in Foligno in Italy, he became a monk and founded several monasteries – at Scandrilia, Sora, Sangro, and elsewhere near Naples. He died in Sora in Campania at the age of eighty.
Gaudentius of Novara Jan 22
+ 417. A priest in Ivrea near Turin in Italy. He succeeded St Laurence as Bishop of Novara, where he was bishop for twenty years.
Vincent of Digne Jan 22
+ 380. Born in North Africa, he succeeded St Domninus as Bishop of Digne in France and is the main patron-saint of the town.
Vincent the Deacon Jan 22
+ 304. Born in Huesca in Spain, he became deacon of St Valerius in Saragossa and was martyred in Valencia under Diocletian. He has always been widely honoured. In some places he is honoured as the patron of vinedressers.
Vincent, Orontius and Victor Jan 22
+ 305. Vincent and Orontius were brothers born in Cimiez near Nice in France. They preached the Gospel in the Spanish Pyrenees and were martyred with St Victor at Puigeerda near Gerona in Spain. Their relics were later taken to Embrun in France.
Amasius Jan 23
+ 356. A Greek, driven from the East by the Arians, he became second Bishop of Teano in central Italy in 346.
Barnard Jan 23
777-841. Born near Lyons in France, he restored the monastery of Ambournay where he became a monk and abbot. In 810 he was consecrated Bishop of Vienne and became one of the most influential bishops of his age. He founded the monastery of Romans (c 837) where he was buried.
Colman of Lismore Jan 23
+ c 702. Abbot of Lismore in Ireland and also a bishop.
Emerentiana Jan 23
+ 305? A martyr in Rome. Still only a catechumen, this foster-sister of St Agnes was found by pagans praying at the tomb of the recently martyred Agnes and was stoned to death.
Ildephonsus Jan 23
607-667. Nephew of St Eugene of Toledo in Spain. He knew St Isidore of Seville and became a monk and Abbot of Agli on the Tagus near Toledo. He became Archbishop there in 657. He excelled as a writer, especially on the Mother of God.
Lufthild Jan 23
+ ? 850. A saint honoured near Cologne in Germany, where she lived as an anchoress.
Maimbod Jan 23
+ c 880. Born in Ireland, he was martyred by pagans while preaching to peasants near Kaltenbrunn in Alsace, now in France.
Martyrius (Martory) Jan 23
6th cent. A hermit in the Abruzzi in Italy.
Ormond (Armand) Jan 23
6th cent. Monk of the monastery of Saint Mairé in France, where he became abbot.
Severian and Aquila Jan 23
? A husband and wife martyred in Julia Caesarea in Mauritania in North Africa
Artemius (Arthemius) Jan 24
+ 396. An imperial legate who, on his way to Spain, fell sick in Gaul and settled in Clermont in Auvergne in France where eventually he became bishop.
Bertrand (Bertram, Bertran, Ebertram) Jan 24
7th cent. A disciple of St Bertinus, he also helped St Omer enlighten the north of France and Flanders. He later became Abbot of Saint-Quentin.
Cadoc (Docus, Cathmael, Cadvaci) Jan 24
+ c 580. Founder of the monastery of Llancarfan not far from Cardiff in Wales, he later lived as a hermit on an island off the coast of Vannes in Brittany. He returned to Britain and by tradition was martyred by heathen near Weedon in England.
Erembert I Jan 24
+ c 1050. Abbot of Kremsmünster in Austria.
Exuperantius Jan 24
5th cent. Born in North Africa, he became Bishop of Cingoli near Ancona in Italy.
Felician Jan 24 and Oct 20
+ 251. Born in Foligno in Italy, he was consecrated bishop and cared for his diocese for over fifty years, enlightening the whole of Umbria. He was arrested under Decius and died on his way to martyrdom in Rome.
Guasacht Jan 24
5th cent. Son of Maelchu, the master under whom St Patrick worked as a slave in Ireland. Guasacht was converted by Patrick, whom he helped as Bishop of Granard in Ireland.
Suranus Jan 24
+ c 580. Abbot of a monastery at Sora near Caserta in Italy, who gave away all the goods of the monastery to refugees from the Lombards. When the latter arrived and found that nothing remained to plunder, they martyred Suranus on the spot.
Zama Jan 24
+ c 268. The first Bishop of Bologna in Italy.
Amarinus Jan 25
+ 676. Abbot of a monastery in the Vosges in France and companion in martyrdom of St Praejectus (St Priest), Bishop of Clermont. The valley of Saint-Amarian in Alsace is named after him.
Artemas Jan 25
? A child martyr in Pozzuoli (Puteoli) in Italy.
Dwynwen Jan 25
+ c 460. Born in Wales, churches dedicated to her are to be found in Wales and Cornwall. Her holy well and shrine at Llanddwyn in Anglesey were once centres of pilgrimage.
Eochod Jan 25
+ 597. One of St Columba’s twelve companions, he was chosen to enlighten the Picts in Scotland. He is called the Apostle of the Picts of Galloway.
Felicity Nov 23 (In the East Jan 25)
?. A widow martyred with her sons either in Rome or else in North Africa under Decius. They were buried in Rome.
Maurus and Placid Jan 25
? Maurus and Placid were early disciples of St Benedict, details of whose lives are related in the second book of The Dialogues of St Gregory the Great.
Poppo Jan 25
978-1048. Born in Flanders, after a military career he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Rome. On his return he became a monk at St Thierry in Rheims in 1006. Two years later he moved to Saint-Vannes and then to Vaast in Arras. In 1021 he became Abbot of Stavelot-Malmédy in Belgium and the monastic revival soon spread to other monasteries, among others to Hautmont, Marchiennes, St Maximinus of Trier in Germany and St Vaast in Arras in France.
Praejectus (Priest, Prest, Preils, Prix) Jan 25
+ 676. He became Bishop of Clermont in Auvergne in France. He encouraged monasticism but was murdered by evildoers at Volvic in the Vosges.
Racho (Ragnobert) Jan 25
+ c 660. Bishop of Autun in France.
Seven Brothers July 10 (In the East Jan 25)
+ c 150. Seven early martyrs in Rome who became brothers through sharing martyrdom. Their names are: Januarius, Felix and Philip, scourged to death; Sylvanus, thrown over a precipice; Alexander, Vitalis and Martial, beheaded. They suffered in Rome under Antoninus Pius.
Sigebert Jan 25
+ 634. The first Christian King of East Anglia in England. He introduced Orthodoxy into his kingdom, later himself becoming a monk. He was killed by the pagan King Penda of Mercia and was venerated as a martyr.
Thorgyth (Tortgith) Jan 25
+ c 700. Nun at the convent of Barking in England with St Ethelburgh. She is described as a miracle of patience under suffering.
Alphonsus of Astorga Jan 26
9th cent. Bishop of Astorga in Spain, he went to live as a simple monk at the monastery of St Stephen de Ribas de Sil in Spanish Galicia.
Ansurius (Aduri, Asurius, Isauri) Jan 26
+ 925. Bishop of Orense in Galicia, he helped found the monastery of Ribas de Sil in Spain. He became bishop in 915, but in 922 became a simple monk at the monastery. After his repose he was venerated there, together with seven other bishops who had followed his example.
Athanasius Jan 26
? He is honoured as a bishop in Sorrento in the south of Italy.
Conan Jan 26
+ ? c 648. Born in Ireland, he became a monk at Iona and a bishop in the Isle of Man.
Paula Jan 26
347-404. A Roman lady of noble birth, she married a patrician and had five children, among them St Eustochium and St Blaesilla. Left a widow when she was thirty-two, she presided for twenty years over the sisterhood she had founded in Bethlehem. She also established a guest house for pilgrims there.
Theofrid (Theofroy) Jan 26
+ c 690. A monk at Luxeuil in France who became Abbot of Corbie and a bishop.
Avitus Jan 27
? St Avitus is venerated in the Canary Islands as their Apostle and first Bishop.
Candida Jan 27
+ c 798. Mother of St Emerius, who founded the monastery of St Stephen of Bañoles in Spain. She reposed as an anchoress near the monastery.
Datius, Reatrus (Restius) and Companions, and Datius (Dativus), Julian, Vincent and 27 Companions Jan 27
c. 500? Two groups of martyrs in North Africa; the second group suffered under the Arian Vandals.
Devota Jan 27
+ 303. A virgin-martyr in Corsica who expired on the rack in the persecution of Diocletian. Her relics are in Monaco. She is the patron-saint of both Corsica and Monaco.
Emerius Jan 27
8th cent. Born in France, he founded and was the first Abbot of St Stephen of Bañoles in Catalonia in Spain.
Gamelbert Jan 27
720-800. The son of rich parents in Bavaria, Gamelbert went to Rome on pilgrimage, was ordained priest and was parish priest of Michaelsbuch in Germany for over fifty years.
Julian of Le Mans Jan 27 (In the East July 13)
? 3rd cent. Venerated as the first Bishop of Le Mans in France.
Julian of Sora Jan 27
+ c 150. Born in Dalmatia, he was arrested, tortured and beheaded in Sora in Campania in Italy under Antoninus Pius (138-161).
Lupus of Châlons Jan 27
+ c 610. Bishop of Châlons-sur-Saône in France, famous for his charity to the afflicted.
Maurus (Marius, May) Jan 27
+ c 555. Founder of a monastery in Bodon in France.
Natalis Jan 27
6th cent. A monastic founder in the north of Ireland, he worked with St Columba. He was Abbot of Cill, Naile and Daunhinis. His holy well still exists.
Theodoric II of Orleans Jan 27
+ 1022. A monk at Saint-Pierre-le-Vif in Sens in France, he became Bishop of Orleans.
Vitalian Jan 27 (In the East July 23)
+ 672. Pope of Rome from 657 to 672. He was much troubled by Monothelitism. He consecrated Theodore of Tarsus as Archbishop of Canterbury in 668.
Antimus Jan 28
8th cent. One of the first Abbots of Brantôme in France.
Brigid and Maura Jan 28
? Born in Scotland, they were martyred in Picardy in France while on pilgrimage to Rome.
Cannera (Cainder, Kinnera) Jan 28
+ c 530. A holy virgin who lived as an anchoress near Bantry in Ireland. She reposed after visiting St Senan and receiving communion. She was buried on St Senan’s island off Enniscorthy.
Flavian Jan 28
+ c 304. A deputy-prefect of Rome who was martyred in Civita Vecchia in Italy under Diocletian.
Glastian Jan 28
+ 830. The patron saint of Kinglassie in Fife in Scotland. He made peace between the Picts and the Scots.
John of Reomay (Réomé) Jan 28
425-539. Born in Dijon in France, he became a hermit in Reomay. When disciples gathered around him, he fled and became a monk at Lérins. Here he learnt the traditions of St Macarius and on his return to Reomay, he and the monastery he founded there lived according to them.
Odo of Beauvais Jan 28
801-880. Born near Beauvais in France, he gave up a military career to become a monk at Corbie. In 861 he became a very influential Bishop of Beauvais.
Valerius Jan 28
+ 315. Bishop of Saragossa in Spain, with whom St Vincent served as deacon. He was arrested and exiled under Diocletian but survived and reposed in peace in his city.
Aquilinus Jan 29
+ 650. Born in Bavaria, he fled from the prospect of the episcopate in Cologne, went to Paris and then Milan, preaching against Arianism. He was martyred for this by the Arians. His relics were venerated in Milan in Italy.
Blath (Flora) Jan 29
+ 523. A cook at St Brigid’s convent in Kildare where she was honoured as a holy woman.
Caesarius Jan 29
1st cent. A deacon in Angouleme in France under its first bishop St Ausonius.
Constantius and Companions Jan 29
+ 170. Constantius, first Bishop of Perugia in Italy, was martyred with numerous members of his flock under Marcus Aurelius.
Dallan Forgaill (of Cluain Dallain) Jan 29
+ 598. A relative of St Aidan of Ferns, he was born in Connaught in Ireland. He was martyred at Inis-coel by pirates.
Gildas the Wise Jan 29
+ c 570. Born in the year the Britons defeated the Saxons at Bath, he was a disciple of St Illtyd. Towards the end of his life, he went to Brittany and lived as a hermit on the island of Rhuys. St Gildas is famous for a work on the sufferings of his homeland, De excidiis Britanniae.
Papias and Maurus Jan 29
+ c 303. Soldiers martyred in Rome under Maximian.
Sabinian (Savinien) Jan 29
+ ? 275. A martyr honoured in Troyes in France, having suffered there in one of the early persecutions, perhaps under Aurelian. Tradition relates that he came from Samos in Greece from where he had fled with his sister St Sabina.
Sulpicius (I) Jan 29
+ 591. Bishop of Bourges in France from 584 to 591.
Valerius Jan 29
+ c 320. Second Bishop of Trier in Germany.
Voloc Jan 29
+ c 724. A bishop from Ireland who worked in Scotland.
Aldegund Jan 30
630-684. Sister of St Waldetrudis, Abbess of Mons in Belgium. She founded the convent of Maubeuge in the north of France.
Amnichad (Amnuchad) Jan 30
+ 1043. Born either in Ireland or in Scotland, he travelled to Germany and became a monk and then a hermit at Fulda.
Armentarius Jan 30
+ c 451. First Bishop of Antibes in Provence in France. An old church is dedicated to him in Draguignan.
Armentarius Jan 30
+ c 711. Bishop of Pavia in Italy.
Bathildis Jan 30
+ 680. Born in England, she was sold as a slave to the mayor of the palace of the Kingdom of Neustria. In 649 King Clovis II married her and she became the mother of three future kings. After her husband’s death, she was regent of France (656-664). When Clotaire III came of age, she became a nun at the convent of Chelles which she had founded.
Felician, Philappian and Companions Jan 30
? A group of one hundred and twenty-six martyrs in North Africa.
Martina Jan 30
+ 228. A martyr in Rome under Alexander Severus.
Savina (Sabina) Jan 30
+ 311. Born in Milan in Italy, she ministered to martyrs in prison and buried their bodies during the persecution of Diocletian
Tudy (Tudclyd, Tybie) Jan 30
5th century? A virgin in Wales. Llandydie church in Dyfed is named after her.
Adamnan Jan 31
+ c 680. Born in Ireland, he became a monk at Coldingham, now in Scotland.
Aidan (Maedoc) Jan 31
+ 626. The first Bishop of Ferns in Co. Wexford in Ireland where he also founded and became abbot of a monastery. In his youth he had become a monk under St David in Wales and later in life he returned to live there.
Athanasius Jan 31
+ c 885. Born in Catania in Sicily, during the invasion of the Saracens he fled to Patras in Greece, where he became a monk and eventually a bishop.
Bobinus Jan 31
+ c 766. Born in Aquitaine in France, he was a monk at Moutier-la-Celle. Later he became Bishop of Troyes (760).
Eusebius Jan 31
+ 884. Born in Ireland, he became a monk at St Gall in Switzerland and later lived as a hermit on Mt St Victor in the Vorarlberg. While denouncing godlessness, he was struck with a scythe and killed. As a result he was venerated as a martyr.
Geminian of Modena Jan 31
+ 348. Deacon and later successor of the Bishop of Modena. He gave refuge to St Athanasius the Great when he came through Italy on his way to exile in Gaul. Geminian bravely opposed Jovinianism.
John Angelus Jan 31
+ c 1050. Born in Venice in Italy, he became a monk at Pomposa.
Julius of Novara Jan 31
+ c 390. Julius was a priest and his brother Julian a deacon. Together they converted heathen temples into Christian churches.
Madoes (Madianus) Jan 31
? A saint who has left his name to a place in the Carse of Gowrie in Scotland.
Marcella Jan 31
325-410. A noblewoman of Rome, as a widow she turned her home into a house-church and she devoted herself to prayer and almsgiving. When Alaric sacked Rome, Marcella was cruelly scourged as the Goths thought that she had hidden her wealth. In reality she had already distributed it to the poor. She died shortly after from the effects of this treatment.
Ulphia (Wulfia, Olfe, Wulfe) Jan 31
8th cent. By tradition she lived as a hermitess near Amiens in France, her spiritual father being the hermit St Domitius. A convent was later built on the site of her tomb.
Wilgils Jan 31
7th cent. Father of St Willibrord, born in Northumbria in England, he settled on the banks of the River Humber and lived as a hermit.