St. Patrick of Ireland and other Western saints officially added to Russian Orthodox Church calendar

Moscow, March 10, 2017

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St. Patrick, the great enlightener of Ireland, will be officially celebrated in the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time this year on March 17/30. At its March 9 session, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox, under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, officially adopted St. Patrick and more than fifteen other pre-schism Western saints into its calendar, according to the report published on the patriarchate’s official site.

The decision was taken after hearing a report from His Eminence Metropolitan Clement of Kaluga and Borovsk, chairman of the commission for the compilation of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Menaion, or calendar of saints, with the proposal to include several ancient saints who labored in western lands before the Great Schism of 1054.

The commission, created on September 18, 2014 by the blessing of His Holiness, had been working on compiling a list of western saints guided by the following criteria: their unblemished confession of the Orthodox faith; the circumstances in which their glorification took place; the absence of their names from polemical works against the Eastern Church and rite; and their present veneration in foreign dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Local Churches.

Also considered were the “Complete Menaion of the East” by Archbishop Sergius (Spassky), the report of St. John Maximovitch to the Holy Synod of the Russian Church Abroad in 1952, the articles of the Orthodox Encyclopedia and the Snaxarion compiled by Hiermonk Macarius of the Athonite monastery of Simenopetra.

The Western saints added into the calendar of the Russian Orthodox Church are:

Hieromartyr Pothinus, bishop of Lyons, and those with him (June 2/15; c. 177)
Martyrs Blandina and Ponticus of Lyons (June 2/15; c. 177)
Martyr Epipodius of Lyons (April 22/May 5; c. 177)
Martyr Alexander of Lyons (April 24/May 7; c. 177)
Hieromartyr Saturninus, first bishop of Toulouse (November 29/December 12; c. 257)
Martyr Victor of Marseilles (July 21/August 3; c. 290)
St. Alban, protomartyr of Britain (June 22/July 5; c. 304)
St. Honoratus, archbishop of Arles and founder of Lerins Monastery (January 16/29; 429)
St. Germanus, bishop of Auxerre (July 31/August 13; 448)
St. Vincent of Lerins (May 24/June 6; c. 450)
St. Patrick, bishop of Armagh, and enlightener of Ireland (March 17/30; 451)
St. Lupus the Confessor, bishop of Troyes (Gaul) (July 29/August 11; 479)
St. Genevieve of Paris (January 3/16; 512)
St. Germanus, bishop of Paris (May 28/June 10; 576)
St. Procopius, abbot of Sazava in Bohemia (September 16/29; 1053)

Also approved and recommended for Church-wide liturgical use was the texts of the service to the Synaxis of Saints of Diveevo, the service to St. Hilarion of Optina, and the troparion and kontakion to St. Adrian of Ondrusov.


See also
Patristic Testimony on the Tollhouses: the Western Fathers Patristic Testimony on the Tollhouses: the Western Fathers
The Way of All Flesh: Conversation 2, Part 3
Patristic Testimony on the Tollhouses: the Western Fathers Patristic Testimony on the Tollhouses: the Western Fathers
The Way of All Flesh: Conversation 2, Part 3
Archpriest Oleg Stenyayev
So that we would not form the impression that the teaching on the aerial tollhouses was only known to the Eastern Fathers of the Church, we will turn to testimony from the book by Fr. Seraphim (Rose), where he show that he was familiar with themany different Orthodox Western sources, which were never translated into Greek or Russian and which abound with descriptions of the tollhouses.
From Fragments to Wholeness From Fragments to Wholeness
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
From Fragments to Wholeness From Fragments to Wholeness
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
A host of silent questions arose in my mind. Why did they, such humble representatives of the people show such respect here? Who was this St. Edmund, that this town had been named after 1,000 years before? What was a saint? How did you become a saint? Why were there only ruins here now? And why were there no longer any saints? So many questions, so few answers and none able to answer them.
On the Revival of the Veneration of Local Western Saints in the Orthodox Church On the Revival of the Veneration of Local Western Saints in the Orthodox Church
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
On the Revival of the Veneration of Local Western Saints in the Orthodox Church On the Revival of the Veneration of Local Western Saints in the Orthodox Church
Answers to Questions in Recent Correspondence
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
The other question that I asked myself was why there were no longer any saints, no new saints, only these ancient ones. The source of holiness had clearly dried up. No-one was interested in holiness any more. We now lived in a different Civilization, with different values, alien to me. Why?
Afanassy11/29/2022 6:30 am
So, can anyone furnish a comprehensive list of all the Western Saints (before Schism) that are now accepted for veneration by the Russian Orthodox Church?? ========================
Fr. Peter4/27/2017 2:53 pm
@Gavin James Campbell
To begin with I have to admit that I generally do not agree with your statement. It would be helpful if you are willing to reply to the following qquestions: How would you define the Church of the first millennium - why would you reject to call it Orthodox ? What do you mean by "falsified history" ?
Vaile Oceania3/13/2017 5:33 pm
Thank you to the Father in Heaven for these additional efforts to remember unity.
May there be ongoing unison of ministry between all Churches to share outwardly for His mission. Obrigado
Rdr Andreas Moran3/11/2017 1:33 am
The Orthodox Christian faith was established in England in apostolic times. There is a strong tradition that St Joseph of Arimathea came to England and built the first church here. What is certain (see the Prologue of Ohrid of St Nikolai (Velimirovich) of Ohrid) is that St Aristobulus of the Seventy and St Simon the Zealot came to England and preached the faith here. Three bishops from England are recorded as attending the Council of Arles in 314.

We remember that at the time of St Maximos the Confessor, the West was more Orthodox than the East. St Theodore of Tarsus came to England in 669 and was Archbishop of Canterbury. In 679, he called the Synod of Hatfield to test the Orthodox purity of the English bishops because the Greek East had suffered from the Monophysite heresy whereas the West was purely Orthodox.

There is a cloud of Orthodox saints in the British Isles from the first century until the catastrophe of 1066. Princess Gytha, daughter of Harold, the last Orthodox King of England, fled to Russia and married Vladimir II Monomakh and so became the mother of Russian saints and rulers.
The faithful of these lands who have embraced Holy Orthodoxy have returned to their ancient roots. As to saints in the Russian calendar, I would plead the case of St John of Beverley ( 721) – see my article on this great saint here on

Margaret3/11/2017 1:10 am
Our church in Roseville, CA has the icon of Patrick since the time it was founded in the 90's. Why not St. Columba, St. Bridget and St Margaret of Scotland?

Margaret McFadden Mueller
Fr Daniel3/11/2017 12:20 am
These are very hopeful developments. I humbly ask that Saint David, the patron of Wales, may in due course be considered.
Editor3/10/2017 10:25 pm
Gavin James, the Church was united in both the East and West for roughly the first millennium. Of course there were different traditions and practices in various locales, but the faith was one, and the Church was one in all places. Thus, the Church that existed in England was the same Church that existed in Greece, and in Jerusalem and Antioch, etc.
Gavin James Campbell3/10/2017 9:15 pm
It's nice to have these saints recognized as such by the Orthodox Church. That they are from the time from before the schism of 1054.

But let's also be absolutely clear about something. Orthodox Christianity is not native to the British Isles. Orthodoxy did not arrive in the British Isles until immigrants from Eastern Europe showed up. Orthodoxy is as foreign to the British Isles as Buddhism, Hinduism, or Islam. That a lot of the attempts to suggest that these saints were Orthodox are grounded in falsified history, which in turned is motivated by only so much puerile nationalism.
Matthew3/10/2017 5:12 pm
Thank you for posting this article. This is great news.

As a person of Western descent, it's helpful to have historical ties to recognized saints from my own ancestral tradition. I know that shouldn't be necessary, but the instinctive longing for a connection to the faith of my fathers and mothers is among the factors that brought me into the Church.

This drive is akin to nostalgia for something I had never known. It welled up in young adulthood, and I've been chasing it ever since. Regrettably, the foreign aspect of Orthodox liturgical traditions and national cultures has often been a stumbling block.
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