12 July, 2013

Orthodox Western Saints for Today

Pre-Schism Saints of the Orthodox Roman Patriarchate*
12th July (29th June O.S.):

  • BENEDICTA, (Date unknown.) the sister of SS. Augustine and Sanctian (6th September), all three were born in Spain but went to France where they were martyred in Sens under Aurelian.
  • CASSIUS OF NARNI, a bishop of Narni in Umbria, who reposed A.D 558.
  • COCHA (COECHA), a sixth century Abbess of Ross-Benchuir in Ireland.
  • GEMMA (HEMMA, EMMA), upon the repose of her husband, St. Gemma founded the monastery of Gurk in Carinthia in Austria and became a nun there.   She reposed A.D. 1045.
  • MARCELLUS AND ANASTASIUS, martyred in Bourges (A.D. 274); Marcellus was beheaded and Anastasius scourged.

  • PAUL THE APOSTLE, originally called Saul, he was born in Tarsus in Cilicia.   Educated in the Law of the Jews in Jerusalem, he was a Pharisee, Roman citizen and a tentmaker by trade.   After participating in the stoning of the first Orthodox martyr, St. Stephen, he was miraculously converted on the road to Damascus and received his mission to enlighten the Gentiles.   He did so in at least four Apostolic journeys, extending perhaps as far as Spain, establishing churches everywhere and with complete disregard to dangers all round him.   His thirteen letters, addressed mostly to the Churches which he had founded, belong to divine revelation, and form a part of the New Testament Canon.   According to a very old tradition, he was beheaded in Rome near the Ostian Way circa A.D. 65.

  • PETER THE APOSTLE, Simon, son of Jonah, was a married fisherman who lived in Bethsaida.   He was a disciple of St. John the Forerunner before he was called, after his elder brother Andrew, to be a disciple of Christ.   He was called 'Rock' (Cephas, Petros, Petra, Peter) because of his confession of Christ as the Son of God.   Peter was a witness of many important events such as the Transfiguration and the Agony in the Garden.   After Christ's Ascension he founded the Church in Antioch and visited the Church in Rome founded by the Apostle Paul.   And it was here that he was martyred, head downwards in the circus of Nero (circa A.D. 64), and was buried on the Vatican Hill, his relics are enshrined beneath the altar of St. Peter's in Rome to this day.
  • SALOME AND JUDITH, (Ninth century) Salome is believed to have been a princess from England who was exiled.   She was befriended in Bavaria by a pious widow named Judith, and both became anchoresses at Oberaltaich in Bavaria.
  • SYRUS OF GENOA, a priest in, and later Bishop of, Genoa until his repose circa A.D. 380.   He is the primary Patron-Saint of Genoa.

* - Prior to the Schism the Patriarchate of Rome was Orthodox and fully in communion with the Orthodox Church.   As Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco +1966 said "The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable Liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."

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