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Author Topic: Saints of Great Britain and Ireland  (Read 8046 times) Average Rating: 0
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Catherine
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« on: July 24, 2009, 11:45:24 PM »


St Melangell

The actual era and lineage of St. Melangell are disputed. However, even in the misty shadows of her Irish and/or Welsh genealogy, it is certain that she was of royal or noble lineage and, thus, was expected to marry. In response to God's call to a life of prayer and solitude, St. Melangell renounced her royal status for the religious life. Overlooking her boldness, her father insisted that she marry. Desiring above all things to be devoted to God alone, she fled Ireland around 590 and settled in Pennant, one of the most lonely and lovely areas of Montgomeryshire (present-day Powys), at the head of the Tanant Valley in Northern Wales. In this spot, which came to be called "Pennant Melangell", sleeping on bare rock with a cave as her cell, she lived a hidden life of prayer for almost fifteen years.

Around 604, St. Melangell was "discovered" by the Welsh Prince of Pengwern Powys, Brochfael Ysgithrog, while he was hunting in the area around Pennant.

As his hounds pursued their prey, the frightened hare ran into a bramble thicket for safety. Searching for the hare in the thicket, the Prince unexpectedly found St. Melangell.

She was deep in prayer and had not heard the dogs or the horn or the sound of human footsteps. The breathless hare had hidden itself in the folds of her garment and peered out at the fierce hounds, trusting in its holy protectress. Prince Brochfael signaled the dogs to snatch the hare, but they dared not approach the saint nor would they kill the hare. Aware now of the situation, St. Melangell bravely drove the hounds back.

The Prince had never experienced anything like this before. He was utterly amazed and cautiously approached the anchoress for an explanation. After hearing her story, Prince Brochfael, deeply moved by St. Melangell's beauty, purity and love for God, had no choice but to acknowledge her sanctity. Nonetheless, he suggested that she leave her solitude and be wedded to him, but she adamantly refused. Impressed by her sanctity and determination, he donated a parcel of land, which included a churchyard and valley, to be used by her to found a monastery. The Prince expressed his fervent wish that the area be dedicated to the service of God. He also requested that the land be a place of refuge for people and animals, in particular the hares she had befriended long before the encounter with Prince Brochfael.

St. Melangell is reputed to have lived some thirty-seven years after the hunting incident. The area did indeed become a sanctuary under the anchoress' guardianship. During her life, no animal was ever killed on her land. A known haven of safety not just for hares, but for all creatures, even wild animals living in the area became tame.

The shrine of St Melangell in Pennant Melangell, Llangynog, Powys, North Wales, is to this day a place of pilgrimage, and in her honour the hunters of Cwm Pennant never shoot the local hares. For, according to the church registers of 1723:

Mil engyl a Melangell
Trechant lu fyddin y fall.

Melangell with a thousand angels
Triumphs over all the powers of evil.

A Troparion for St Melangell:

Preferring the rigours of monasticism to worldly
status and marriage, O pious Melangell,
though wast fifteen years on a rock,
emulating the example of the Syrian Stylites.
Wherefore, O Saint, pray to God that He will give
us strength to serve Him as He wills,
that we may be found worthy of His great mercy.

In Wales, St. Melangell's feast day is May 27th. The feast day used in England (which was also the ancient feast day) is January 31st.

Brief overviews of St Melangell’s life:

http://www.bath-orthodox.org.uk/html/saint_melangell.html
http://www.greatorme.org.uk/melangell.html
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 08:52:06 PM by FrChris » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2009, 11:47:36 PM »


St. Ia (Welsh: Ia; Latin: Hia; English: Ive)
Born c.AD 480


St. Ia: (Feb. 3rd)

St. Ia was an Irish princess, the sister of Ss. Euny, Erc and Anta. She is said to have been converted to Chrisianity at an early age by St. Patrick the Old. Later, she resolved to join SS. Fingar and Piala's party who were sailing for Cerniw (Cornwall). However, they left Ireland without her and Ia reached the beach only to see the disappearing over the horizon. Sobbing bitterly, she sat down on the sand to pray. A tiny leaf on the water caught her eye and she touched it with her staff in order to make it sink. Instead, however, the leaf grew and grew. Soon it was so large and thick, that Ia was able to clime aboard and use it as a raft. She thus floated across the Irish Sea and arrived at Penwith in Cerniw even before those who had left her on the beach.

Ia became a disciple of St. Berwyn (alias Barric) and was soon joined by St. Elwyn and 777 companions. She founded the church of Pen Dinas (Dinas Ia, part of St. Ives) and her holy well, the Venton Eia (or Ffynnon Ia)  was nearby at Porthmeor. She also set up a chapel at Troon in Camborne parish, near another well, the Fenton Ear (or Ffynnon Ia). She may have also made sojourns to Brittany, where Plouyé near Carhaix is named after her.

Ia's presence in Penwith was not, however, universally popular and she was persecuted by the local ruler, King Tewdar. He eventually found her so troublesome that he had the poor girl murdered. She was buried at Porth Ia (St. Ives).

 
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 08:49:56 PM by FrChris » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2009, 11:49:35 PM »


The Venerable Bede (May 27)

Saint Bede was a church historian who recorded the history of Christianity in England up to his own time. He was probably born around 673 in Northumbria. We do not know exactly where he was born, but it is likely that it was somewhere near Jarrow.

When he was seven, Bede was sent to St Benedict Biscop (January 12) at the monastery of St Peter at Wearmouth to be educated and raised. Then he was sent to the new monastery of St Paul founded at Jarrow in 682, where he remained until his death. There he was guided by the abbot St Ceolfrith (September 25), who succeeded St Benedict in 690, ruling both Wearmouth and Jarrow.

There is an incident in the anonymous Life of Ceolfrith which may refer to the young Bede. A plague swept through Ceolfrith's monastery in 686, taking most of the monks who sang in the choir for the church services. Only the abbot and a young boy raised and educated by him remained. This young boy "is now a priest of the same monastery and commends the abbot's admirable deeds both verbally and in writing to all who desire to learn them."

Grieved by this catastrophe, Ceolfrith decided that they should sing the Psalms without antiphons, except at Matins and Vespers. After a week of this, he went back to chanting the antiphons in their proper place. With the help of the boy and the surviving monks, the services were performed with difficulty until other monks could be brought in and trained to sing.

St Bede was ordained as a deacon when he was nineteen, and to the holy priesthood at the age of thirty by St John of Beverley (May 7), the holy Bishop of Hexham (687), and later (705) of York. Bede had a great love for the church services, and believed that since the angels were present with the monks during the services, that he should also be there. "What if they do not find me among the brethren when they assemble? Will they not say, 'Where is Bede?'

Bede began as a pupil of St Benedict Biscop, who had been a monk of the famous monastery at Lerins, and had founded monasteries himself. St Benedict had brought many books with him to England from Lerins and from other European monasteries. This library enabled Bede to write his own books, which include biblical commentary, ecclesiastical history, and hagiography.

Bede was not an objective historian. He is squarely on the Roman side in the debate with Celtic Christianity, for example. He was, however, fair and thorough. His books, derived from "ancient documents, from the traditions of our ancestors, and from my own personal knowledge" (Book V, 24) give us great insight into the religious and secular life of early Britain. To read St Bede is to enter a world shaped by spiritual traditions very similar to those cherished by Orthodox Christians. These saints engage in the same heroic asceticism shown by saints in the East, and their holiness fills us with love and admiration. Christians were expected to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays, and there was a forty day Nativity Fast (Book IV, 30).

St Bede became ill in 735. For about two weeks before Pascha, he was weak and had trouble breathing, but experienced little pain. He remained cheerful and gave daily lessons to his students, then spent the rest of the day singing Psalms and giving thanks to God. He would often quote the words of St Ambrose, "I have not lived in such a way that I am ashamed to live among you, and I do not fear to die, for God is gracious" (Paulinus, Life of Saint Ambrose, Ch. 45).

In addition to giving daily lessons and chanting the Psalms, St Bede was also working on an Anglo-Saxon translation of the Gospel of St John, and also a book of extracts from the writings of St Isidore of Seville (April 4). On the Tuesday before the Feast of the Lord's Ascension, the saint's breathing became more labored, and his feet began to swell. "Learn quickly," he told those who were taking dictation from him, "for I do not know how long I can continue. The Lord may call me in a short while."

After a sleepless night, St Bede continued his dictation on Wednesday morning. At the Third Hour, there was a procession with the relics of the saints in the monastery, and the brethren went to attend this service, leaving a monk named Wilbert with Bede. The monk reminded him that there remained one more chapter to be written in the book which he was dictating. Wilbert was reluctant to disturb the dying Bede, however. St Bede said, "It is no trouble. Take your pen and write quickly."

At the Ninth Hour, Bede paused and told Wilbert that he had some items in his chest, such as pepper, incense, and linen. He asked the monk to bring the priests of the monastery so that he could distribute these items to them. When they arrived, he spoke to each of them in turn, requesting them to pray for him and to remember him in the services. Then he said, "The time of my departure is at hand, and my soul longs to see Christ my King in His beauty."

That evening, Wilbert said to him, "Dear Master, there is one sentence left unfinished."

Bede said, "Very well, write it down."

Then the young monk said, "It is finished now."

St Bede replied, "You have spoken truly, it is well finished." Then he asked Wilbert to raise his head so that he could see the church where he used to pray. After chanting, "Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit" to its ending, St Bede fell asleep in the Lord Whom he had loved. His body was first buried in the south porch of the monastery church, then later transferred to a place near the altar. Today his holy relics lie in Durham Cathedral, in the Galilee chapel. St Bede is the only Englishman mentioned by Dante in the DIVINE COMEDY (Paradiso).

Source
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009, 08:48:26 PM by FrChris » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2009, 11:52:12 PM »

St. Columba of Iona. . .


St. Columba's Bay, where the saint first landed on Iona

Our venerable and God-bearing Father Columba of Iona, Enlightener of Scotland (December 7, 521 - June 9, 597) (also known as Columcille, meaning "Dove of the Church") was an Irish missionary who helped re-introduce Christianity to Scotland and the north of England.

The primary source on the life of St. Columba is the Life of St. Columba, a hagiography by St. Adomnan of Iona.

Life
He was born to Fedhlimidh and Eithne of the Ui Neill clan in Gartan, near Lough Gartan, Donegal. On his father's side he was great-great-grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish king of the fourth century. He became a monk and soon rose in the church hierarchy to the rank of priest. Tradition asserts that, sometime around 560, he became involved in a copyright wrangle with St. Finnian of Moville over a psalter. The dispute eventually led to the pitched Battle of Cul Dremhe in 561, during which many men were killed. (Columba's copy of the psalter has been traditionally associated with the Cathach of St. Columba.) As penance for these deaths, Columba was ordered to make the same number of new converts as had been killed. He was also ordered to leave Ireland and move such that he could not see his native country.


He travelled to Scotland, where it is reputed he first landed at the southern tip of the Kintyre peninsula, near Southend. However, being still in sight of his native land he moved further north up the west coast of Scotland. In 563 he founded a monastery on the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland which became the centre of his evangelising mission to Scotland. There are many stories of miracles which he performed during his mission to convert the Picts.

St. Columba's feast day is June 9, and with St. Patrick of Ireland (March 17) and St. Brigid of Kildaire (February 1) is one of the three patron saints of Ireland. The three are buried together in Downpatrick in County Down, deep within the famous Hill of Down.

Columba is not to be confused with his disciple, St. Columbanus.


Troparion
With the screams of your tears you have made the
barren places fertile, and with sighs you have labored
to bring forth a harvest of perfection; you have become
an illuminator of the world, radient with wonders
and miracles. Therefore, Holy Father, Columcille
pray to God Christ to save our souls

More info: http://www.roca.org/OA/74/74f.htm
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2009, 09:28:14 PM »


St Patrick the Bishop of Armagh and Enlightener of Ireland, commemorated on March 17

Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland was born around 385, the son of Calpurnius, a Roman decurion (an official responsible for collecting taxes). He lived in the village of Bannavem Taberniae, which may have been located at the mouth of the Severn River in Wales. The district was raided by pirates when Patrick was sixteen, and he was one of those taken captive. He was brought to Ireland and sold as a slave, and was put to work as a herder of swine on a mountain identified with Slemish in Co. Antrim. During his period of slavery, Patrick acquired a proficiency in the Irish language which was very useful to him in his later mission.

He prayed during his solitude on the mountain, and lived this way for six years. He had two visions. The first told him he would return to his home. The second told him his ship was ready. Setting off on foot, Patrick walked two hundred miles to the coast. There he succeeded in boarding a ship, and returned to his parents in Britain.

Some time later, he went to Gaul and studied for the priesthood at Auxerre under St Germanus (July 31). Eventually, he was consecrated as a bishop, and was entrusted with the mission to Ireland, succeeding St Palladius (July 7). St Palladius did not achieve much success in Ireland. After about a year he went to Scotland, where he died in 432.

Patrick had a dream in which an angel came to him bearing many letters. Selecting one inscribed "The Voice of the Irish," he heard the Irish entreating him to come back to them.

Although St Patrick achieved remarkable results in spreading the Gospel, he was not the first or only missionary in Ireland. He arrived around 432 (though this date is disputed), about a year after St Palladius began his mission to Ireland. There were also other missionaries who were active on the southeast coast, but it was St Patrick who had the greatest influence and success in preaching the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, he is known as "The Enlightener of Ireland."

His autobiographical Confession tells of the many trials and disappointments he endured. Patrick had once confided to a friend that he was troubled by a certain sin he had committed before he was fifteen years old. The friend assured him of God's mercy, and even supported Patrick's nomination as bishop. Later, he turned against him and revealed what Patrick had told him in an attempt to prevent his consecration. Many years later, Patrick still grieved for his dear friend who had publicly shamed him.

St Patrick founded many churches and monasteries across Ireland, but the conversion of the Irish people was no easy task. There was much hostility, and he was assaulted several times. He faced danger, and insults, and he was reproached for being a foreigner and a former slave. There was also a very real possibility that the pagans would try to kill him. Despite many obstacles, he remained faithful to his calling, and he baptized many people into Christ.

The saint's Epistle to Coroticus is also an authentic work. In it he denounces the attack of Coroticus' men on one of his congregations. The Breastplate (Lorica) is also attributed to St Patrick. In his writings, we can see St Patrick's awareness that he had been called by God, as well as his determination and modesty in undertaking his missionary work. He refers to himself as "a sinner," "the most ignorant and of least account," and as someone who was "despised by many." He ascribes his success to God, rather than to his own talents: "I owe it to God's grace that through me so many people should be born again to Him."

By the time he established his episcopal See in Armargh in 444, St Patrick had other bishops to assist him, many native priests and deacons, and he encouraged the growth of monasticism.

St Patrick is often depicted holding a shamrock, or with snakes fleeing from him. He used the shamrock to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Its three leaves growing out of a single stem helped him to explain the concept of one God in three Persons. Many people now regard the story of St Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland as having no historical basis.

St Patrick died on March 17, 461 (some say 492). There are various accounts of his last days, but they are mostly legendary. Muirchu says that no one knows the place where St Patrick is buried. St Columba of Iona (June 9) says that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that Patrick was buried at Saul, the site of his first church. A granite slab was placed at his traditional grave site in Downpatrick in 1899.

Troparion Tone 4

Most glorious art Thou, Christ our God, who didst establish our Father Patrick as the Enlightener of the Irish and a torch-bearer on earth, and through him didst guide many to the true Faith.  Most Compassionate One, glory to Thee.

Kontakion Tone 4

From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ's service: He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil's bondage. You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts. In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul! Having received the reward for your labors in heaven, Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth, Holy bishop Patrick!



Source: http://www.orthodoxcentral.com/saints/saintpatrick.htm

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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2009, 09:31:39 PM »

St Brigid of Kildare (Feb 1st)

Daughter of Dubtach, pagan Scottish king of Leinster, and Brocca, a Christian Pictish slave who had been baptized by Saint Patrick. Just before Brigid's birth, her mother was sold to a Druid landowner. Brigid remained with her mother till she was old enough to serve her legal owner Dubtach, her father.

She grew up marked by her high spirits and tender heart, and as a child, she heard Saint Patrick preach, which she never forgot. She could not bear to see anyone hungry or cold, and to help them, often gave away things that were Dubtach's. When Dubtach protested, she replied that "Christ dwelt in every creature". Dubtach tried to sell her to the King of Leinster, and while they bargained, she gave a treasured sword of her father's to a leper. Dubtach was about to strike her when Brigid explained she had given the sword to God through the leper, because of its great value. The King, a Christian, forbade Dubtach to strike her, saying "Her merit before God is greater than ours". Dubtach solved this domestic problem by giving Brigid her freedom.

Her first convent started with seven nuns. At the invitation of bishops, she started convents all over Ireland. She was a great traveller, especially considering the conditions of the time, which led to her patronage of travellers, sailors, etc. Brigid invented the double monastery, the monastery of Kildare that she ran on the Liffey river being for both monks and nuns.

Source: http://www.angelfire.com/alt/scm/brigid.html




I would like the angels of Heaven to be among us. I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all. I would like Jesus to be present. I would like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us. I would like the friends of Heaven to be gathered around us from all parts. I would like myself to be a rent payer to the Lord; that I should suffer distress, that he would bestow a good blessing upon me. I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I would like to be watching Heaven's family drinking it through all eternity. -St. Brigid

A Gift of Hospitality - Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare:

http://www.roca.org/OA/107/107e.htm
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2009, 09:37:55 PM »


Edward the Martyr

The holy and right-believing King Edward the Martyr (c. 962 – March 18, 978/979) succeeded his father Edgar of England as King of England in 975, but was murdered after a reign of only a few years. As the murder was attributed to "irreligious" opponents, whereas Edward himself was considered a good Christian, he was glorified as Saint Edward the Martyr in 1001; he may also be considered a passion-bearer. His feast day is celebrated on March 18, the uncovering of his relics is commemorated on February 13, and the elevation of his relics on June 20. The translation of his relics is commemorated on September 3.

Motive and details of his murder

Edward's accession to the throne was contested by a party headed by his stepmother, Queen Elfrida, who wished her son, Ethelred the Unready, to become king instead. However, Edward's claim had more support—including that of St. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury—and was confirmed by the Witan.

King Edward "was a young man of great devotion and excellent conduct. He was completely Orthodox, good and of holy life. Moreover, he loved God and the Church above all things. He was generous to the poor, a haven to the good, a champion of the Faith of Christ, a vessel full of every virtuous grace."

On King Edward's accession to the throne a great famine was raging through the land and violent attacks were stirred up against monasteries by prominent noblemen who coveted the lands that his father King Edgar had endowed to them. Many of these monasteries were destroyed, and the monks forced to flee. The king, however, stood firm together with Archbishop Dunstan in defense of the Church and the monasteries. For this, some of the nobles decided to remove him and replace him with his younger brother Ethelred.

On March 18, 978, the king was hunting with dogs and horsemen near Wareham in Dorset. During the hunt the king decided to visit his younger brother Ethelred who was being brought up in the house of his mother Elfrida at Corfe Castle, near Wareham. Separating from his retinue, the King arrived alone at the castle. While still on his horse in the lower part of the castle Elfrida offered Edward a glass of mead. While he was drinking it, Edward was stabbed in the back by one of the queen's party. Ethelred himself was then only ten years old, and so was not implicated in the murder.

History of his relics

The stories of the relics of St. Edward began at the moment of his death (martyrdom). Immediately following the murder, the body of the murdered king slipped from the saddle of his horse and was dragged with one foot in the stirrup until the body fell into a stream at the base of the hill upon which Corfe Castle stands (the stream was found thereafter to have healing properties—particularly for the blind). The queen then ordered that body be hurriedly hidden in a hut nearby. Within the hut, however, lived a woman who was blind from birth, and whom the queen supported out of charity. During the night, a wonderful light appeared and filled the whole hut. Struck with awe, the woman cried out: "Lord, have mercy!" and suddenly received her sight. At this she discovered the dead body of the king. The church of St. Edward at Corfe Castle now stands on the site of this miracle. At dawn the queen learned of the miracle and was troubled. Again she ordered disposal of the body, this time by burying it in a marshy place near Wareham. A year after the murder, however, a pillar of fire was seen over the place where the body was hidden, lighting up the whole area. This was seen by some of the inhabitants of Wareham, who raised the body. Immediately, a clear spring of healing water sprang up in that place. Accompanied by what was now a huge crowd of mourners, the body was taken to the church of the Most Holy Mother of God in Wareham and buried at the east end of the church. This took place on February 13, 980.

On the account of a series of subsequent miracles, the relics were translated to the abbey at Shaftesbury. When the relics were taken up from the grave, they were found to be whole and incorrupt. The translation of the relics occurred in great procession on February 13, 981, and arrived at Shaftesbury seven days later. There the relics were received by the nuns of Shaftesbury Abbey and were buried with full royal honors on the north side of the altar. On the way from Wareham to Shaftesbury, a further miracle had taken place; two crippled men were brought close to the bier, and those carrying it lowered the body to their level, whereupon the cripples were immediately restored to full health. This procession and these events were re-enacted in 1000 years later in 1981. In 1001, the tomb in which the saint lay was observed to regularly rise from the ground. King Ethelred was filled with joy at this and instructed the bishops to raise his brother's tomb from the ground and place it into a more fitting place. As the tomb was opened a wonderful fragrance issued from it, such that all present "thought that they were standing in Paradise". The bishops then bore away the sacred relics from the tomb and placed them in a casket in the holy place of the saints together with other holy relics. This elevation of the relics of St. Edward took place on June 20, 1001.

St. Edward was officially glorified by the All-English Council of 1008, presided over by St. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury (who was later also martyred by the Danes in 1012). King Ethelred ordered that the saint's three feast days (March 18, February 13, and June 20) should be celebrated throughout England. Shaftesbury Abbey was rededicated to the Mother of God and St. Edward. Shaftesbury was apparently renamed "Edwardstowe," only reverting to its original name after the Reformation. Many miracles were recorded at the tomb of St. Edward including the healing of lepers and the blind.

During the sixteenth century, under King Henry VIII of England, monasteries were dissolved and many holy places were demolished, but St. Edward's remains were hidden so as to avoid desecration. In 1931, the relics were recovered by Mr. Wilson-Claridge during an archaelogical excavation; their identity was confirmed by Dr. T.E.A. Stowell, an osteologist. In about 1982, Mr. Wilson-Claridge donated the relics to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, which placed them in a church in Brookwood Cemetery, in Woking, Surrey. The St. Edward Brotherhood of monks was organized there as well. The church is now named St. Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church.

Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Edward_the_Martyr

St Edward the Martyr from the Brookwood Cemetery Society : http://www.tbcs.org.uk/edward.htm

The Life Of Among The Saints Edward The Martyr, King Of England, compiled by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes: http://www.serfes.org/lives/stedward.htm
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 02:04:07 AM »


St. David of Wales

The living waters of godly discipline encompassed thee and the saving waters of faith flowed through thy teaching, O Hierarch and Waterman David.
Symbolising the baptism of Wales in thy life, thou art worthy of all praise, wherefore we keep festival in thy honour, glorifying thy eternal memory.


In the icon in the link, and the icon above, St. David is shown in green robes. This is because in Celtic Orthodoxy there is a tradition of "red" martyrdom, "white" martyrdom, and "green" martyrdom.
Red martyrdom is the so-called because it describes the martyrs who literally shed their blood as witnesses to the Faith; it is contrasted to "white" martyrdom, which is the witness of a spotless and blameless life, which nevertheless will also contain much suffering as promised by Our Lord.

Green martyrdom is the martyrdom of the extreme ascetical life of a monastic, hermit, or recluse. St. David, therefore, wears these green robes, along with the stole of the clergy (wtih Celtic Cross) and carries a Gospel Book because he was a Bishop.

 He was raised in the women's monastery and was ordained a priest and later studied under St. Paulinus. He is said to have founded ten or twelve monasteries and 50 churches in Wales and is the Apostle to Wales and its Patron Saint. His monasteries were known for their more extreme asceticism, following more of the Eastern model. The monks ate no meat or fish and drank only water, no wine or beer. Thus, by the 9th century, he had acquired the nickname Aquaticus or "Waterman". David attended a synod at Brevi in Cardiganshire and strongly opposed Pelagianism. He was consecrated archbishop by the patriarch of Jerusalem while on a visit to the Holy Land. The Welsh church held onto this tie to resist the innovations of the West and to hold onto Orthodox rite and theology. St. David died at his monastery in Menevia. The date for his death is reported by various sources as 544, 589 or 601. His name is Dewi or Dewid in Welsh. St. David's godly and fruitful life, and the manner of his conception, speaks out forcibly against abortion.

His famous words, given in the last sermon before his repose were:
"Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things in life that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us."

Having worked miracles in thy youth, founded monasteries and converted the pagans who had sought to destroy thee, O Father David, Christ our God blessed thee to receive the episcopate at the place of His Resurrection.
Intercede for us, that our lives may be blessed and our souls may be saved.

Troparion (Tone 1)
Having worked miracles in thy youth, founded monasteries and converted the pagans who had sought to destroy thee, O Father David, Christ our God blessed thee to receive the episcopate at the place of His Resurrection. Intercede for us, that our lives may be blessed and our souls may be saved.

Kontakion (Tone 6)
The living waters of godly discipline encompassed thee and the saving waters of faith flowed through thy teaching, O Hierarch and Waterman David. Symbolising the baptism of Wales in thy life, thou art worthy of all praise, wherefore we keep festival in thy honour, glorifying thy eternal memory.

Source: http://www.comeandseeicons.com/d/inp40.htm



 
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 02:05:20 AM »

Cedd of Lastingham

Saint Cedd (sometimes called St. Cedd of Lastingham) was a missionary and bishop who spread the Faith throughout England. He is commemorated on January 7.

Life

St. Cedd, the eldest of four brothers, was born in 620 into a noble Northumbrian family at the beginning of the 7th century. With his siblings, Cynebil, Caelin & (St.) Chad, he entered the school at Lindisfarne Priory at an early age and learned the ways of the Irish monks under Bishop Aidan. They were eventually sent to Ireland for further study, and all four subsequently became priests.

Bishop Finan of Lindisfarne subsequently sent Cedd out to evangelize the people of Essex, who were sorely in need of spiritual guidance. He baptised many of the locals and built several churches. He is particularly noted for the foundation of monasteries at Bradwell-on-Sea and East Tilbury.

Having been consecrated Bishop of Essex by Bishop Finan, Cedd re-instated St. Paul's in London as the main seat of his diocese. He ordained priests and deacons to assist him in his work and gathered together a large flock of servants of Christ in his two monastic foundations.

Bishop Cedd always remained fond of his northern homeland and made regular visits there. On one such occasion in 658, Cedd was approached by King Aethelwald of Deira. Finding Cedd to be a good and wise man, he pressed upon him to accept a parcel of land at Lastingham in Yorkshire on which to build a monastery. Cedd eventually agreed, but would not lay the foundation stones until the place had first been cleansed through prayer and fasting. Cedd was the first Abbot of Lastingham and remained so while still administering to his flock in Essex.

In 664 Cedd was at Lastingham at a time that a great plague was raging through the area. Both he and his brother, Cynebil, fell sick and, after placing Lastingham in the charge of their youngest brother, Chad, they died. Cedd was first buried in the open air, and his funeral was attended by some thirty monks from Bradwell who, sadly, also contracted the plague and died. Eventually, a little stone church was built at Lastingham in honour the Virgin Mary, and Cedd's body was interred there, to the right of the altar. The latter remains intact in the Norman crypt that was later built on the site, though St. Cedd's bones were removed around the same time to the cathedral founded by his brother, Chad, at Lichfield.

Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Cedd

Pictures of St. Peters on the Wall Chapel, founded by St. Cedd: http://www.bradwellchapel.org/spviews.htm
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2009, 03:12:31 PM »

St. Ronan

St. Ronan, Bishop of the Isle of Man, was a Scottish hermit of the 7th century whom tradition claims settled on the island of North Rona where a fine, and unique, oratory of that time still exists. Legend has it he was told to escape the evil tongues of the women of Eoroby (Lewis) and that he was transported to North Rona by whale where he defeated various diabolical assaults on his person. A church dedicated to him stands in Lewis.

As one endowed with the beauty of speech,
thou didst Preach Christ's saving Gospel to the inhabitants of Man
O Hierarch Ronan.
Wherefore O Saint, being mindful of the power of words,
pray that our every utterance may be to the glory of God
that at the end He will grant us great mercy.

http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/parishes/mn/stronan.htm
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2009, 03:17:57 PM »

Edmund the Martyr


The martyrdom of St Edmund - a medieval illumination

The holy and right-believing King Edmund the Martyr was a king and martyr of East Anglia in the ninth century. He succeeded to the throne of East Anglia in 855 as a fourteen year old. He died a martyr’s death battling the “Great Heathen Army”, a large army of Vikings that pillaged and conquered much of England in the late ninth century. He was venerated early and became popular among the Anglo-Norman nobility. His feast day is November 20.

Life
Edmund was born in 841. Early accounts and stories provide a cloud over who is his father. The sources considered the most reliable represent Edmund as descended from the preceding kings of East Anglia. When King Ethelweard died in 854, it was Edmund, while only fourteen years old, who succeeded to the throne.

Little is known of Edmund’s next fourteen years. His reign was said to be that of a model king. He was said to have treated all with equal justice and was unbending to flatters. He was said to have spend a year at his residence at Hunstanton learning the Psalter which he was able to recite from memory.

The sources description of his martyrdom vary. The Danes of the Great Heathen Army advanced on East Anglia in 869 and were confronted by King Edmund and his army. While Edmund may have been killed in battle, popular traditions are that Edmund refused the heathen Danes’ demands that he renounce Christ or that he could hold his kingdom as a vassal under heathen overlords. Both stories date from soon after his death and it is not known which may be correct.

According to an early biographer, Abbo of Fleury, Edmund chose, in the manner of Christ, not to strike arms with the heathen Danes and was captured and taken to Hoxne in Suffolk. There he was beaten and then tied to a stout tree where he was again beaten. Hearing Edmund’s calls to Christ for courage, the Danes further attacked him, shooting many arrows into the bound king who showed no desire to renounce Christ. Finally, he was beheaded on November 20, 879.

Legacy
Edmund’s body was interred at Beadoriceworth, the modern Bury St Edmunds. This place became a shrine of Edmund that greatly increased his fame. His popularity among the nobility of England grew and lasted. His banner became a symbol among the Anglo-Normans in their expeditions to Ireland and to Caerlaverock Castle. His crest was borne on a banner at the Battle of Agincourt. Churches and colleges throughout England have been named after St Edmund.

In recent years, moves were made in England to restore St Edmund as the patron saint of England. Edmund had been replaced by St George as the patron saint through King Edward III’s association of St George with the Order of the Garter. The attempt failed. However, St Edmund was named the patron saint of the County of Suffolk in 2006.


Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Edmund_the_Martyr
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 02:02:28 AM »

If you have any children in your circle, this short on St. Patrick by the Veggitales folks is very engaging.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TCB5QhHVJA

Peace - Andrew
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 11:44:12 AM »

If you have any children in your circle, this short on St. Patrick by the Veggitales folks is very engaging.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TCB5QhHVJA

Peace - Andrew


I love Veggie Tales. I hadn't seen this episode - great stuff.  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2009, 11:02:21 PM »


St. Alban

Alban, Protomartyr of Britain was the first Christian martyr in Britain. The first mention of St. Alban is by Constantius, in his Life of St Germanus of Auxerre, written about 480. His feast day is June 22.

Life
According to Bede's Ecclesiastical History, I.vii and xviii, Alban was a pagan living at Verulamium (modern day St Albans, England), who converted to Christianity and was executed by beheading on a hill above the Roman settlement of Verulamium. St. Alban's Abbey at St Alban's, Hertfordshire, England was later founded near this site.

The date of the execution is best left to the Venerable Bede: "when the cruel Emperors first published their edicts against the Christians" in other words, sometime prior to Christianity becoming an officially tolerated religion of the Roman Empire under Emperor Constantine in 313, when local Christians were persecuted by the Romans.

Alban sheltered a Christian priest, (Geoffrey of Monmouth's later interpolation gave his name as "Amphibalus," the name for a cloak) in his home and was converted and baptised by him. When the "impious prince" (as Bede has it) sent Roman soldiers to Alban's house to look for the priest, Alban exchanged cloaks with the priest and was arrested in his stead. Alban was taken before the magistrate, where he avowed his new Christian faith and was condemned for it. He was beheaded on the spot where St. Alban's Cathedral now stands.

A cult connected with Alban was already in existence in the 6th century, for Bede quotes a line from one of the Carmina of Venantius Fortunatus, Albanum egregium fæcunda Britannia profert ("Fruitful Britain holy Alban yields").

 Bede tells several legends associated with the story of Alban's execution. On his way to the execution, Alban had to cross a river, and finding the bridge full of people, he made the waters part and crossed over on dry land. And the executioner was so impressed with Alban's faith that he also converted to Christianity on the spot, and refused to kill him. Another executioner was quickly found (whose eyes dropped out of his head when he did the deed), and the first was killed after Alban, becoming the second British martyr for Christ.
Some details added to St. Alban's tradition come from confusing him with another St. Alban, or Albinus, who was martyred at Mainz.

Troparion (Tone 4) 

In his struggle your holy martyr Alban,
Gained the crown of life, O Christ our God.
For strengthened by you and in purity of heart,
He spoke boldly before the judges of this world,
Offering up his head to you, the Judge of all!

Source: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Alban
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2009, 11:04:59 PM »


The Saints of Britain & Ireland
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2009, 11:35:09 PM »

The Saints of Britain & Ireland

The attachment is a Word.doc with the names of all the Saints depicted in the Icon which Catherine has sent.

At the bottom of the document is a diagram showing where to find each of the Saints in the Icon.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2009, 11:37:42 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2009, 12:01:13 AM »

The Saints of Britain & Ireland

The attachment is a Word.doc with the names of all the Saints depicted in the Icon which Catherine has sent.

At the bottom of the document is a diagram showing where to find each of the Saints in the Icon.

Thank you, Irish Hermit!
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2009, 12:23:36 AM »

For those who would like a copy here is some information about photographic reprints available from the Russian Patriarchal Cathedral Bookshop in London.

The Icon was painted by the departed Fr David of Walsingham.

You can order it from here, email:
cathedral.books  @  sourozh.org

They stock 10" x 8" and 16" x 12" sizes, and larger facsimiles to order.  The original is approx. 3' x 2'.

The larger size (16" x 12") is recommended because the names of the Saints are more clear to read.  The original size is clearest of all.

You will probably be asked whether you want it mounted or not.

Fr Ambrose

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