Russian Orthodox now to celebrate more Western Saints including St. Patrick

st_patrick_iconHere is some interesting East and West, both-lungs news which is also seasonal.

From blog Ad Orientem (excellent title):

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

St. Patrick, the great enlightener of Ireland, [The Enlightener… great title] 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.  [NB… before 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: [Note the French influence…]

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) [nice church in Paris, which has the TLM]
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) [at Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, also a must visit.]
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.


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  1. Thomas Sweeney says:

    For those who have read about the German invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941, one of Russia’s prominent Field Marshalls was named Timoshenko. As kids, we made him Irish by spelling his name
    Tim O’Shenko. I know it sounds corny now, but it was funny then. And only an immature kid could make anything about WWII funny.

  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    Does this mean there will be green beer in Moscow in one week?

  3. mburn16 says:

    “Does this mean there will be green beer in Moscow in one week?”

    Three weeks! The Orthodox still use the Julian calendar.

  4. THREEHEARTS says:

    Let us put it in the tight perspective. The Russian Orthodox Church does not consider these Saints western Catholic but name them as members of the original Orthodox catholic Church. They are not even byzantine by adoption but fully byzantine and always have been. Orthodox laity would laugh at you if you claim they are western Catholics they are purely orthodox. Don’t believe me? Go ask a member of the orthodox laity.

  5. DcnJohnSaturus says:

    It’s worth noting too 1) that the Russian Church has celebrated “All the Saints of Great Britain and Ireland” on the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, since 2008.

    And further, that a very great number of “Western” Saints are venerated by the Orthodox faithful in America and many other countries. My parish, among others, has icons of Pope St Gregory the Dialogist (“the Great”), St Ambrose of Milan, St Augustine of Hippo, St Dunstan, St David of Wales, St Jerome, St Agnes, St Cecilia, St Benedict, St Bede, and quite a few others.

    Glory to God!

  6. TWF says:

    Three hearts: I have cousins who are Orthodox. Not all Orthodox laity share the views you express here. Certainly my relatives are very much aware that the Latin tradition is distinct from the Byzantine tradition and always has been.

  7. TWF says:

    I should also note that I am quite certain I saw an icon of St Patrick at their Orthodox temple (OCA parish in Alberta).

  8. Michael_Thoma says:

    This is good news, but not unique, as Popes Francis, BXVI, StJP2, and even earlier Popes had elevated Eastern Saints – both visibly united to Rome, and not – to local, particular and universal veneration. The Syriac Church and other Eastern Churches include numerous Western saints (especially Popes of Rome) on their calendar

  9. un-ionized says:

    Thomas, I did laugh. It is funny. I have a funny name that I use to good icebreaker effect!

  10. robtbrown says:

    Will the Latin Church celebrate the Feast of the Last Tsar?

  11. Joe in Canada says:

    DcnJohnSaturus, I believe every national jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church does this for their nation. E.g. the OCA celebrates “All Saints of North America” on the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

  12. Filipino Catholic says:

    A few days earlier I made a comment about how reunion is almost impossible in the foreseeable future and then lo and behold, not one but *two* both-lungs posts crop up on this blog as if the Lord decided to remind me not to look too far ahead into days to come. I’d say Alleluia but it’s still Lent.

  13. J Kusske says:

    St. John Maximovitch (the Wonderworker) mentioned above, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco as he’s commonly named, was the exarch for Western Europe in the 1950’s and compiled a list of pre-schism saints to include in the Orthodox rolls. This list may be based largely on his compilation (hence the French slant? He was based in Paris.) But veneration of St. Patrick has been so widespread in Orthodox circles I’m surprised the Russian Church hasn’t officially included him till now! I saw a holy card for him in Hong Kong at the office of the Russian church in their icon case.

  14. Sliwka says:


    Which part of Alberta: Cowtown? OilCity? The Garlic Belt?

    A resident of the Garlic Belt is curious.

  15. RussianOrthodox1448 says:

    I am glad this has happened and I hope that more pre-schism saints are officially added to our calendar over time.

  16. TWF says:

    Sliwka: its in Edmonton. Pretty sure it sure it’s the only all English parish in the region.

  17. Father G says:

    “…their unblemished confession of the Orthodox faith…”

    While I as a Catholic and a priest firmly believe that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ Himself, I do admire the Russian Orthodox Church for being forthright in defending what Orthodox Christians believe.

    Just watch this video in which Patriarch Kyrill praises the Orthodox saint Mark of Ephesus for opposing the Council of Florence:
    He states, “I am here to protect the purity of [the] Orthodox faith”.

    While I hope and pray that there will be a good friendship between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kyrill, I do not foresee it being at the same level of friendship that exists between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

    While there already has been and will continue to be collaboration between the two Churches, Russian Orthodoxy has made it very clear how she views Roman Catholicism. A good example of this is when Fr. Constantin Simon, SJ, former vice-rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, joined the Russian Orthodox Church. As the following video shows, he is asked to renounce Catholic teachings regarding the filioque, purgatory and papal authority and infallibility:

    Kindly remember in your prayers the faithful of the Russian Byzantine Catholic Church as they prepare for an important meeting in June regarding the future of their Church:

  18. Mariana2 says:

    My icon painting teacher, who is Orthodox, allows me to paint pre-schism saints. She has never claimed that they are Orthodox, just “common” to us both. So I have been able to paint Saint Monica.

  19. thomistking says:

    DcnJohnSaturus – Your parish venerates St. Augustine? Wow! That’s good to hear.

  20. Imrahil says:

    I also was like: St. Augustine? Really? The venerate the great defender, or as a staunch Eastern Orthodox might erroneously put it, inventor of the Filioque St. Augustine?

  21. Stephanus83 says:

    I wonder if Orthodox bishops will start issuing dispensations end masse from the Lenten fast to celebrate St Patrick’s day? My money is on “NO.”

  22. So St Therese is not the only saint to spend her time in Heaven doing good on Earth, St Patrick is active too and still a missionary. I pray everyday for the end of these schisms and the return of the Orthodox to the Catholic fold perhaps Patrick will be a bridge to reunion. This news is a reminder to me to reread his Confessio and the Letter to Coroticus before next Friday. As for the question of whether the lenten fast will be lifted – that would only apply here in Ireland! Given the moral state of our nation and the barbarism of “Paddy’s Weekend” I believe it should be a special day of penance and reparation. He may have driven the snakes of paganism out of Ireland but they have slithered back in and there’s a nest of them in Dail Eireann! Pray for us.

  23. Fenian5 says:

    St Padraig pray for us. As some in the universal church try to tear us in two, a ray of hope from the east.

  24. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    On the official calendar of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America this week we celebrate the life of Benedict of Nursia on March 14 and Patrick of Ireland on March 17. It has been this way for years. Augustine of Hippo is on our official calendar as well on June 15.

    A balanced article on St. Augustine from the Greek Orthodox perspective:

  25. Imrahil says:

    This fanatically Photiusist perspective can be called “balanced” only if the term be meaningless. (Sorry.)

  26. Subdeacon Joseph says:

    Balanced from a Greek Orthodox perspective is what I said. Some Orthodox are less than gracious to St. Augustine.

  27. Ages says:

    For those interested, here is a copy of the Russian liturgical propers for St. Patrick (in English):

  28. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    Father G – I take it that you don’t approve that this priest “is asked to renounce Catholic teachings regarding the filioque, purgatory and papal authority and infallibility”. Understandable. But, did St. Patrick believe these? I believe you would be hard pressed to find evidence to the positive. And that is also why St. Patrick is revered by the Orthodox. The faith once revealed by the Lord, proclaimed by the Apostles, and guarded by great Fathers of the Church like St. Patrick never changes.

  29. Semper Gumby says:

    Father G: Well said. Cheesesteak Expert: Nice try. Charles E Flynn: Here’s to green beer in Moscow. Thomas Sweeney: “Tim O’Shenko”- the Soviets needed a lucky shamrock or two in 1941. Maybe they got it when Hitler diverted the attack south to Kiev during August rather than continuing east to Moscow.

  30. Ages says:

    Stephanus83: Afraid not. The only dispensations during Lent for Orthodox Christians are on March 9 (Forty Martyrs of Sebaste; oil and wine allowed), March 25 (Annunciation; fish allowed), and Palm Sunday (fish allowed).

  31. Brian64 says:

    Before we get too effusive with praise for the Russian Orthodox Church, let’s remember that Patriarch Kirill, Vladimir Gundiayev, was also known as Agent Mikhailov of the KGB.

  32. DcnJohnSaturus says:

    Regarding Saint Augustine, I think the most common Orthodox view is that he’s certainly a holy Bishop, a loyal son of the Church, a Father of great reputation, and a brilliant writer, whose views on a few points — predestination and free will, original sin, the procession of the Holy Spirit — have to be read carefully and corrected by the general sense of the Fathers.

    As the 2nd Council of Constantinople wrote: “We further declare that we hold fast to the decrees of the four [previous] Councils, and in every way follow the holy Fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa, Ambrose, Theophilus, John [Chrysostom] of Constantinople, Cyril, Augustine, Proclus, Leo and their writings on the true faith.”

  33. spock says:

    In my few precious moments of free time, I’ve been reading sections of “The Philokalia” which are books of great spiritual works by learned teachers highly regarded in the East. Much of it pre-dates the 1054 schism. I’ve been telling myself that since it largely pre-dates the schism, I’m essentially reading Catholic work. And we have (kind of) a reciprocal action by Patriarch Kirill I think ?

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