The Orthodoxy of England before 1066

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Post by Bogatyr »

Take as much time as you like, but do get back to us.
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Rostislav Mikhailovich Malleev-Pokrovsky
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Timeline Of Orthodoxy In The British Isles

Post by Bogatyr »

The following chronology of Orthodox Christianity in the British Isles up to the Great Schism includes many important political and military events so that they may be used as reference points for the events in the history of the Church. This document is under development and suggested additions and amendments are most welcome.
(c) = circa
(d) = disputed date

5 Rome acknowledges Cymbeline, King of the Catuvellauni, as king of Britain.
30 (c) Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost marks birth of the Church.
43 Claudius's invasion of Britain. Caratacus leads British resistance, but is finally defeated in 51.
51 Caratacus, British general, is captured and taken to Rome.
53-95 Writing of the 'Memoirs of the Apostles' (the New Testament).
61 Boudicca, queen of the Iceni, leads uprising against the Roman occupiers of Britain, but is defeated and killed by the Roman governor, Suetonius Paulinus.
63 St Joseph of Arimathea comes to Glastonbury on the first Christian mission to Britain.
64 Martyrdom of the Apostles Peter and Paul at Rome.
70 Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans.
77 The Roman conquest of Britain; Julius Agricola is imperial governor (to 84).
122 Construction of Hadrian's Wall ordered along the northern frontier, for the purpose of hindering incursions of the aggressive tribes there into Britannia.
133 Julius Severus, governor of Britain, is sent to Palestine to crush the revolt.
140 Antoninus Pius erects another wall, north of Hadrian's.
167 At the request of King Lucius, the missionaries, Phagan and Deruvian, are sent by Pope Eleutherius to convert the Britons to Christianity.
197 Clodius Albinus, governor of Britain, another claimant to the Imperial throne, is killed by Severus at the battle of Lyon.
208 Severus goes to defend Britain, and repairs Hadrian's Wall.
208 (c) Tertullian of Carthage writes concerning "districts of the Britons, unreached by Romans, but subdued to Christ." (He was probably referring to Wales.)
209 (d) St Alban, first British martyr, is killed for his faith at Verumalium (now St Albans, Hertfordshire), in one of the few persecutions of Christians ever to take place in Britain, during the governorship of Gaius Junius Faustinus Postumianus. (There is controversy about the date of St Alban's martyrdom. Some believe it occurred during the persecution of Decius around 254; Gildas and Bede both date it around 305, under Diocletian.)
270 (c) Beginning of the "Saxon Shore" fort system, a chain of coastal forts in the south and east of Britain, listed in a document known as "Notitia Dignitatum."
287 Revolt by Carausius, commander of the Roman British fleet, who rules Britain as emperor until murdered by Allectus, a fellow rebel, in 293.
303 Emperor Diocletian orders a general persecution of the Christians.
306 Constantine (later to be known as "the Great") is proclaimed Emperor at York.
311 Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire ends.
312 Constantine defeats and kills Maxentius at battle of Milvian Bridge. Constantine converts to Christianity.
313 Edict of Toleration proclaimed at Milan, in which Christianity is made legal throughout the empire.
314 Three Romano-British bishops (of London, Lincoln, and York), for the first time, attend a continental church gathering, the Council of Arles.
324 Constantine finally achieves full control over an undivided empire.
325 Emperor Constantine convokes the First Oecumenical Council at Nicaea (Nicaea I). This synod declares the Son to be "one in essence" with the Father, condemning Arius and his teaching, and writes the first draft of the Symbol of Faith (Creed).
337 Emperor Constantine receives baptism on his deathbed. Joint rule of Constantine's three sons: Constantine II (to 340); Constans (to 350); Constantius (to 361).
360 St Martin founds first Gallic monastery near Tours. (The monastic movement began in the Egyptian desert, but is now spreading to Gaul. St Martin is the founder of the particularly "Celtic" form of monasticism in which the monastery becomes a tool of evangelistic outreach among the pagani, or country folk — an ideal approach for the Celts, who do not have cities and whose territorial boundaries are always somewhat fluid.)
In the same year, three Romano-British bishops attend the Council of Ariminum.
360s Celtic pagan revival in Britain about this time (Lydney, etc.).
367 Series of attacks on Britain from the north by the Picts and the Irish (Scots), and from the North Sea by the Saxons, requiring the intervention of Roman generals leading special legions.
369 Roman general Theodosius drives the Picts and Scots out of Roman Britain. Imperial rule is restored, but henceforth there is a rapid decline of towns and villa economy.
381 Eastern Emperor Theodosius the Great convokes Second Oecumenical Council at Constantinople (Constantinople I). This synod confirms the Council of Nicaea, completes the Symbol of Faith (Creed), and ends the Trinitarian controversy, affirming the divinity of the Holy Spirit. It also establishes the "Pentarchy" of the Church: the five Patriarchates of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem; though all bishops remain equal, the patriarchs preside in love.
383 Magnus Maximus (the 'Prince Macsen' of Welsh and Cornish legend), a Spaniard, is proclaimed Emperor in Britain by the island's Roman garrison. With an army of British volunteers, he conquers Gaul and, in 388, occupies Rome itself. However, Eastern Emperor Theodosius defeats and beheads him in July, 388. The net result to Britain is the loss of many valuable troops needed for the island's defence.
388 Emperor Theodosius captures Magnus Maximus (Macsen) and executes him. Following his defeat, Macsen's widow, Helena, and her sons return to her native Wales, establishing monasticism there according to the pattern of St Martin of Tours.
395 Theodosius, the last emperor to rule an undivided empire, dies, leaving his one son, Arcadius, emperor in the East and his other son, the young Honorius, emperor in the West. At this point the office of Roman Emperor changes from a position of absolute power to one of being merely a head of state.
395 (c) Niall, High King of Ireland, sacks cities of western Britain.
396 The Roman general, Stilicho, acting as regent in the western empire during Honorius's minority, reorganises British defences decimated by the Magnus Maximus debacle. Begins transfer of military authority from Roman commanders to local British chieftains.
399 Stilicho clears Britain of barbarians (the first 'rescue' described by Gildas?).
First half
of 5th c. Cunedda, from the north, takes over a large part of Wales. Other chieftains in western and northern Britain claim succession to imperial power.
During the same period, there is much missionary and literary activity by British Christians. St Ninian converts some of the Picts. Pelagius teaches in Rome. Possible settlement of monks or hermits in Glastonbury.
401 Patricius (St Pádraig) is taken into slavery in Ireland.
402 Troops again moved from Britain, this time by Stilicho for the defence of Italy from Alaric and the Goths.
405 (c) Niall, High King of Ireland, is killed at sea. Irish threat to Britain is henceforth much reduced, though some Irish settlers remain, e.g. in south Wales.
405-430 Encouraged by weakening British defences, Pictish incursions increase in frequency and intensity. Threat of Saxon raids cause increased worry among Britons.
407 Constantine III (the 'Bendigeit Custennin' of Welsh legend, and king of Britain in Geoffrey of Monmouth) proclaimed new emperor by Roman garrison in Britain. He goes to Gaul taking most of the remaining regular forces.
410 The Great Saxon attack on Britain. The regional councils or civitates rebel against Constantine. Britain autonomous within the Empire; provisional de facto recognition by Emperor Honorius. The Goths, under Alaric, sack Rome.
418 The preaching of the heresy of Pelagianism is outlawed in Rome.
418 (c) Possible imperial expedition to Britain and partial re-occuption (the second 'rescue' described by Gildas?).
421 Emperor Honorius issues a decree forbidding any Pelagians to come nearer to Rome than the one-hundredth mile marker. In the same year, Agricola introduces Pelagian doctrine into Britain.
425 (c) No imperial forces or administration in Britain after this date. Vortigern is probably beginning to rise to prominence, possibly as "high-king." Saxons in Cambridgeshire.
428 (d) Vortigern authorises the use of Saxon mercenaries for the defence of Britain against barbarian attack. This time is known in Latin as the "adventus Saxonum" or the coming of the Saxons. It is also sometimes dated at around 447-449.
429 Prominent Gallo-Roman Bishops Germanus of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes are dispatched to Britain to combat the Pelagian heresy, which is apparently favoured by Vortigern's 'Celtic' party.
431 Emperor Theodosius II convokes Third Oecumenical Council at Ephesos. This synod condemns Nestorianism (the belief that Christ is actually two persons), affirming the unity of Christ as perfect God and perfect man. It also affirms the title "Theotokos" for the Virgin Mary because Christ is truly God.
In the same year, Pope Celestine of Rome sends Palladius to Ireland.
432 (c) Death of St Ninian, Apostle to the Picts. In the same year, St Pádraig begins his mission to Ireland.
430-450 Increasing Saxon settlement in Britain. Raids on British towns and cities by Saxons becoming more frequent.
446 Second visit of St Germanus to Britain. Britons appeal unsuccessfully to Aëtius, Roman governor of Gaul, for military assistance.
449 The Jutes under Hengest and Horsa conquer Kent, in southern Britain.
451 Emperor Marcian convokes the Fourth Oecumenical Council at Chalcedon. This synod condemns monophysitism (the belief that Christ has only one nature), affirming that Christ is two natures (divine and human) united in one person ("hypostatic" union).
457 (c) Full-scale Anglo-Saxon revolt about this time and sacking of lowland Britain. Saxon control spreading westward.
460 (c) Mass migration of British refugees across Channel to Armorica (later named Brittany) and to Spain. Collapse of British economy.
461 Death of St Pádraig.
461 (c) Death of Vortigern. Ambrosius Aurelianus assumes command of British forces, and there is a gradual British recovery under the remnant of the Romanised citizenry.
470 Seaborne British army joins Armorica settlers in campaign to restore authority of Emperor Anthemius in Gaul. Ambrosius's counter-offensive against Anglo-Saxons (driving them back to settlements and containing them) beginning now or a little later.
At this time also, Faustus, a British bishop, perhaps a son of Vortigern, becomes prominent in Gaul. British Church now virtually cut off but regaining vigour.
476 The last Western Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, is deposed by the barbarian Odoacer, ending the Roman Empire in the West.
477 (c) Aelle, the South Saxon leader, lands near Selsey.
480-490 Probable lull; St Germanus's biographer speaks of Britain as prosperous.
495 (c) Cerdic, the West Saxon leader, lands from Southampton Water.
500 Angles and Saxons on Humber, in north Lincolnshire, in East Anglia, Essex, Middlesex, Sussex, Hampshire, and advancing from the Wash toward the upper Thames; Jutes in Kent and New Forest. British migration to Armorica continuing (and throughout this century), but some success at home in containing the invasion. Arthur is among the British leaders.
St Illtud is at Llantwit Major during the first quarter of the 6th century. He has many disciples and there is a strong forward movement of the Church in west Britain.
500 (c) St Brigid founds monastery at Kildare.
500-550 Spread of Celtic monasticism throughout Europe.
508 (c) Cerdic defeats Britons in Netley Marsh.
516 or 518 Britons under Arthur win great victory at 'Mount Badon', probably regaining lost ground in Thames valley and north-west of London. After this, there is a phase of British ascendancy and comparative peace, with some Saxons returning to the continent. This peaceful period allows for considerable Church growth. Gildas, St Cadoc, St David and other important ecclesiastical figures will be active in Britain during the next half-century. The Britons also assist the Church in Ireland.
521 Birth of St Columcille (Columba).
522 Death of St Dyfrig, Archbishop of Caerleon, Wales, "in King Arthur's Day."
525 (c) Death of St Brigid (Brid).
537 or 539 Battle of Camlann and death of Arthur.
545 The five kings denounced by Gildas are ruling over western Britain about this time, Maelgwn of Gwynedd being the most important.
St Ciarán founds monastery at Clonmacnois. He dies later the same year.
547 (c) Yellow Plague. Death of Maelgwn.
550 (c) St David takes Christianity to Wales. St Finian founds monastery at Magh Bile (Moville).
552 West Saxons resume their advance. British defeat at Salisbury.
553 Emperor Justinian convokes the Fifth Oecumenical Council at Constantinople (Constantinople II). This synod reaffirms the Chalcedonian teaching about Christ, and condemns various heretics.
555 St Comgall founds monastery at Bangor.
558 St Breandán founds monastery at Clonfert.
560-580 (c) North Atlantic voyages of St Breandán and St Cormac.
561 After the Battle of Culdrevny, St Columcille exiles himself from Ireland, and goes to the island of Iona.
563 or 565 St Columcille founds a monastery on Iona and begins conversion of the Picts to Christianity.
570-600 Oldest surviving Welsh poetry: Taliesin, Aneirin, Llywarch Hen, Myrddin ('Merlin'). Urbgen of Rheged drives back the northern Angles.
571 (c) Saxons overrun British enclave in Buckinghamshire.
574-578 (c) Sometime when Benedict I was Pope of Rome, the future Pope Gregory meets some Anglo-Saxons from Deira (the southern part of Northumbria) in Rome (St Bede writes that they were exposed for sale in the Roman slave market). Greatly struck by their appearance and troubled that such men should be ignorant of the word of God, Gregory asks leave of Benedict to go and preach Christianity in their country. Gregory sets out, but is called back to Rome by messengers after only three days.
577 Death of St Breandán of Clonfert, the Navigator.
577 (c) British are defeated at Dyrham by Ceawlin, King of Wessex, and lose Bath, Cirencester and Gloucester to the Saxons. This forms a landmark in the history of the invasions, since it brings Anglo-Saxon rule to the western sea for the first time, and thereby cuts land communications between the Welsh of Wales and the midlands and their kinsmen of the south-western peninsula.
579 Death of St Finian of Magh Bile (Moville).
584 Foundation of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia in England.
591 St Columbanus leaves from Bangor for Gaul.
593-603 Aethelfrith of Bernicia (northern Northumbria) gaining ground in the north. British defeat at Catterick (Gododin).
597 Death of St Columcille of Iona, the Enlightener of Scotland.
In the same year, the Roman form of Christianity is brought to Britain for the first time by St Augustine, the former papal librarian who is made a missionary by Pope Gregory the Great to convert the Saxons. Augustine founds a monastery and the first church at Canterbury. He baptises King Aethelbert of Kent at Canterbury.
601 Death of St Comgall of Bangor. In the same year, the Pope sends Paulinus to reinforce the Kentish mission. He bears with him letters from the Pope and a pallium for Augustine, who is consecrated archbishop and establishes his seat in Canterbury.
603 Aethelfrith, King of Bernicia, routs Aedan, King of the Scots of Dalriada. Soonafter, Aethelfrith wins control of the Kingdom of Deira, and creates the Kingdom of Northumbria.
In the same year, Welsh bishops refuse to co-operate with Augustine.
613 (c) King Aethelfrith of Northumbria defeats the Welsh near Chester, cutting off Wales from the north.
615 St Columbanus dies at his monastery in Bobbio, Italy.
616 Aethelfrith dies, and the Kingdom of Northumbria is secured by Edwin of Deira (to 632). During Edwin's reign, the sons of Aethelfrith and the rest of the Bernician royal family, with many of the nobility, find refuge in the remoter north, some with the Picts and some with the Scots. Both these peoples have long been Christian and several of the Northumbrian exiles, including Oswald, are baptised. (This exile will have profound implications for the history of Christianity in England — see 633.)
In the same year, St Aethelbert, King of Kent, dies.
618 Martyrdom of St Donnan, Abbot, and 52 monks with him on the Isle of Eigg, Scotland. Death of St Coemgen (Kevin) of Glendalough.
625 St Ethelburga, daughter of King St Aethelbert of Kent, marries Edwin, the pagan King of Northumbria. Paulinus is consecrated a bishop and travels north with her.
627 King Edwin of Northumbria and his chiefs accept the Christian Faith and are baptised at York on the Sunday of Pascha by Bishop Paulinus. (Note that one Welsh source claims it was a Welshman who baptised King Edwin.)
632 Cadwallon, Christian King of Gwynedd, joining the Welsh with the Mercians under the heathen King Penda, defeats the Northumbrians and kills their king, St Edwin, in Hatfield Chase on the borderland between Mercia and Northumbria. Queen St Ethelburga flees to Kent with Bishop Paulinus, who becomes the Bishop of Rochester.
633 After a year of two apostate kings in Bernicia and Deira, St Oswald assumes the throne of Northumbria (to 641), restoring the Bernician line. St Oswald promptly turns to Iona for help in re-establishing Christianity in Northumbria. A small company of monks led by St Aidan comes from Iona and establishes a monastery (in 635) on the Island of Lindisfarne (Holy Island) whence there was access at low tide. As time went by many more Scottish monks come from Iona and elsewhere to build churches, establish monasteries and give instruction in the discipline and observance of monastic life. During the next twenty years Christianity is firmly established throughout Northumbria.
Later that year, King Oswald of Northumbria defeats Cadwallon and the Welsh invaders near the Roman Wall north of Hexham. Cadwallon dies. This marks the end of effective British challenge to the Anglo-Saxons. After this date, Celtic missionaries, following their work with the fervour characteristic of Celtic Christianity at this time, are active in most of the Anglo-Saxon territory.
Around this time, a third, and this time successful, attempt is made to convert the East Angles. Sigeberht, the brother of Eorpwald, has been converted in Gaul, where he has been living in exile during his brother's reign. On his return to England, he seeks help from Archbishop Honorius who sends him a Burgundian called St Felix, already consecrated a bishop in Gaul. An episcopal seat is established for him at Dunwich on the Suffolk coast, and during his long episcopate of seventeen years the conversion of the East Angles is completed. (St Felix is known as the "Apostle of East Anglia.")
634 (c) St Cuthbert is born.
In the same year, St Birinus (the "Enlightener of Wessex") leads King Cynegils of Wessex and many of his people to conversion, and establishes a bishopric at Dorchester-on-Thames. (With the introduction of Christianity into Wessex in this way, only Sussex and the Isle of Wight remain of the southern Anglo-Saxon lands which had not been visited by a missionary.)
639 Death of St Molios (Molaise, Laisren), Abbot of Leighlin, who brought southern Ireland to keep the Orthodox Pascha (at a synod in 631).
641 King Penda of Mercia defeats and kills St Oswald, King of Northumbria. Oswy becomes King of Northumbria (to 670).
647 Death of St Ethelburga, Widow of St Edwin the King of Northumbria, and Abbess of Lyminge, Kent.
651 Death of St Aidan, founder and first Abbot-Bishop of Lindisfarne, and Enlightener of Northumbria. In the same year, St Cuthbert enters the monastery of Maelros (Melrose).
653 Peada, the son of King Penda of Mercia, marries into the Northumbrian royal family and receives baptism at the hands of St Finan, St Aidan's successor at Lindisfarne. While Penda himself remains heathen, he allows a small mission, part Anglo-Saxon and part Celtic, to work in Mercia.
654 In the greatest of all the battles between the northern and southern Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Oswy, King of Northumbria, defeats and kills Penda of Mercia.
Soon after Penda's death, one of the missionaries working in Mercia, an Irishman called Diuma, is consecrated bishop among the Mercians. Shortly afterwards, another of the band, an Englishman, St Cedd, is sent by King Oswy of Northumbria to the East Saxons whose bishop he becomes. Despite his race, the Christianity practised by St Cedd is wholly Celtic in form.
657 St Hild (Hilda) founds monastery at Whitby.
664 Synod of Whitby; King Oswy abandons Celtic Christian traditions and accepts Anglo-Roman usage in Northumbria.
668 St Colman founds monastery at Inishbofin.
670 Death of King Oswy of Northumbria. He is succeeded by his son Ecgfrith (to 685).
672 St Maelrubai founds monastery at Applecross, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
673 St Etheldreda founds monastery at Ely.
674 St Benedict Biscop founds monastery at Wearmouth.
679 Death of St Etheldreda. From this year, St Adamnan is Abbot of Iona (to 704).
680 Death of St Hild of Whitby. In this year, St Bede enters the monastery of Wearmouth.
680-681 Emperor Constantine IV convokes the Sixth Oecumenical Council at Constantinople (Constantinople III). This synod condemns monothelitism (the belief that Christ has only one (divine) will) as an impairment of Christ's fully humanity. It affirms that Christ has two wills, the human will being subject always to the divine will.
682 Foundation of monastery at Jarrow.
684-687 St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne.
686-688 St Adamnan visists Northumbria.
687 Death of St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne and Wonderworker of Britain.
697 The Cain Adomnain ('Law of Adamnan') proclaimed at Birr.
698 The Lindisfarne Gospels are made.
704 Death of St Adamnan, Abbot of Iona.
711 Islamic invasion of Spain.
716 The expulsion of monks of Iona from the land of the Picts.
722 Death of St Maelrubai, Abbot of Applecross.
731 Venerable St Bede completes his Historia Ecclesiastica — the "Ecclesiastical History of the English People."
735 Death of St Bede.
757-796 Offa, King of Mercia: he builds Offa's Dyke to keep out the Welsh.
768 The Church of Wales adopts the Orthodox calculation of Pascha.
771-801 Bresal, Abbot of Iona.
774-779 First reign of Aethelred Moll in Northumbria.
779 Offa, King of Mercia, becomes King of all England.
780-802 Higbald, Bishop of Lindisfarne.
782 Charlemagne summons the monk and scholar Alcuin of York to head the palace school at Aachen: revival of learning in Europe.
787 Emperor Constantine VI convokes the Seventh Oecumenical Council at Nicaea (Nicaea II). This synod condemns ikonoclasm (the rejection of ikons) as a denial of the Incarnation, affirming the Incarnational basis of ikons and their legitimacy in the Church. It also confirms the teaching of the first six Oecumenical Councils.
In the same year, two Church Councils are held in England, one in the north at Pincanhale, and the other in the south at Chelsea. For the first time, papal legates are present at Councils of the English Church, and this marks the beginning of closer relations between the Church in the British Isles and the Patriarchate of the West. The synods reaffirm the Faith of the first Six Oecumenical Councils (the decrees of the Seventh having not yet been received), and establish a third archbishopric at Lichfield (fulfilling the great desire of King Offa of Mercia that he have an archbishopric within the boundaries of his own kingdom).
790-796 Second reign of Aethelred Moll in Northumbria.
792 The Frankish King Charlemagne sends a faulty Latin translation of the acts of the Seventh Oecumenical Council to the kings and bishops of Britain.
793 Vikings invade Britain for the first time in a surprise attack on the monastic community at Lindisfarne (Holy Island).
794 First Viking raids in the Hebrides. Raid on Wearmouth and Jarrow.
In the same year, Charlemagne convenes a council in Frankfurt-in-Main, attended by clergy from Britain and envoys of Pope Hadrian. This council marks the beginning of the alienation of Frankish Christianity from the Apostolic and Patristic Tradition of Orthodox Christianity, by rejecting the decrees of the Seventh Oecumenical Council (largely based on a faulty Latin translation) and inserting the Filioque into the Symbol of Faith (Creed).
795 Viking raids on Iona, Inishbofin, Inishmurray, Skye and Rathlin.
796 Death of Offa, King of Mercia, and end of Mercian supremacy in England.
798 Viking raid on Inis Patraic.
799 Danish raiding on the Frankish coast.
800 Viking raids on Tynemouth and Hertenes.
In the same year, on Christmas Day, Charlemagne is crowned "Holy Roman Emperor" by the Pope of Rome. This event marks the break of Frankish civilisation away from a united Romania — the Orthodox Christian Roman Empire, whose capital was at the New Rome of Constantinople.
801-802 Connachtach, Abbot of Iona. During this time, the Book of Kells is made.
802 Burning of Iona.
802-814 Cellach, Abbot of Iona.
802-839 Egbert, King of Wessex.
803 The Council of Clovesho abolishes the archbishopric of Lichfield, restoring the pattern of the two metropolitan archbishoprics (Canterbury and York) which had prevailed before 787.
804 Grant of Kells to the community of Iona.
806 Viking raid on Iona, and martyrdom of 68 monks.
807 Transfer of Iona community to Kells.
809 Charlemagne's Council of Aachen declares the Filioque necessary for salvation. In response, Pope Leo III has the original Creed without the Filioque engraved in Latin and Greek on silver shields and placed at the doors of St Peter's in Rome.
814 Death of Cellach on Iona. In the same year, Frankish "Emperor" Charlemagne dies.
820 (c) Foundation of Dunkeld in Scotland.
823 First Viking raid on Bangor.
824 Second Viking raid on Bangor. Raid on Skellig Michael.
825 Raids on Magh Bile (Moville) and Down. Martyrdom of St Blaithmac, Abbot, and many monks with him, on Iona. In the same year, the Irish monk Dicuil, who fled from Iona, completes his cosmography, Libera de Mensura Orbis Terrae, in a continental monastery.
828 Egbert of Wessex is recognised as overlord of other English kings.
832 Viking raids on Armagh, "thrice in one month."
834 Viking raids on Glendalough and Clonmacnois.
835 Burning of Clonmacnois. Danish raid on Sheppey.
836 Viking raid on Kildare.
837 Viking seizure of Dublin.
839 Viking massacre of Picts at Forteviot.
839-858 AEthelwulf, son of Egbert, King of Wessex.
840 Kenneth mac-Alpin becomes King of Dalriada. In the same year, Armagh is burned by the Vikings.
843 Viking sack of Nantes.
844 Kenneth mac-Alpin conquers the Picts and founds a unified Alba (Scotland). He reigns until his death in 858.
845 Burning of Clonmacnois, Clonfert, Terryglass and Lothra by the Vikings.
845 (c) John Scotus Eriugena arrives at the court of Charles the Bald.
849 Division of the relics of St Columcille between Kells and Dunkeld.
850 Danes overwintering on the Isle of Thanet. Raid on Kells.
851 Attack on Dublin and Anagassan by Danes.
852 The Danes defeat the Norwegian Vikings at the Battle of Carlingford Lough in Ireland.
852-870 (c) Sigurd the Mighty, first jarl of Orkney.
853 Arrival of Olaf in Dublin.
854-899 Eardwulf, Bishop of Lindisfarne.
855 Danes overwintering on Sheppey.
857 Defeat of Ketil 'Flatnose' by Olaf and Ivar.
858 Death of Kenneth mac-Alpin.
858-860 AEthelbald, eldest son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex.
863 Plundering of the tombs of the Boyne by Olaf and Ivar.
860-865 AEthelbert, second son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex.
865 Invasion of England by Ivar's 'great host'. Overwintering in East Anglia.
865-871 AEthelred I, third son of AEthelwulf, King of Wessex.
866 Invasion of Northumbria and seizure of York by Ivar's 'great host'..
866-869 Olaf raiding in Pictland.
867 Raiding of Whitby and other Northumbrian monasteries. Battle of York. Deaths of Aella and Osberht.
869 Olaf's return to Ireland. Raid on Armagh.
870 Martyrdom of St Edmund, King of East Anglia. Raids on Peterborough, Ely and Coldingham.
870-871 Siege and sack of Dumbarton by Olaf and Ivar.
871 The Danes attack Wessex and are defeated by AEthelred at Ashdown.
871-899 St Alfred the Great, King of Wessex.
872 Death of Artgal, King of Strathclyde Britons.
873 Death of Ivar, 'king of all the gaill of Ireland and Britain'.
874 Division of the great host at Repton.
874-875 Halfdan overwintering on the Tyne. Devastation of Northumbria.
875 The monks evacuate Lindisfarne for the last time. In the same year, Adrian (Magirdle), Bishop of Saint Andrew's, Stalbrand, Geodianus, Caius, Clodian, and their companions, are martyred on the Isle of May, Scotland. Halfdan's wars on Picts and Strathclyde Britons. Massacre of Picts at Dollar. Death of Eystein of Dublin.
875 (c) Death of Thorstein the Red. Migration of Aud and Hebridean Norse to Iceland.
876 Halfdan's 'apportioning' of Northumbria.
877 Death of Halfdan in the Battle of Strangford Lough.
877-878 Halfdan's warband in Scotland. Death of Constantine at Inverdonat.
878 St Alfred, King of Wessex, decisively defeats the Danes at Ethandune. By the Peace of Wedmore, England is divided between Wessex in the south and the Danes in the north, the Danelaw. The Danish warlord Guthrum is baptised as a condition of the treaty. In the same year, the shrine and relics of St Columcille are transferred to Ireland.
882-883 The relics of St Cuthbert are transferred with his community to Crayke.
883-894 Guthred, King of York.
883-995 The relics of St Cuthbert are transferred with his community to Chester-le-Street.
886 St Alfred, King of Wessex, captures London from the Danes.
891 First manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
895 Torf-Einar, jarl of Orkney.
899 Death of St Alfred the Great.
899-924 Edward the Elder, King of Wessex.
900 Annexation of Strathclyde by the Scots.
901 Edward the Elder takes the title "King of the Angles and Saxons."
903-904 Raid on Dunkeld by the 'grandsons of Ivar'.
904 Death of Ivar, grandson of Ivar, in battle at Strathearn.
910 Defeat of the Danish warlords of Jorvik at the Battle of Tettenhall.
913 King Edward the Elder recaptures Essex from the Danes. Invasion of northern England by Ragnall (from Norse Dublin).
913-920 Norse settlement in Cumbria.
919-920 Ragnall, King of York.
920 Submission of northern kings to King Edward the Elder.
920-927 Sitric, King of York.
924-939 Athelstan, son of Edward the Elder, becomes king of Wessex and effective ruler of most of England.
927 Athelstan annexes Northumbria, and forces the kings of Wales, Strathclyde, the Picts, and the Scots to submit to him.
937 Battle of Brunanburh: Athelstan defeats alliance of Scots, Celts, Danes, and Vikings, and takes the title of "King of all Britain."
939-946 Edmund, brother of Athelstan, King of England.
945 St Dunstan becomes abbot of Glastonbury.
946-955 Edred, younger brother of Edmund, King of England; Dunstan is named his chief minister.
947-948 First reign of Erik Bloodaxe as King of York.
952-954 Second reign of Erik Bloodaxe as King of York. He dies in 954 at the Battle of Stainmore.
955-959 Edwy, son of Edmund, King of England.
956 Dunstan sent into exile by King Edwy.
957 Mercians and Northumbrians rebel against Edwy.
959-975 Edgar the Peaceful, younger brother of Edwy, King of England.
975-978 St Edward the Martyr, son of Edgar, King of England.
978 St Edward the Martyr murdered at Corfe Castle.
978-1016 AEthelred II, the Unready (ill-counselled), younger brother of St Edward the Martyr, King of England.
980 The Danes renew their raids on England attacking Chester and Southampton.
981 Death of Olaf Cuaran on Iona.
986 Raid on Iona by Danes of Dublin. Erik the Red's voyage to Greenland.
990-1018 Aldhun, Bishop of Lindisfarne, at Chester-le-Street and Durham.
991 Battle of Maldon: Byrhtnoth of Essex defeated by Danish invaders; AEthelred II buys off the Danes with 10,000 pounds of silver (Danegeld).
992 AEthelred makes a truce with Duke Richard I of Normandy.
994 Danes under Sweyn Forkbeard and Norwegians under Olaf Tryggvasson sail up river Thames and besiege London; bought off by AEthelred.
995 The relics of St Cuthbert are transferred with his community to Durham.
995 (c) Baptism of Olaf Tryggvasson. Conversion of jarl of Orkney.
1003 Sweyn Forkbeard and an army of Norsemen land in England and wreak a terrible vengeance.
1007 AEthelred buys two years' peace from the Danes for 36,000 pounds of silver.
1012 The Danes sack Canterbury: bought off for 48,000 pounds of silver.
1013 Sweyn lands in England and is proclaimed king; AEthelred flees to Normandy.
1014 The English recall AEthelred II as King on the death of Sweyn Forkbeard at Gainsborough; Canute retreats to Denmark. In the same year, the Vikings are defeated decisively by the forces of Brian Boru at the Battle of Clontarf. Brian Boru dies in the battle.
1015 Canute again invades England; war between Danes and Saxons.
1016 Edmund Ironside, son of AEthelred II, King of England: he and Canute divide the kingdom, Canute holds the north and Edmund Wessex; Edmund is assassinated.
1016-1035 Canute, King of England.
1017 Canute divides England into four earldoms.
1019 Canute marries Emma of Normandy, widow of AEthelred II.
1035 Death of Canute: his possessions are divided.
1035-1040 Harold I, Harefoot, King of England.
1040-1042 Hardicanute, King of England; he dies of drink.
1042-1066 Edward the Confessor, son of AEthelred II, King of England.
1051-1052 Godwin, Earl of Wessex, exiled: he returns with a fleet and wins back his power.
1052 Edward the Confessor founds Westminster Abbey, near London.
1053 Death of Godwin: his son Harold succeeds him as Earl of Wessex.
1054 The Patriarchate of Rome (and the West) falls into schism from the Church.
1055 Harold's brother Tostig becomes Earl of Northumbria.
1063 Harold and Tostig subdue Wales.
1064 Harold is shipwrecked in Normandy; while there, he swears a solemn oath to support William of Normandy's claim to England.
1065 Northumbria rebels against Tostig, who is exiled.
1066 Battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings. The Norman Conquest of England. "As the result of one day's fighting (14 October), England received a new royal dynasty, a new aristocracy, a virtually new Church, a new art, a new architecture and new language."
1069 Norman ravaging of Northumbria. Temporary return of St Cuthbert's shrine to Lindisfarne from Durham.
1087 Death of William the Conqueror.
1098 Magnus Olafsson's 'royal cruise' through the Hebrides.
1104 Translation of the relics of St Cuthbert to the Norman cathedral at Durham.
1170 Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland.
14th c. English Church reformer John Wyclif writes that the true faith is preserved only in the East, "among the Greeks."


Ashe, Geoffrey. The Quest for Arthur's Britain.
Britannia's Timeline of British History
Blair, Peter Hunter. An Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England.
Cahill, Thomas. How the Irish Saved Civilisation.
Duncan, Anthony. The Elements of Celtic Christianity.
Marsden, John. The Fury of the Northmen: Saints, Shrines and Sea-Raiders in the Viking Age.
Moss, Vladimir. The Saints of Anglo-Saxon England.
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun 3 November 2002 1:55 am
Location: ROCE


Post by Lounger »


St. Edmund, one of the greatest and most famous of the British saints,
lived and suffered during the ninth century, one of the most tragic and
difficult moments of British history, when the pagan Danes were killing and
destroying over a large part of the British Isles. The problems of the English
made worse by the fact that there was no unity among them, and instead of being
united into one powerful force to repel the invaders they were divided into
seven kingdoms, which were not always united even within themselves. No part of
the country was more exposed to the pagan attacks than the small kingdom of
East Anglia, and the old King Offa of East Anglia resolved to go on a pilgrimage

to the Holy Land to pray for the forgiveness of his sins and the safety of his

On the way, he visited his cousin Alcmund, who, on being exiled from
East Anglia after the death of the Martyr-King Ethelbert (+May 20, 793), had
entrusted with the kingdom of Old Saxony by the Emperor Charlemagne. Alcmund
had married a German princess named Siwara, and with her often besought the
Lord to give him a numerous and saintly family. In answer to his prayer, an
angel appeared to him and told him to undertake a pilgrimage to the tombs of the

apostles in Rome, where God would grant his petition. During this pilgrimage,
while the king was one day conversing with his hostess, a noble and pious Roman
woman, she noticed on his breast a brilliant sun, whose rays, darting to all
four points of the compass, threw a miraculous light on all around. Filled
with the spirit of prophecy, she declared that from him would come a son whose
fame, like the sun, would illumine the four quarters of the world and bring many

to Christ. A few months later, after returning to North Hamburg, the capital
of Old Saxony, Alcmund's wife Siwara bore him his second son, Edmund.

Now when King Offa came to Saxony, Edmund was appointed to accompany
him; and the old king was immediately struck by the beauty, both physical and
spiritual, of the young prince, and by the zeal of his service. He applied to
the words of Solomon: "Hast thou seen a man swift in his work? He shall stand
before kings and shall not be in obscurity" (Proverbs 22.29). Then in the
presence of the whole court he embraced him and, putting a ring on his finger,
said: "My most beloved son Edmund, accept this memento of our kinship and mutual

love. Remember me as one grateful for your service, for which with God's
permission I hope to leave you a paternal inheritance." Edmund's father hastened

to explain to him the significance of this ceremony: was he prepared to accept
King Offa as his adoptive father in place of his natural father? On Edmund's
acceptance, Offa tearfully drew from his finger his ring - in fact, it was a
coronation ring - and said: "Son Edmund, observe closely this ring, notice its
design and seal. If, when I am far away, I intimate to you by this token my
wish and desire, do you without delay execute my order. As the noble assembly
here bears witness, I intend to regard you as my most beloved son and heir."

Then Offa continued on his pilgrimage. Having arrived in the Holy Land
and venerated the Holy Places, he set out onhis return journey via
Constantinople. But as he was sailing through the Hellespont, he fell ill; so,
disembarking at the monastery of St. George, he received the Holy Mysteries and
for death. His last act was to entrust his kingdom of East Anglia to Edmund,
ordering his nobles to take his ring to Saxony as a token of his will. Then he
reposed in peace and was buried in St.George's Bay on the Hellespont in the
year 854.

And so, in his fourteenth year, St.Edmund set sail with a retinue of
nobles for the promised kingdom which he had never seen before. They landed at
what is now called St. Edmund's Head near Hunstanton in Norfolk. Disembarking in

a dry river-bed, the king prostrated on the ground and prayed to God to bless
his coming and make it profitable for the land and its people. As the saint
rose and mounted his horse, twelve springs of sweet, clear water gushed out of
the earth, which worked many miracles of healing for the sick. From that hour
the soil of that region, which before had been sandy and barren, bore the
richest crops in all Eastern England.

The saint then proceeded to Attleborough,Offa's former capital, and
staked his claim to the throne. On November 5, 855, he was in Winchester,
attending a council convened by King Ethelwulf of Wessex (Southern England) to
a charter of immunities for the English Church.Then he returned to
Attleborough, where on Christmas Day he was proclaimed sovereign of the people
Norfolk (the northern half of East Anglia) by Humbert, Bishop of Elmham. For the

next year the king stayed quietly in Norfolk, learning the psalms of David under

the guidance of Bishop Humbert.Eventually the people of Suffolk (the southern
half of East Anglia) decided to accept him as their king, and on Christmas
Day, 856 he was anointed and crowned king of the whole of East Anglia. The
in Bures, Suffolk, where the coronation took place, survives to the present

St. Edmund was fair-haired, tall, well-built, with a natural majesty of
bearing. By the piety and chastity of his life he won the respect of all the
Christians. He was a defender of the Church, a protector of orphans and widows,
and a supporter of the poor. No man sought for justice from him and failed to
get redress, and no innocent pleaded in vain for mercy. It is said that under
his strong and just rule a boy could drive a mule from Lynn to Sudbury, or
from Thetford to Yarmouth, and no one would dare to molest him.

But in 865 the pagan Danes, led by the three brothers Hinguar, Healfdene
and Hubba, again invaded England, bent on revenge for the death of their
father Ragnar Lodbrog at the hands of the English King Alle of Northumbria.
Hinguar carried with him the famous standard of the Raven, which had been woven
the three daughters of Lodbrog for their three brothers. Magical spells had
been cast during the weaving, so that when the bird flapped its wings in the
wind, it was believed to betoken victory, while when it hung motionless, it
betokened defeat. St. Edmund went out to meet the Danes under another banner,
showed Adam and Eve eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and
above them the Lamb of God slain to wash away their sins.

Edmund defeated the enemy in several skirmishes, showing subtlety no
less than valour. Thus he was once surprised by the enemy within one of his
with no avenue of escape. The siege was so long that both besiegers and
besieged began to suffer from famine. But Edmund determined that the enemy
not learn about his men's suffering, which might persuade them to disband their
own troops. So he ordered a fatted bull which had been fed with good wheat to
be set loose outside the enclosure. The Danes seized it and killed it. And
when they opened its stomach and found fresh wheat inside, they concluded that
the English had no lack of provisions. So they abandoned the siege and split up
into foraging parties. Edmund then followed them stealthily, and killed large
numbers of them.

On another occasion Edmund and his men were besieged inside the almost
impregnable fortress of Framingham. However, Hinguar captured an old and
decrepit man by the name of Sathonius whom the saint had been feeding and
accommodating at his own expense in the castle. By means of a bribe, the old man
induced to betray to Hinguar a weak spot in the castle walls, which he himself
had helped to build in his youth. Advancing on the castle at this point, Hinguar

caught the English by surprise. Edmund jumped onto his swiftest charger and
galloped out through the open gates. Some of the Danes saw him, but did not
suspect who he was and galloped after him, hoping to get some information about
the king. But Edmund, like St. Athanasius the Great on a similar occasion,
turned to them and said: "Go back as fast as you can, for, when I was in the
castle, the king whom you seek was there also." Turning back, they discovered
the king had fooled them. Then St. Edmund gathered his forces and fell upon
the baffled Danes as they werer etreating.

The Danes now made peace with Edmund and headed north to Northumbria
(North-Eastern England), arriving in York on November 1, 866. The English Kings
Osbert and Alle, who had been fighting each other up to that moment, now joined
forces and marched on York, and after destroying the city walls they entered
the city on March 21, 867. However, the resultant battle within the city was
disastrous for the English: both kings and eight of the leading noblemen were
killed. The Danes then ravaged the whole of Northumbria as far as the River
Tyne before installing an Englishman named Egbert as puppet-king of the region
under their power.

This was only "the beginning of sorrows" for the English. At the end of
the year the Danish "Great Army" moved south into Mercia (Central England) and
took the city of Nottingham. In answer to King Burhred of Mercia's appeal for
help, King Ethelred of Wessex,his younger brother Alfred (the future King of
England) and St. Edmund came to meet him outside the walls of Nottingham.
However, the Danes avoided a battle with the English kings outside Nottingham,
peace terms were concluded. In exchange for giving up Nottingham, the Great
Army was allowed to retreat back into Northumbria.

Now began a horrific despoliation of the Christian inheritance of the
whole of Eastern England. In the north, St. Ebba's monastery at Coldingham was
burned down with the nuns inside after they had all, with their abbess Ebba
giving them the lead, cut off their noses and upper lips to deter the attackers
from raping them. Tynemouth, Wearmouth, Jarrow, Whitby and other famous
monasteries were destroyed; and in Eastern Mercia Bardney and Crowland were

When the news of the Great Army's approach reached Abbot Theodore of
Crowland, he sent away all the able-bodied men and buried the church valuables.
Then, as the flames of nearby Kesteven litup the sky, he calmly vested himself
for the Divine Liturgy, which he celebrated with the assistance of Deacon
Alfget, Subdeacon Savin and Monks Ethelred and Wulric. Hardly had they finished
when the Danish leader Oscytel burst in, beheaded the abbot, tortured the elder
monks and killed the boys before setting fire to the monastery. This took
place on August 26, 869.

Then it was the turn of the fenland monasteries Thorney, Peterborough,
Ramsey and Ely. At Peterborough Hinguar was struck by a stone; so his brother
Hubba with his own hand slaughtered Abbot Hedda and 84 monks on one stone to
avenge his injury. At Ely a Dane took hold of the pall which covered the
incorrupt body of St. Etheldreda (+June 23, 679) and struck the marble of the
with his battle-axe. But a splinter flew back from off the ground and entered
the striker's eye, and he fell dead. At this the others left the tombs of the
other saints, which they were thinking of violating, and fled.

Another saint met the invaders in a different way. The body of St.
Werburga (+3 February, c. 700) had been preserved incorrupt at Chester right up
the coming of the Danes. But when they approached the city, the body suddenly

While Hubba with 10,000 men was sacking Ely and Soham, Hinguar pressed
eastwards into East Anglia. On Newmarket Heath he encountered Alderman Ulfcetyl
defending two or three earthworks later knownas “Holy Edmund’s
Fortificationsâ€. But the English were overwhelmed and slaughtered to a man.
Then the host
proceeded to the capital, Thetford, which they captured amidst terrible scenes
of rape and butchery. The whole population was killed, and only King Edmund
with a small army survived to face the Danes…

Hinguar then sent a messenger to Edmund, saying: “Hinguar our king,
brave and victorious by sea and by land, has subdued many nations and has now
landed suddenly here with his host. Now he orders yout o divide your hidden
treasure and the wealth of your ancestors with him quickly. And if you want to
you can be his under-king, because you do nothave the power to resist him.â€

Then Edmund summoned Bishop Humbert and discussed with him how he should
answer Hinguar. The bishop, fearful because of the disaster at Thetford and
the threat to the king’s life, counselled him to submit to whatever Hinguar
demanded. Edmund replied: “O bishop! This wretched nation is humiliated, and I

would rather die in battle against him who is trying to possess the people’s
land.†Then the bishop said: “Alas, dear king, your people lie slaughtered,
you do not have the forces to fight. And these pirates will come and bind you
alive, unless you save your life by fleeing, or by submitting to him in this
way.†The king replied: “What I want and desire with all my heart is that I
should not be left alone when my beloved thanes with their wives and children
have been suddenly killed by these pirates. It was never my custom to flee, and
I would rather die for my country if I have to. And Almighty God knows that I
will never renounce His worship, nor His true love, in life or in death.â€

Then he turned to Hinguar’s messenger and said: “You would certainly
deserve to die right now, but I will not dirty my clean hands in your filthy
blood, for I follow Christ, Who set us this example.And I will gladly be killed
by you if God so ordains it. Go quickly now and tell your savage lord: ‘Edmund

will never while living submit in this land tot he pagan war-lord Hinguar,
unless he first submit in this land to Christ the Saviour in faith.â€

Then Edmund marched with his men to Thetford. The battle raged for seven
hours on the plain between Melford and Catford bridges; and finally Hinguar
and his men retreated to their entrenchedc amp. Edmund was the victor, but at a
terrible cost; and as he marched back to Hoxne he resolved to give himself up
rather than continue the bloody carnage.

Shortly after his arrival in Hoxne, the news came of a fresh Danish
inroad into the country. Hubba had completed his destruction of Ely and Soham,
had now set out with 10,000 more men to help his brother complete the
conquest of East Anglia. Resistance was now hopeless,a nd Edmund’s only
thought was
how to preserve his country from further bloodshed and preserve in it the
Christian faith. Bishop Humbert again counselled flight, if only in the hope
he might return to reconquer the land for Christ. But Edmund knew that the
enemy would the more ruthlessly put to sword any able-bodied man who might
in his restoration. Nor would his own death be enough: Hinguar entertained a
personal hatred of him which would be satisfied only by his being capture
alive… So the saint turned to Humbert and said: “O Bishop Humbert, my
father, it is
necessary that I alone should die for the people, and that the whole nation
should not perish (cf. John12.50).â€

Then, having dismissed his men and laid aside his arms, he entered the
church and prostrated himself in front of the altar, praying for strength for
his feat of martyrdom for Christ and his suffering people.

Having marched up to the town and surrounded it, Hinguar sent his men
into the church with orders to touch no one except the king. They seized the
king, bound him, and beat him with cudgels while insulting him continually. Then

they tied him to a tree and flogged him with whips for a long time. Meanwhile
the king called unceasingly on the name of Christ. This infuriated the pagans,
and they now shot at him with arrows until he was entirely covered with them,
like the holy Martyr Sebastian. When Hinguar saw that the holy king would not
renounce Christ, he ordered him to be beheaded. And so they dragged him,
still calling on Christ, to the place of slaughter and there beheaded him. Then
Bishop Humbert, too, was led into the arena and beheaded. This took place on
November 20, 869, when Edmund had reigned for fifteen years and was twenty-nine
years old.

The pagans returned to their ships, having thrown the head of St. Edmund
into dense brambles so that it would be left unburied. Then the local
inhabitants came and found the headless body, but could not find the head. A man
had been a witness of the martyrdom said that he thought that they had hidden
the head somewhere in the wood. So a search-party was organized which scoured
the bushes and brambles. And as they were calling to each other, they head
answered “Here! Here! Here!â€, until they all came to the place where the
lay. And there they saw it lying between the two paws of a grey wolf, who, while

not daring to harm it himself, had been protecting it from the other wild
beasts. Thanking God Almighty for His miracles, the people took the head and
carried it back to the town. The wolf followed them as if he were tame, and
having seen it into the town, returned to the wood. The people joined the head
back to the body, and then buried it as best they could, hastily erecting a
wooden chapel over it
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun 3 November 2002 1:55 am
Location: ROCE

by Doctor Vladimir Moss

Post by Lounger »

During the reign of King Edward the Elder in the early tenth century,
the Danelaw – that is, the area of England controlled by the Danes – was
steadily and systematically reconquered, beginning with East Anglia. Thus
already in
his reign the Danish ruler Eric wasr uling the province under the suzerainty
of King Edward. And it was in about 15 that a miracle drew the attention of
the liberated people to their last Christian king, St. Edmund.

One night, a blind man and a boy who was leading him were walking
through the woods near Hoxne. Not seeing any house nearby, they resolved to stay
night in what was in fact the wooden chapel constructed over St. Edmund’s
grave. Upon entering, they stumbled across the martyr’s grave; but, though
terrified at first, they decided not to leave but to stay in the chapel, using
grave as a pillow for the night.

Hardly had they closed their eyes, when a column of light suddenly
illumined the whole place. The boy woke up his master in fear. “Alas! Alas!â€
cried, “our lodging is on fire!†But the blind man calmed him down, assuring

him that their host would not let them come to harm. And indeed, at dawn they
discovered that through St. Edmund’s prayers the blind man could now see.

The news of this miracle spread throughout East Anglia, and the people
resolved to translate the body of their saint to a safer and more honourable
shrine. They chose the town of Bedricsworth (now Bury St. Edmunds), whose church

and monastery, founded by St.Sigebert in the seventh century, had been
destroyed by the Danes, but some of whose priests still survived. When they had
rebuilt the church, Bishop Theodred of Elmham and the whole clergy of East
translated the holy body with great ceremony into its new shrine.

“Then there was a great miracle,†wrote Abbot Aelfric in about the year

1000, “in that he was just as whole as if he were alive, with unblemished
body; and his neck, which was previously cut through, was healed, and there was,

as it were, a red silken threat about his neck as an indication to men of how
he was slain. Likewise the wounds which the savage heathens had made in his
body with repeated missiles were healed by the heavenly God. And he lies
incorrupt thus to this present day, awaiting resurrection and the eternal glory.
body, which lies here undecayed, proclaims to us that he lived here in the
world without fornication, and journeyed to Chris with a pure life. A certain
widow called Oswyn lived in prayer and fasting at the saint’s tomb for many
afterwards; each year [on Holy Thursday] she would cut the hair of the saint
and cut his nails, circumspectly, with love, and keep them on the altar in a
shrine as relics.â€

Many miracles continued to be performed at the saint’s tomb. At night a
column of light was often seen rising above it and illuminating the whole
church. Then, in 925, King Athelstan founded a community of four priests and two

deacons to look after the shrine, their duties being similar to those of the
seven clergy who guarded the shrine of St.Cuthbert.

“Then,†continues Abbot Aelfric, “the inhabitants venerated the saint

with faith, and Bishop Theodred [the second of the name, called “the Goodâ€]
endowed the monastery with gifts of gold and silver in honour of the saint. Then

at one time there came wretched thieves, eight in a single night, to the
venerable saint; they wanted to steal the treasures which men had brought there,

and tried how they could get in by force. One struck at the bolt violently with
a hammer; one of the, filed around it with a file; one also dug under the
door with a spade; one of them with a ladder wanted to unlock the window. But
they laboured in vain and fared miserably, inasmuch as the holy man miraculously

bound them, each as he stood, striving with his tool, so that none of them
could commit that sinful deed nor move away from there, but they stood thus till

morning. Then men marvelled at how the villains hung there, one up a ladder,
one bent in digging, and each was bound fast in his labour. Then they were all
brought to the bishop, and he ordered them all to be hung on a high gallows.
But he was not mindful of howt he merciful God spoke through His prophet the
following: Eos qui ducuntur ad mortem eruere ne cesses, ‘Always redeem those
whom they lead to death’;and also the holy canons forbid those in orders, both

bishops and priests, to be concerned with thieves, for it is not proper that
those who are chosen toserve God should be a party to any man’s death, if they

are the Lord’s servants. Then after Bishop Theodred had examined the books, he

repented with lamentation that he had appointed so cruel a judgement to those
wretched thieves, and regretted it to the end of his life, and earnestly prayed
thepeople to fast with him a whole three days, praying to the Almighty that
He would have mercy on him.

“There was in that land a certain man called Leofstan, powerful before
the world and foolish before God, who rode to the saint with great arrogance,
and insolently ordered them to show whether the holy saint was uncorrupted; but
as soon as he saw the saint’s body, he immediately went insane and roared
savagely and ended miserably by an evildeath.â€

In the year 1013, the Danes under King Swein again invaded England, and
the whole country north of Watling Street surrendered to him. London, however,
under the leadership of King Ethelred and Earl Thurkill, held out against him
for some time. But when Swein turned northwards again, the whole nation
accepted him as their undisputed king, and even the Londoners were forced to
submit, while the king, the royal family and Bishop Alfhun of London went into
in Normandy.

At this critical juncture, still more critical than that which faced
King Alfred in the winter of 877-878, an English saint again came to the rescue
of the Christian people - this time, the holy Martyr-King Edmund.

Since the year 999, the incorrupt body of St. Edmund had been in the
care of a monk named Ethelwine. In 1010, relates Abbot Sampson, when the Danes
were ravaging East Anglia, St. Edmund's earthly kingdom, the saint appeared to
Ethelwine and ordered him to place his body in a casket, put it on a cart and
convey it to London. But the clerics were to remain in their places.

At dusk one day, as Ethelwine was proceeding on his way to London, he
came to the house of a priest named Edbriht, and asked hospitality for himself
and his holy charge. The priest at first refused to give shelter to strangers;
but eventually, after people protested, he allowed the monk to sleep in the
open air on his land, while not allowing him into his house. So Ethelwine slept
under the cart on which the martyr's body lay.

That night, however, a column of light was seen stretching up from the
cart to heaven, and during the fourth watch of the night, the cart began to
make a noise as if its wheels were turning. Startled by the noise, Ethelwine
up and understood that the saint wished to move from there. Soon he was on
his way, and when he was already some distance from the house, he looked back
and saw that it was on fire - a just retribution for the priest's inhumanity.

Later that day, Ethelwine came to the crossing of the river Stratford,
three miles from London, and wished to cross over. But part of the bridge had
subsided into the river, and the whole structure was unsafe. The Danes
threatened from the rear, and there was no other crossing; so Ethelwine resorted
prayer. Suddenly the cart began to move of its own will. The right wheel rolled
over what remained of the bridge, while the left wheel passed through the air
above the water as if it were dry land. Those who saw the miracle from the
other side of the river praised God,and as the holy body approached the
of London a great crowd of monks, clerics and nobles came to meet it. Taking
it upon their shoulders, they moved towards the church of St. Paul, singing
praises and rejoicing greatly.

Between the Aldgate and the church of St.Paul eighteen people were cured
of various maladies through the prayers of the saint. A woman who was
confined to her bed with paralysis heard the clamour accompanying the passing of
saint and asked her servants what it signified.

"Don't you know,"; they said, "that St. Edmund, the king of the East
Angles, who was innocently killed for Christ by the unfaithful and impious
pagans, has come into this city and has given health to many?"

"Woe is me!"; she cried, "that God has not counted me worthy to obtain
mercy in his presence. For if I could just touch the edge of his bier, I am
confident that I would beimmediately healed of my infirmity."

So saying, she suddenly stood on her feet completely healed - the
nineteenth cure to the glory of the saint that day. Realizing what had happened,
rushed into the crowd and with tears pressed her lips to the saint's bier.

Now the procession came to the church of St. Gregory, near St. Paul's.
The holy body was let down and all the people prostrated in prayer to the
saint. At this point a Dane who was curious to know what was happening came on
scene. Seeing the others prostrate in prayer, he proudly remained upright,
and, drawing aside the veil which covered the body, he peered inside. Suddenly
was struck with blindness. Then, realizing his sin, he confessed it, promised
amendment of life and faithfulness to God andSt. Edmund, and implored
forgiveness. All those present joined their prayer to his, and lo! his sight was

restored. Then he took off his golden armlets and offered them to the saint.
Moreover, he was as good as his word and led a pious life thereafter.

For almost three years the fame of the martyr spread far and wide
through the miracles of healing, both bodily and spiritual, wrought through the
intercession of the saint in London.

Then St. Edmund appeared in a vision to Ethelwine and ordered him to
bring his body back to Bury St. Edmunds.Immediately the monk went to Bishop
Alfhun with a request to leave, explaining that he had come to London rather as
pilgrim than as a permanent resident.The bishop acceded to his request, though
reluctantly. But when Ethelwine, hadgone, he hastened with three clerics to
the church of St. Gregory. There they tried to lift the holy body in its
reliquary onto their shoulders. But to no avail: the weight was insupportable.
more men joined them, then twelve,t hen twenty-four. But after much sweat and
labour they had not succeeded in moving the reliquary a single inch. Then the
bishop with his men felt ashamed, realizing that their devotion, though pious,
was contrary to the will of God and St. Edmund. When Ethelwine came up,
however, and prayed in the presence of the saint, he was able with three of his
companions to life the reliquary as though it weighed nothing.

So he set out on his journey, but not unnoticed as before. For a great
crowd of clergy and people followed him in great sorrow as far as the Stratford
bridge, and beyond it all the villages along the route poured out to meet the
saint with great joy. Bridges were repaired and roads cleared. And, as in
London, many miracles took place. Near Stapleford, the lord of the village gave
hospitality to the saint and was cured of a chronic illness; whereupon he
donated a manor to the saint in perpetuity.Finally, the holy treasure was
by the clerics of Bury St. Edmunds and placed with all devotion in its former
resting-place. There, for centuries to come, miracles did not cease for those
who sought with faith.

In 1014 the Danish King Swein came to Bury St. Edmunds, demanding
tribute and threatening that if it was not paid he would burn the town with the
townsfolk, destroy the church of the saint from its foundations and torture the
clerics in various ways. But the townsfolk refused, trusting in the protection
of St. Edmund. Nor did the tax-collectors dare to use force against them, for
they had heard how the saint protected his own. So they hastened to the king
and informed him of the rebellion against his authority. Meanwhile, not only the

townsfolk of Bury St. Edmunds but also people from all over East Anglia
hastened to the church of the saint to beseech him by prayers, fasting and
almsgiving to free the land from the yoke that had been imposed upon it for ten
or more. Moreover, they asked Monk Ethelwine to make a special intercession
for them at the shrine of the saint, that he would in his accustomed manner
reveal a means of salvation for them through a nocturnal visitation.

That night, therefore, St. Edmund appeared to Ethelwine in his sleep,
with joyful countenance and in shining white garments, and said:

"Go to King Swein and tell him this from me: 'Why do you vex my little
flock by imposing on them a yoke that no other king has imposed upon them?
Tribute has never been demanded of, nor paid by, them at any time since my
Therefore correct this unjust sentence, lest, when you wish to, you will be
unable to. For if you do not obey my admonition, you will soon know that you
displease both God and myself; for you will discover that East Anglia has me as
her protector.'&"

So Ethelwine obediently sought out King Swein at Gainsborough, and
humbly doing obeisance, delivered the saint's message, mixing soft words with
harsh. But the king refused to listen, ordered the monk out of his sight, and
showered the saint with abuse, saying that he had no holiness. Seeing that the
king had no fear of God nor reverence for the saint, Ethelwine sadly turned
back. Near Lincoln he was given hospitality for the night; and as he was
sleeping peacefully, St. Edmund appeared to him and said:

"Why are you fearful and sad? Have ou forgotten my words and incurred
the risk of falling into despair? Rise immediately and continue your journey;
for before you will have reached its end, news about King Swein will delight you

and all your compatriots."

Strengthened by this revelation, Ethelwine rose and set off on his way
before dawn. As he was travelling he heard the sound of Danish horsemen behind
him. One came up, greeted him, and said:

"By your leave, are you the priest whom I saw the day before yesterday
delivering the orders of a certain king to King Swein?"

"I am."

"Alas, alas," he said, "how weighty was your threat! How true your
prophecy! For the death of King Swein has left England glad and Denmark in
mourning. The night after you left, the king went to bed happy and fearing
The whole palace was sleeping soundly. Suddenly the king was woken up by an
unknown soldier standingbefore him, a man of wondrous beauty and brandishing
Addressing the king by his own name, he said: 'Do you want tribute from St.
Edmund's land, O king? Get up - here it is.' He got up but fell back on his
bed, terrified at the sight of the arms, and began to cry out. Then the soldier
went up to him, thrust him through with his lance and left. Hearing his cry:
'Help! Help! St.Edmund has come to kill me!', his men came rushing in and found
him dead,covered in his own blood."

Marianus relates that at that moment in Essex, a pious man named Wulfmar
who had been ill for three days with a disease that deprived him of the use
of his tongue and of all his limbs, suddenly sat up on his bed in the presence
of his parents and neighbours, and said:

"On this night and at this hour King Swein has been killed, pierced
through with the lance of St. Edmund."

Saying this, he fell back on his bed and died.

When Ethelwine heard this news, he judged the time opportune to publish
what he had previously covered in silence. The story then spread like wildfire
throughout the province, inciting all the English to refuse to pay tribute.
King Swein perished at Candlemas, February 2,1014, and his body was placed in
salt and shipped back to Denmark.

Thus was the Scripture fulfilled: “The saints shall boast in glory, and
they shall rejoice upon their beds. The high praise of God shall be in their
throat, and two-edged swords shall be in their hands, to do vengeance among the
heathen, punishments among the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, and
their nobles with manacles of iron, to doamong them the judgement that is
written. This glory shall be to all His saints†(Psalm 149.5-9)

(Sources:A bbot Aelfric, Passio Sancti Eadmundi; Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, E,
1013; Nova Legende Anglie, Appendix II, pp. 596-602; Rev. J.B. Mackinlay,
SaintEdmund King and Martyr, London: Art & Book Company, 1893)
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 15 November 2003 11:22 pm

Orthodox Calendar Of English Saints

Post by Bogatyr »

Calendar of Celtic and Old English Saints of the Orthodox Church
In the following calendar, the Church date is listed first, followed by the corresponding date on the civil calendar. Of course, for those following the Gregorian or Revised Julian calendars, the first date listed is both the Church and civil date. Note that since the various local Orthodox Churches in the British Isles developed slightly different liturgical calendars, some saints appear on two or more dates. In these cases, the listings are cross-referenced, and an asterisk before the saint's name indicates the date is not the main commemoration.

Please send amendments and suggestions to


[September] [October] [November] [December] [January] [February]
[March] [April] [May] [June] [July] [August]

September 1 / 14 Beginning of the Liturgical Year
Fiachra (Fiacre) of Ireland (+7th c.), Hermit and Founder of
Saint-Fiacre-en-Brie, France (see also August 18)

Lythan of Llandaff, Wales
Drithelm (+c. 700), Hermit of Maelros (Melrose), Scotland,
Who Saw Hell as Related by Saint Bede (see also August 17)
September 2 / 15 Lolan, Bishop in Scotland
Hieu (+7th c.), Abbess of Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England
Who Was Tonsured by Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
September 3 / 16 Translation of the Relics of Edward, King of England and Martyr,
to the Orthodox Church of Saint Edward at Brookwood, Near Guildford

Oengus (Angus) Mac Nisse, Bishop of Connor, Dalriada
Balin, Confessor of Tuam, Ireland
Balin (+7th c.), Prince and Monk of Lindisfarne, Brother of Saint Gerald
Hereswith (+690) of Northumbria, Nun of Gaul, Sister of Saint Hilda
September 4 / 17 Translation of the Relics of Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester-on-Thames
and Enlightener of Wessex
Translation of the Relics of Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne
Monessa of Ireland, Virgin
Rhuddlad, Virgin of Anglesey, Wales
September 5 / 18
September 6 / 19 Bega (+7th c.), Anchoress of St Bee's Head, Cumberland,
Founder of a Monastery Near Whitehaven, England (see also October 31)

Maculin, Bishop of Lusk, Scotland
Felix, Priest, and Augebert, Deacon, of England
Slaves Redeemed by Saint Gregory the Great, Martyrs at Champagne, France
September 7 / 20 Alcmund (+781) and Tilbert (+789), Bishops of Hexham, England
* Dunstan (+988), Abbot of Glastonbury, Twenty-Sixth Archbishop of Canterbury
(see also May 19)
September 8 / 21 Nativity of the Theotokos
Kinemark, Chieftain and Confessor, Disciple of Saint Dyfrig, in Wales
Ina (+727), King of Wessex, Restorer of Glastonbury,
and His Queen Ethelburga (+727)
Ethelburga (+647), Queen and Abbess of Lyminge, Kent,
Daughter of King Saint Aethelbert, Wife of Saint Edwin (see also April 5)
September 9 / 22 Ciarán of Clonmacnois (+549)

Osmanna of Ireland, Hermitess
Wulfhilda (+c. 1000), Abbess of Barking and Horton, Prophetess and Wonderworker
Bettelin (Bertram) (+8th c.), Prince and Hermit of Crowland, Lincolnshire,
Disciple of St Guthlac
Argariarga of Ireland (+c. 650), Hermitess in Brittany
* Wilfrida (+c. 988), Mother of Saint Edith and Abbess of Wilton,
Who Repented of a Sinful Youth and Was Tonsured by St Ethelwold of Winchester
(see also September 13)
September 10 / 23 Finian of Magh Bile (Moville), County Down, Ulster (+579)

Frithestan (+932), Bishop of Winchester, England
Otger of Northumbria (+8th c.), Monk and Missionary,
Disciple of St Wiro and St Plechelm
Translation of the Relics of Egwin, Bishop of Worcester
Translation of the Relics of Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, England
September 11 / 24 Deiniol (Daniel), Bishop of Bangor, Wales

September 12 / 25 Ailbas (Elvis), Bishop of Emley (Ireland)
September 13 / 26 Wilfrida (+c. 988), Mother of Saint Edith and Abbess of Wilton,
Who Repented of a Sinful Youth and Was Tonsured by St Ethelwold of Winchester
(see also September 9)
* Theneva (Thenu, Enoch, Denw), Virgin of Glasgow, Mother of
Saint Kentigern (Mungo) — some authorities associate her
with St Dwynen of Wales (see also January 25)
September 14 / 27 The Elevation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross
Cormac of Cashel, King of Munster, and Bishop
September 15 / 28 Mirrin (Merinus) of Bangor, Ireland, Abbot of Paisley
September 16 / 29 Ninian (Nynia, Ninnidh) (+c. 432), Apostle to the Picts, Abbot of Candida Casa
("White House") Monastery, Bishop of Whithorn

Edith (+984), Abbess of Wilton, Daughter of Saint Edgar and Saint Wilfrida,
Who Was Distinguished for Her Generosity to the Poor and Familiarity
with Wild Animals
September 17 / 30 Socrates and Stephen, Martyrs at Monmouth, Wales
September 18 / October 1 Higbald, Abbot and Hermit in Lincolnshire
September 19 / October 2 Theodore of Tarsus (+690), Eighth Archbishop of Canterbury

September 20 / October 3
September 21 / October 4 Mabenna, Daughter of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
September 22 / October 5 Llolan
September 23 / October 6 Adamnan (+704), Abbot of Iona
Aelfwald, King of Northumbria
Cissa (+8th c.), Hermit in Northumbria, Disciple of Saint Guthlac
September 24 / October 7 Berchtun, Abbot of Beverley, Disciple of Saint John of Beverley
September 25 / October 8 Ceolfrith (Geoffrey), Abbot and Confessor of Wearmouth and Jarrow
Findbar (Barry), Hermit of Gougane, Abbot of Cork
Caian of Tregaian in Anglesey, Wales, Son of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Mewrog of Denbighshire, Wales
Fimbert, Bishop in Scotland
Cadoc (Cadog), Abbot of Llancarfan (+6th c.)
Egelred (+870), Martyr of Crowland, Lincolnshire
September 26 / October 9 Colmanel, Abbot in Ireland, Nephew of Saint Columcille
Morgan, Hermit in Cornwall, Disciple of Saint Iltutus
September 27 / October 10 Barry, Disciple of Saint Cadoc
Wulsin, Bishop and Confessor of Sherborne
Sigebert, King of East Anglia and Monk
September 28 / October 11 Tetta (+c. 772), Abbess of Wimborne, Dorset, and Wonderworker,
Friend of Saint Boniface
Lioba (+782), Nun of Minster-in-Thanet and Later of Wimborne, Dorset,
Under Saint Tetta; She Was Sent to Help Her Relative, Saint Boniface, in Germany,
Where She Became an Abbess
Conwall of Scotland, Priest, Disciple of Saint Kentigern
Forseus, Bishop in Ireland
Machan, Bishop in Scotland
September 29 / October 12
September 30 / October 13 Honorius (+653), Fifth Archbishop of Canterbury
Tancred, Torthred (men) and Tova (woman), Hermits of Thorney, Cambridgeshire,
Martyred by the Danes (+870)
Midan of Anglesey, Wales
Engenedl of Anglesey, Wales

October 1 / 14 Melor (Mylor) of Cornwall, Child-Martyr
October 2 / 15
October 3 / 16 Ewald the Fair and Ewald the Dark (+695) of Northumbria, Missionary Priests
and Martyrs in Germany
October 4 / 17
October 5 / 18 Murdoc the Culdee in Argyleshire, Hermit
October 6 / 19 Cummian the White, Abbot of Iona
Failbhe, Abbot in Scotland
Ceollach, Bishop of the Mercians
October 7 / 20 Dubtach, Archbishop of Armagh
Osyth of Chich (+c. 700), Essex, Princess and Martyr
Canog, Son of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Franca, Promptia and Possena, Sisters of St Helanus of Cornwall
October 8 / 21 Translation of the Relics of Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne
and Enlightener of Northumbria
Translation of the Relics of Ceolfrith (Geoffrey),
Abbot and Confessor of Wearmouth and Jarrow
Iwigius (Iwi) of Lindisfarne (+c. 690), Deacon and Hermit of Wilton,
Disciple of Saint Cuthbert
Keyna, Virgin, Daughter of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Ceallan (Helen), Priest-Hermit of Cornwall and Brittany
Triduana (Trollhoena, Tredwell) of Restalrig in Scotland, Virgin
(see also November 9)
October 9 / 22
October 10 / 23 Paulinus (+644), First Archbishop of York
Patrician, Bishop in Scotland
October 11 / 24 Cainnech (Canice, Kenneth) (+c. 600), Abbot of Kilkenny, Ireland

Ethelburga (+675), Abbess of Barking, Essex, Sister of Saint Erkenwald
October 12 / 25 Edwin, King of Northumbria
Wilfrith, Bishop and Confessor of York
Fiech (Fiacc), Bishop of Sletty in Ireland, Friend of Saint Pádraig
October 13 / 26 Comgan (Cowan), Abbot of Lochalsh, Brother of Saint Kentigerna,
Hermitess of Loch Lomond
Fyncana and Fyndocha of Scotland, Virgins
October 14 / 27 Manaccus, Abbot of Caer Gybi (Holyhead) in Wales
Manacca, Abbess of Cornwall
Harold, Last Orthodox King of England,
and Those Killed with Him at Hastings
October 15 / 28 Ethelric, Bishop of Durham
Translation of the Relics of Oswald, Archbishop of York
October 16 / 29 Gall of Ireland, Priest and Hermit, Enlightener of Switzerland
Ciara of Cork, Virgin
Colmán, Bishop of Killruadh in Ireland
October 17 / 30 Nothelm, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, Friend of Saint Bede
Elevation of the Incorrupt Relics of Etheldreda, Queen, Abbess of Ely
Ethelred and Aethelbert of Kent, Princes and Martyrs,
Great-Grandsons of Saint Aethelbert
Regulus, Abbot of Fife, Scotland (see also March 30)
October 18 / 31 Gwen, Abbess, Aunt of Saint Dewi (David) of Wales
Gwendolyn, Abbess in Wales
Brothen of Wales
Gwen (Candida, Blanche) of Talgarth, Martyr,
Daughter of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Selevan of Wales, Martyr
Monon of Scotland, Hermit in the Ardennes, Martyr
October 19 / November 1 Frideswitha (Frideswide) of Oxford, Abbess of Saint Mary's
Ethbin, Abbess of Kildare
Eadnoth, Bishop of Dorchester, Martyr
October 20 / November 2 Acca, Bishop of Hexham, Friend of Saint Bede
Bradan, Bishop of the Isle of Man
Orora of the Isle of Man
October 21 / November 3 Fintan Munnu, Abbot of Taghmon in Ireland
Tuda, Bishop of Lindisfarne
Ordination of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
October 22 / November 4
October 23 / November 5 Ethelfleda, Abbess of Romsey, England, Mentor of Saint Dunstan
Columba of Cornwall, Virgin and Martyr
October 24 / November 6 Cadfarch, Monk of Montgomery, Founder of Churches
October 25 / November 7 Caidin, Confessor in Ireland
Canna, Saudren and Crallo, Confessors in Wales
Translation of the Relics of John, Bishop of Beverley
Marnock (Ernene), Bishop of Kilmarnock in Scotland (see also August 18)
October 26 / November 8 Cedd (+664), Founder of Lastingham, Bishop and Apostle of the East Saxons
— his brothers are Saints Ceadda (Chad) and Cynibil (see March 2)
Daria and Derbilia of Connaught, Virgins
Nasad, Beoan and Mellan, Hermits in Down, Ireland
Gwinoc and His Father Aneurin (Gildas), Monks in Wales
Tudyr, Confessor of Wales
Eata, Abbot of Lindisfarne, Bishop of Hexham
Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
Eadfrith, Priest-Monk of Leominster
Edfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne
Bean, Bishop of Morthlach in Leinster
Alfred the Great, King of England (+899)
October 27 / November 9 Odhran, Abbot of Iona
Ia and Breacha of Cornwall, Virgins
Athelstan, King of England
Abban of Wexford, Founder of Monasteries, Nephew of Saint Coemgen
Colmán, Abbot of Senboth-fola in Ireland
October 28 / November 10 Dorbheneus, Abbot of Iona
Eadsin, Archbishop of Canterbury, England,
Who Crowned King Edward the Confessor
October 29 / November 11 Elfleda, Princess, Abbess of Rumsey
Kinnera (Kennera), Hermitess at Kirk Kinner in Galloway, Scotland
October 30 / November 12 Talaric, Bishop in Scotland
Illogan of Cornwall, Confessor
Egelnoth the Good, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
Leofric, Earl of Mercia
Ordination of Swithin, Bishop of Winchester, England
October 31 / November 13 Urith of Cornwall, Brother of Saint Ia (Ives) the Virgin
and Martyr of Cornwall
Begu, Nun of Hackness
* Bega (+7th c.), Anchoress of St Bee's Head Cumberland,
Founder of a Monastery Near Whitehaven, England (see also September 6)

November 1 / 14 Gwenfil and Callwin, Virgins in Brecknockshire
In Wales, Hermit Dingad, King Cledwin, and Pabiali,
Sons of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Cadfan, Abbot of Bardsey Island, Wales
Ceitho of Cardiganshire, One of the Five Brothers
November 2 / 15 Hercus, Bishop of Slane, Ireland, Consecrated by Saint Pádraig
Maura and Baya, Hermitesses in Scotland — see note on January 28
Cumgar of Devonshire, Confessor
November 3 / 16 Gwenvrewi (Winifred, Winefride) of Holywell, Abbess of Denbighshire, Wales
Gwyddfarch, Hermit of Moel yr Ancr, Wales
Englat, Abbot of Tarves, Scotland
Elerius, Prior in North Wales
Elevation of the Relics of Edith, Abbess of Wilton, by Saint Dunstan
Rumwold, Infant Prince of Northumbria
November 4 / 17 Brinstan (Birnstan), Bishop and Confessor of Winchester, England
Clether of Cornwall, Hermit
November 5 / 18 Kea, Bishop of Devon and Cornwall
November 6 / 19 Illtud, Monk and Founder of Llantwit Major Monastery in Wales,
Cousin of King Arthur
Edwen, Virgin of Anglesey, Wales, and Daughter of King Saint Edwin
November 7 / 20 Willibrord of Northumbria, Archbishop of Utrecht, Apostle to Friesland
November 8 / 21 Gervat (Gerardine), Hermit of Kinnedor in Moray, Scotland
Keby, Bishop of Caernarvon, Wales
Cybi, Abbot of Holyhead, Wales
Tysilio, Abbot of Meifod, Wales
Moroc, Bishop in Scotland
November 9 / 22 Benen (Benignus), Archbishop of Armagh, Saint Pádraig's chanter
Pabo, Founder of Llanbabon Monastery in Anglesey, Wales
Triduana (Trollhoena, Tredwell) of Restalrig in Scotland, Virgin
(see also October 8)
November 10 / 23 Elaeth of Anglesey, Wales, King, Monk, and Poet
Aod MacBricc, Bishop of Meath
Justus, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
November 11 / 24 Cynfran of Wales, Son of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Rhedius of Llanllyfni, Wales
November 12 / 25 Machar (Mochonnan, Mochrieba, Makarios), Bishop of Aberdeenshire,
Disciple of Saint Columcille
Cummian, Abbot in Ireland, Who Wrote Concerning the True Pascha
Cadwallador, King of Wales
Ymar, Monk of Reculver in Kent, Martyr
November 13 / 26 Devenick, Bishop of Caithness, Scotland
Gredifael, Abbot of Whitland, Wales
All Holy Monks and Nuns of Worcester
November 14 / 27 Dyfrig, Archbishop of Caerleon, Wales, in King Arthur's Day
Constant, Priest-Hermit at Lough, Ireland
Modan (Modanic), Bishop of Fraserburgh, Scotland
November 15 / 28 Machudd of Anglesey, Abbot and Founder of Llanfechell, Wales
* Maughold (Maccald, Machalus), Bishop of the Isle of Man (see also April 25)
November 16 / 29 Afan, Abbot in Wales
Alfric, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
Ordination of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, Martyr
November 17 / 30 Hild (Hilda), Abbess of Whitby, Who Convoked the Synod of Whitby
November 18 / December 1 Winnen, Bishop in Scotland
Keverne of Cornwall, Friend of Ciarán
Mabyn, Nun of Cornwall
* Fergus, Bishop of Glamis, Scotland (see also November 27)
November 19 / December 2 Ermenburgh (+c. 700), Abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, Kent
Egbert, Archbishop of York
Medana, Virgin of Galloway, Scotland
Ermenberga (Domneva) (+c. 650), Widow — possibly the same as
Abbess Ermenburgh above?
November 20 / December 3 Edmund (+870), King of East Anglia, Martyr
Humbert, Bishop of the East Saxons, Martyr
Eval, Bishop of Cornwall
November 21 / December 4 The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple
Columban of Ireland, Abbot and Founder of Luxeuil Abbey in France,
Founder of Bobbio, and His Disciple, Columban
Digain of Cornwall, Son of King Constantine
November 22 / December 5 Deinol (Daniel) the Second, Abbot of Bangor, Wales
November 23 / December 6 Paulinus, Abbot and Founder of Whitland, Wales
Edred, King of England
November 24 / December 7 Minver, Virgin of Cornwall
Eanfleda, Abbess of Whitby, Daughter of King Saint Edwin
Kenan, Bishop of Damleag in Meath, Ireland, First Bishop
in Ireland to Build a Stone Church, Friend of Saint Pádraig
Colmán, Bishop of Cloyne
November 25 / December 8
November 26 / December 9 Egelwin, Prince of Athelney in Somerset
November 27 / December 10 Seachnall, Bishop of Dunshaughlin, Ireland
Gallgo, Abbot in Wales
Edwold, Hermit of Cerne in Dorsetshire,
Brother of Saint Edmund the Martyr
Congar, Bishop of Somerset
Fergus, Bishop of Glamis, Scotland (see also November 18)
November 28 / December 11 Patrician, Bishop of Sutherland, Scotland
Fionnchu, Abbot of Bangor, Wales
Juthwara, Virgin and Martyr of Cornwall
November 29 / December 12 Brendan of Birr, Abbot
Sadwen of Wales, Brother of Saint Iltutus
Ethelwin, Hermit of Athelney
November 30 / December 13 Crida (+7th c.), Princess of Leinster, Mother of St Boethius,
Patron of Creed, Cornwall (celebrated on the Sunday nearest this date)

December 1 / 14 Grewst, Confessor of Denbighshire, Wales
December 2 / 15 Trumwin, Bishop of Whitby
December 3 / 16 Birinus, Bishop of Dorchester-on-Thames and Enlightener of Wessex
Lucius, King of Britain, Who Asked Pope Eleutherius for Missionaries to
Christianise His People in A.D. 187
Ethernan, Bishop in Scotland
December 4 / 17
December 5 / 18 Cawrdaf of Wales, Monk under Saint Iltutus
Justinian, Hermit and Martyr of Ramsey Island, Wales
December 6 / 19 Auxilius, Isserninus, and Secundius, Bishops in Ireland,
Associates of Saint Pádraig
December 7 / 20 Boethius, Bishop in Scotland, Missionary Among the Picts
Dima, Bishop of the Mercians and Middle Anglians
December 8 / 21
December 9 / 22 Lesmo, Hermit at Glentamire, Scotland
Ethelgiva, Abbess of Shaftesbury, Daughter of King Saint Alfred the Great
December 10 / 23 Deinol (Daniel), Bishop of Bangor, Wales
December 11 / 24 Peris, Confessor of Wales
Cian, Hermit in Caernarvonshire, Wales
December 12 / 25 Finian, Bishop of Clonard and Skellig Michael, Ireland
Columba, Abbot of Tyrdalgas, Munster
Cormac, Abbot in Ireland
Colmán, Abbot of Glendalough, Ireland
Edburga of Thanet, Abbess of Minster
Agatha, Virgin of Wimborne, Companion of Saint Lioba
December 13 / 26 Columba, Abbot in Ireland
Edburga, Nun of Lyminge in Kent
December 14 / 27 Fingar, His Sister Phiala and Others, Martyrs Near Penzance in Cornwall
Hybald, Abbot of Lincolnshire
December 15 / 28 Nothelm, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, Friend of Saint Bede
Florentius, Abbot of Bangor, Wales
Offa, Monk of Essex
December 16 / 29 Bean, Bishop of Mortlach in Banff, Scotland
December 17 / 30 Tydecho of Merionethshire, Wales, Brother of Saint Cadfan
December 18 / 31 Flannan, First Bishop of Killaloe, Ireland
Manire (Monirus, Niniar), Bishop of Aberdeenshire and Banff,
Apostle to Northern Scotland (see also December 19)
December 19 / January 1 Samthann (Samantha) of Meath, Abbess and Foundress
of Cluain-Bronach, Ireland
Manire (Monirus, Niniar), Bishop of Aberdeenshire and Banff,
Apostle to Northern Scotland (see also December 18)
December 20 / January 2 Ursicinus, Abbot of Ursanne, Companion of Saint Columban
December 21 / January 3 Berenwald, Priest-Martyr Near Oxford at the Village of Bampton
Elgiva of Shaftesbury, Queen and Nun
December 22 / January 4 Ernan, Monk of Donegal, Ireland
Amaethlu, Founder of Llanfaethlu, Wales
Athernaise (Ithernaisc) the Mute of Fife, Scotland
December 23 / January 5 Frithebert, Bishop of Hexham, England
Mazota, Virgin of Abernethy, Scotland
December 24 / January 6 Caranus, Bishop in East Scotland
December 25 / January 7 The Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Flesh
Alburga, Nun and Foundress of Wilton Near Salisbury, England
December 26 / January 8 Jarlath, Bishop of Tuam, Ireland
Tahai, Hermit of Glamorganshire, Abbot of Llantathan, Wales,
Nephew of Saint Sampson of Dol, Brittany
Maethlu of Anglesey, Wales
December 27 / January 9
December 28 / January 10 Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, Martyr
Romulus and Conindrus, Bishops and Missionaries in the Isle of Man
Maughold, Bishop in Ireland
Gowan, Wife of King Tewdrig of Glamorgan, Wales
December 29 / January 11
December 30 / January 12 Egwin, Bishop of Worcester, Founder of Evesham Monastery, England
December 31 / January 13

January 1 / 14 Mochua, Monk of Balla Monastery in Connaught, Ireland
Elvan, Second Bishop of London
Medwin, Confessor in England
Beoc (Beanus), Abbot in Donegal, Ireland
Fanchea, Virgin at Rossory in Fermanagh, Ireland
Connat, Abbess of Kildare, Ireland
Maelrhys, Confessor of Bardsey Island, Wales
Cuan, Abbot
January 2 / 15 Mainchin (Munchin), Bishop of Limerick, Ireland
Seiriol of Wales
Blidulf, Monk of Bobbio Monastery in Italy
Some 1000 Holy Martyrs Who Suffered at Lichfield, England, under Diocletian
January 3 / 16 Fintan, Abbot of Doon, Scotland
Finlugh, Abbot in County Derry, Ireland
Blitmund, Abbot of Bobbio Monastery in Italy
January 4 / 17 Rumon, Bishop and Confessor of Devon, England
January 5 / 18 Cyra, Abbess of Kilkeary
Translation of the Relics of Rumon, Bishop of Devon, to Tavistock
January 6 / 19 Holy Theophany of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ
Schottin, Hermit of Kilkenny, Founder of the Boys' School There
Peter, Abbot of Canterbury, England
Diman, Bishop of Connor
Hywin, Confessor of Averdaron
Merinus the Hermit
Edeyrn the Hermit
Eigrad, Brother of Saint Sampson of York
January 7 / 20 Kentigerna, Sister of Comgan (Cowan) of Lochalsh,
Mother of Saint Fillan of Strathfillan, Hermitess of Loch Lomond,
Widow on the Isle of Inchebroida, Scotland
Brannock, Abbot of Braunton in Devon, England
Cronan Beg, Bishop in County Down, Ireland
January 8 / 21 Ergnada, Virgin of Ulster, Who Was Veiled by Saint Pádraig
Albert, Bishop of Cashel, Ireland
Athelm, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, Uncle of Saint Dunstan
Edgar the "Peaceable", King of England
Wulsin, Bishop of Sherborne, England
Pega, Hermitess of Peakirk, England, Sister of Saint Guthlac
Nathalan, Bishop of Aberdeenshire, Scotland (see also January 19)
January 9 / 22 Adrian, Abbot of Canterbury, England
Translation of the Relics of Judoc, Hermit of Ponthieu and Confessor,
to Winchester, England
Brithwald, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
Faolan (Fillan), Abbot of Strathfillan, Scotland, Son of Saint Kentigerna,
Hermitess of Loch Lomond (see also January 19)
January 10 / 23 Thomian, Bishop of Armagh, Ireland
January 11 / 24 Ethne (Ethenia) and Fedelm (Fidelmia), Princesses and Nuns of Connaught,
Veiled by Saint Pádraig
Boadin the Irishman, Hermit in France
January 12 / 25 Benedict Biscop, Abbot of Wearmouth, Who Introduced Glass Windows
to England, and Raised Saint Bede
Alan ab Erbin, Confessor in Cornwall
January 13 / 26 Kentigern (Mungo, Cyndeyrn), Abbot and Bishop of Glasgow
Erbin (Hermes), Confessor in Cornwall
Elian (Alan) of Cornwall
* Kessog (Makessog) (see also March 10)
January 14 / 27
January 15 / 28 Ita (Ida, Dorothy), Hermitess in Limerick, Ireland,
and Foster-Mother of Saint Brendan
Ceolwulf, King, Monk of Lindisfarne
Saul, Confessor of Wales, Father of Saint Asaph
Lleudadd (Laudatus), Abbot of Bardsey Island, Wales
January 16 / 29 Fursey of Ireland, Abbot of Burgh Castle and Péronne Monastery, France
Dunchaid Ó Braoin, Abbot of Clonmacnoise, Ireland
January 17 / 30 Mildgyth (Milgitha), Virgin of Canterbury, England, Abbess of Minster
Nennius, Abbot in Ireland
January 18 / 31 Dermot, Abbot of Innis-Clotran Island
January 19 / February 1 Blaithmac (Blaitmaic), Abbot of Iona,
and Other Monks Martyred with Him by the Danes (+825)
Translation of the Relics of Branwallader, Bishop of Jersey,
to Milton Abbey in Dorset, England
* Nathalan, Bishop of Aberdeenshire, Scotland (see also January 8)
* Faolan (Fillan), Abbot of Strathfillan, Scotland, Son of Saint Kentigerna,
Hermitess of Loch Lomond (see also January 9)
January 20 / February 2 Fechin (Vigean), Abbot of Fobhar, Ireland
Molagga, Abbot of Fermoy, Ireland
January 21 / February 3 Brigid, Virgin of Kilbride
Laudog, Confessor of Wales
Vimin, Bishop in Scotland, Founder of Holywood Monastery
January 22 / February 4 Brithwald, Bishop of Sarum, Who Moved His See from Ramsbury
January 23 / February 5 Wendreda, Virgin of March, England
Maimbod of Ireland (?), Martyred at Besançon, France
Colman, Bishop of Lismore
* Boisil (Boswell), Abbot of Maelros (Melrose), Scotland (see also July 7)
January 24 / February 6 Cadoc, Bishop and Martyr of Llancarvan, Wales
Guasacht, Bishop in Ireland, Son of Saint Pádraig's Former Master
January 25 / February 7 Eochod, Apostle to the Picts of Galloway, Scotland
Theoritgitha, Virgin, Novice-Mistress of Barking on the Thames, England
Dwynen (Dwyn), Virgin of Llandwyn, Wales
Translation of the Relics of Fursey of Ireland, Abbot of Burgh Castle
and Péronne Monastery, France
Theneva (Thenu, Enoch, Denw), Virgin of Glasgow, Mother of
Saint Kentigern (Mungo) (see also September 13) — some authorities associate
her with St Dwynen of Wales (see above)
January 26 / February 8 Conan, Bishop of Iona and the Isle of Man
January 27 / February 9 Natalis, Abbot in Ireland
Translation of the Relics of Ethelfleda, Abbess of Romsey, England,
Mentor of Saint Dunstan
January 28 / February 10 Canair (Kinnera), Virgin on the Isle of Inniscathy, Bantry Bay, Ireland
Brigid and Maura, Daughters of a Scottish Chieftain, Martyrs in Picardy
on the Way to Rome — possibly the same as Maura and Baya on November 2
January 29 / February 11 Flora (Blath), Virgin of Kildare, Ireland
Gildas the Wise, Bishop in Brittany
January 30 / February 12 Tibbe, Virgin of Brecknock, Wales
January 31 / February 13 Maedoc, Bishop of Ferns, Ireland
Aidan, Bishop of Ferns, Ireland
Adamnan, Priest of Coldingham, Scotland
Monacella the Recluse, Virgin in Wales

February 1 / 14 Brigid (Brid) (+525), Abbess of Kildare, and Her Disciple, Darlugdach, Nun
Jarlath, Bishop of Armagh, Ireland
Cinnia, Virgin of Ulster, Veiled by Saint Pàdraig
Crewenna the Confessor, Who Travelled with Saint Breaca of Cornwall
Euny of Cornwall, Brother of Ia (Ives) the Virgin and Martyr of Cornwall
February 2 / 15 The Meeting of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ
February 3 / 16 Ia (Ives), Virgin and Martyr of Cornwall
Caellainn, Virgin in Ireland
Werburga, Widow and Abbess of Hanbury in Mercia
Colmán MacDuach, Bishop of Connaught, Ireland
Laurence, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
February 4 / 17 Modan, Abbot of Stirling, Falkirk, and Maelros (Melrose), Scotland
Aldate of Gloucester, England
February 5 / 18 Indractus the Hermit, His Sister Dominica,
and Nine Others Martyred with Them at Glastonbury, England
February 6 / 19 Mel of Armagh, Melchus and Munis of Lough Lee, Bishops,
and Rioch, Abbot in Ireland, Nephews of Saint Pádraig
Finian, Abbot in Ireland
Ina, King of the West Saxons
February 7 / 20 Augulus, Bishop and Martyr of London
Richard of Wessex, Confessor
Ronan of Innerleithen, Bishop of Kilmaronen, Scotland (see also June 1)
February 8 / 21 Cuthman, Hermit at Steyning in Sussex, England
Kigwe (Keve, Kew), Virgin of Monmouthshire, Wales
Elfleda, Abbess of Whitby after Saint Hilda
February 9 / 22 Teilo, Bishop of Llandaff, Wales
Taraghta, Virgin in Ireland
Eingan, Hermit of Llanengan, Wales
Cuaran the Wise, Bishop of Iona
Cronan the Wise, Bishop in Ireland and Canonist
February 10 / 23 Merwinna, Abbess of Romsey, England
Trumwin, Bishop of Abercorn
February 11 / 24 Ecian, Bishop in Ireland
Gobnata, Abbess in County Cork, Ireland
Caedmon, Monk of Whitby, Disciple of Saint Hilda,
Father of English Poetry
February 12 / 25 Ethilwald, Abbot of Maelros (Melrose), Bishop of Lindisfarne
February 13 / 26 Ermenilda, Queen and Abbess of Ely, England
Huna, Priest-Monk of Ely, England
Dyfnog, Confessor of Denbighshire, Wales
Uncovering of the Relics of Edward, King of England and Martyr
February 14 / 27 Conran (+7th c.), Bishop of the Orkney Islands
February 15 / 28 Berach, Abbot and Bishop of Cluain, Ireland
Dochow of Wales
Farannan, Abbot of Iona
February 16 / March 1
February 17 / March 2 Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne
Fintan, Abbot of Clonenagh (Cluan-Ednech), Ireland
Loman and Fortchern, Bishops in Trim, Ireland
Curig (Cyric) (+550) of Ireland, Abbot of Llangurig, Wales
February 18 / March 3 Colmán (+7th c.), Bishop and Confessor, Last Columban Abbot
of Lindisfarne, Founder of Inishbofin and Mayo
Reception at Shaftesbury of Edward, King of England and Martyr
February 19 / March 4 Odran of Ireland (+5th c.), Saint Pádraig's Chariot-Driver,
Slain in an Attempt of Holy Pádraig's Life
February 20 / March 5 Bolcan, Bishop of Derkan, Ireland
Mildred of Thanet, Abbess of Minster, England
Colgan, Abbot of Clonmacnoise, Ireland
February 21 / March 6
February 22 / March 7 Elwyn (+6th), Companion of Saint Breaca of Cornwall
February 23 / March 8 Jurmin, Prince and Confessor of East Anglia
Mildburga (Milburgh), Abbess of Much Wenlock, England
* Boisil (Boswell), Abbot of Maelros (Melrose), Scotland (see also July 7)
February 24 / March 9 Aethelbert, King of Kent, and His Wife's Chaplain, Liuthard,
Bishop from Senlis
February 25 / March 10 Walburgh the Myrrh-Giver, Abbess in England
February 26 / March 11
February 27 / March 12 Herefrith, Bishop of Lincolnshire, England
Comgan, Abbot in Ireland
Alnoth, Hermit and Martyr of Stowe, England
February 28 / March 13 Oswald, King of Northumbria
Oswald, Bishop of Worcester, England
Aidus of Ireland
Llibio, Confessor of Anglesey, Wales
Maidoc, Bishop
Sulien (Silouan), Abbot of Bangor, Wales

March 1 / 14 Dewi (David), Archbishop of Menevia, Wales, Confounder of Pelagians
Marnoc, Bishop of Annandale, Scotland
Monan, Archdeacon of Saint Andrew's, Scotland
March 2 / 15 Ceadda (Chad) (+672), Bishop of Lichfield, and His Brother, Cynibil (+679)
— their brother is Saint Cedd (see October 26)
Slebhin, Abbot of Iona
March 3 / 16 Non (Nonnita), Widow in Wales, Mother of Saint Dewi (David)
Foila, Virgin of Galway, Ireland
Owen, Hermit of Lichfield, England
Christicola, Bishop of Leinster, Ireland
Lamalisse, Hermit of Lamlash, Scotland
March 4 / 17 Holy Hieromartyrs Adrian (Magirdle), Bishop of Saint Andrew's,
Stalbrand, Geodianus, Caius, Clodian, and Companions,
on the Isle of May, Scotland (+875)
Gistilian, Confessor of Menevia, Wales
Owen of Lastingham, Monk of Lichfield, Disciple of Saint Etheldreda
March 5 / 18 Ciarán, Bishop and Confessor of Ossory, Ireland
Piran of Padstowe, Monk of Perranporth, Cornwall
Colmán of Armagh, Buried by Saint Pádraig
Caron, Bishop of Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales
March 6 / 19 Baldred (+8th c.), Priest, and Bilfred (Billfrith) (+8th c.) the Goldsmith,
Hermits of Lindisfarne
Kinneburga (Cyneburgh), Her Sister, Kinneswitha (Cyneswith),
Abbesses of Caistor, and Their Kinswoman Tibbe,
Virgin of Peterborough, England (+7th c.)
Baldred, Hermit and Bishop in Scotland
Fridolin (+6th c.?) of Ireland, Known as "The Traveller"
Cadroel (+976) of Armagh, Ireland
March 7 / 20 Esterwin, Abbot and Confessor of Wearmouth, England
Wennedoc, Confessor in Wales
Deifer ("God-bearing"), Abbot of Flintshire, Founder of Bodfari
March 8 / 21 Felix, Bishop of Dunwich, Apostle of East Anglia
Senan, Archbishop and Confessor of Iniscathy, Ireland
Rhian, Abbot of Pembrokeshire, Wales
Beoadh (Beatus), Bishop of Roscommon, Ireland
Duthac, Bishop of Ross, Scotland
March 9 / 22 Bosa, Bishop of York, England
* Constantine (+575) of Govan, King of Cornwall, Monk, and in Kintyre,
Protomartyr of Scotland (see also March 11)
March 10 / 23 Failbhe the Little, Abbot of Iona
Kessog (Makessog) of Lennox, Bishop of Loch Lomond, Scotland
(see also January 13)
March 11 / 24 Oengus (Angus) (+9th c.) the Culdee, Hermit and Bishop of Keld, Ireland,
Writer of the Martyrology of Oengus
Constantine (+575) of Govan, King of Cornwall, Monk, and in Kintyre,
Protomartyr of Scotland (see also March 9)
March 12 / 25 Alphege (+951) the Bald, Bishop of Winchester, England
Muran, Abbot of Fathinis, Ireland
Pawl Hen (Paul Arelian, Paulinus) (+573), Prince of Wales,
Disciple of Saint Illtud, Bishop of Saint Pol-de-Lèon in Brittany
March 13 / 26 Mochoemog (+655), Abbot of Liathmor (Lauth), Ireland
Gerald (+732), Abbot and Bishop of Mayo, Ireland
Kennocha (Quevoca) (+7th c.), Hermitess and Virgin of Kyle, Scotland
March 14 / 27 Talmach, Confessor of Lough Erc
March 15 / 28
March 16 / 29 Apostle Aristobulus (+1st c.) of the Seventy, Bishop and Martyr in Britain
Finian the Leper, Abbot and Founder of Innisfallen,
Disciple of Saint Brendan
Abbanus (Kirin Boniface) (+630), Bishop of Ross, Scotland
Columba, Virgin and Martyr in England
March 17 / 30 Pádraig (Patrick) (+461), Bishop of Armagh, Enlightener of Ireland
Withburgh (+c. 743), Princess of East Anglia, Solitary of East Dereham,
Norfolk, and Founder of a Nunnery There — when her holy relics were
exhumed, a holy well sprang up which still exists
Lulach, Last Orthodox King of Scotland
Llinio (+520), Abbot and Founder of Llandinam, Powys, Wales
March 18 / 31 Passion of Edward, King and Martyr of England, Near Corfe Castle, Dorset (+979)
Egbert, Monk of Ripon, England
Finan (+595) of Aberdeen, Disciple of Saint Kentigern (Mungo)
Frediano (Frigidian) (+588?) of Ireland, Bishop of Lucca, Italy
— sometimes identified with St Finian of Magh Bile
(see September 10), who was also a sixth-century Bishop from Ulster,
but that the two men were one has not been established
March 19 / April 1 Alcmund of Northumbria, King and Martyr
Lactan, Abbot of Clonfert, Ireland
March 20 / April 2 Cuthbert (+687), Bishop of Lindisfarne and Wonderworker of Britain
Herbert, Priest-Hermit of Derwent Water, England
March 21 / April 3 Enda, Abbot of Aran, Father of Irish Monasticism
March 22 / April 4 Darerca, Widow, Sister of Saint Pádraig
Failbhe, Abbot of Iona after Saint Cummian
March 23 / April 5 Gwinear of Cornwall
Fingar, Piala, and Companions, Martyrs in Cornwall
Ethelwold, Priest-Hermit on the Isle of Farne
Maidoc, Abbot of Fiddown
March 24 / April 6 Hildelitha, Abbess and Martyr of Barking, England
Dunchad, Abbot of Iona
Sebba, King and Monk in England
Mackartin (+505), Bishop of Clogher, Companion of Saint Pádraig
Domangart, Bishop of Slieve Donarth, Ireland
Caimin, Abbot of Lough Derg
March 25 / April 7 The Annunciation to the Theotokos
Alfwold, Bishop of Sherborne, England
March 26 / April 8 Mochelloc, Abbot of Kilmallock, Ireland
Sincheall, Abbot of Killeigh
Garbhan, Abbot in Ireland
Govan (Gowan, Gobhan, Gawaine) (+586), Hermit of Pembrokeshire, Wales
March 27 / April 9 Alkelda (Athilda), Virgin and Martyr in Yorkshire, England
March 28 / April 10
March 29 / April 11 Gwynllw (Gundleus) (+523), King and Hermit of Wales
Gwladys (Gladys) (+6th c.), Widow, Wife of Saint Gwynllw,
Mother of Saint Cadoc, Daughter of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
March 30 / April 12 Fergus, Bishop of Downpatrick, Ireland
Tola, Abbot and Bishop of Disert Tola, Meath, Ireland
Osburga, Abbess of Coventry, England
Translation of the Relics of Edmund, King and Martyr of East Anglia
Regulus, Abbot of Fife, Scotland (see also October 17)
March 31 / April 13 Translation of the Relics of Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne

April 1 / 14 Cellach, Bishop of Armagh, Ireland
Tewdric (Theodoric) (+595), Hermit and Martyr of Tintern, Wales
April 2 / 15 Ebba (the Second), Abbess of Coldingham, and Her Nuns,
Martyred by the Danes
Bronach, Virgin of Glen-Seichis
Constantine II, King of Scotland, Martyr at Iona
April 3 / 16
April 4 / 17 Tighernach (Torney) (+509), Bishop and Confessor of Clogher, Ireland,
Missionary in Cornwall
Gwerir, Hermit of Hamstoke, Cornwall
Merryn (Merin) (+6th c.), Missionary in Cornwall and Brittany
April 5 / 18 Derfel of Llanderfel, Wales
Becan, Abbot of Kill-Beggan Near Cork, Ireland
Probus and Grace of Tressilian, Cornwall
* Ethelburga (+647), Queen and Abbess of Lyminge, Kent,
Daughter of King Saint Aethelbert, Wife of Saint Edwin (see also September 8)
April 6 / 19 Bertham, Bishop of Kirkwall, in the Orkney Islands
Ulched, Confessor of Anglesey, Wales
Elstan, Bishop of Ramsbury, England
April 7 / 20 Govan of Cornwall
Bernacus, Hermit in Wales
Llewellyn and Gwrnerth, Monks of Bardsey Island, Wales
Goran, Friend of Saint Pádraig
Finan, Abbot of Kinnitty
April 8 / 21
April 9 / 22 Madrun, Widow in Wales — also of Cornwall, where she fled with her
child after her husband was killed in battle
Dotto, Abbot in the Orkney Islands
Theodore, Abbot of Crowland, Lincolnshire, His Prior Askega,
His Subprior Swithin, His Deacon Elfgete, His Subdeacon Savinus,
His Acolytes Egdred and Ulric, and Grimkeld and Agamund, Each Aged 100 Years,
Martyred by the Danes (+870)
Hedda, Abbot of Peterborough, England, and 84 Monks, Martyred by the Danes
April 10 / 23 Beocca, Abbot of Chertsey in Surrey, England, Hieromonk Ethor,
and Some 90 Other Monks, Martyrs
April 11 / 24 Guthlac, Priest-Hermit of Crowland, Lincolnshire
Mochua, Wonderworker and Confessor in Ireland
Machai, Abbot of the Isle of Bute, Scotland
April 12 / 25 Wigbert of Ireland, Preacher in Friesland
April 13 / 26 Winnoc, Bishop in Scotland
April 14 / 27 Tassach, Bishop of Raholp, Ireland
April 15 / 28 Paternus of England, Ordained in Jerusalem, Bishop of Vannes
Ruadhan (+584), Abbot and Bishop of Lothra, Ireland
Mundus, Abbot of Argyle, Scotland
Mstislav-Harold (in Holy Baptism, Theodore), Prince of Kiev,
Grandson of Saint Harold, the Last Orthodox King of England,
Son of King Harold's Daughter Gytha Who Fled England for Kiev
after the Norman Conquest of 1066
April 16 / 29 Paternus, Bishop and Confessor of Llandbadarn Fawr, Wales
* Donnan, Abbot of the Island of Eigg, Scotland,
and 52 Monks Martyred with Him by the Danes (+618) (see also April 17)
April 17 / 30 Donnan, Abbot of the Island of Eigg, Scotland,
and 52 Monks Martyred with Him by the Danes (+618) (see also April 16)
April 18 / May 1 Molios (Laserian, Laisren, Molaise) (+639), Abbot of Leighlin,
Who Brought Southern Ireland to Keep the Orthodox Pascha
Bitheus and Genocus, Monks in Ireland
Cogitosus "the Thinker," Confessor of Kildare, Ireland
April 19 / May 2 Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, Martyr
April 20 / May 3 Caedwalla (Peter), King of Wessex
April 21 / May 4 Beuno, Abbot of Clynnog Fawr, Caernarvon, Wales
Eingan (Eneon), Hermit of Llyn, Bangor, Wales
Maelrubha (+722), Abbot of Applecross, Isle of Skye, Scotland
(see also August 22)
April 22 / May 5 Rufus, Hermit of Glendalough, Ireland
On the Isle of Wight, Two Sons of Prince Arwald,
Martyred by King Caedwalla before His Conversion
April 23 / May 6 Passion of George the Great-Martyr, Patron of England,
at Lydda in Palestine
Iberius, Bishop of Meath, Ireland
Aethelbert, King of Wessex
Ethelred, King of England
April 24 / May 7 Mellitus, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
Egbert, Bishop of Iona, Who Brought Iona to Keep the Orthodox Pascha
Translation of the Relics of Wilfrith, Archbishop of York, England
Uncovering of the Relics of Ive (Yvo),
Hermit and Bishop of Huntingdonshire, England
Dyfnan of Anglesey, Wales, Son of Saint Brychnan
Bova and Doda (+7th c.), Woman-Martyrs
April 25 / May 8 Maccail, Bishop of Croghan, Ireland
Maughold (Maccald, Machalus), Bishop of the Isle of Man (see also November 15
and July 31)
Mella, Widow and Abbess of Doire-Melle, Leitrim, Ireland,
Mother of Saints Cannech and Tigernach
April 26 / May 9
April 27 / May 10 Tassach (Asicus), Bishop of Elphin, Ireland
Enoder, Abbot in Wales, Grandson of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Winebald, Abbot of Beverly, England
April 28 / May 11 Cronan, Abbot of Roscrea, Ireland
Translation of the Relics of Winwaloë, Abbot in Wales
April 29 / May 12 Wilfrith II, Archbishop of York, England
Endelienta (Endellion), Nun-Recluse of Cornwall
Senan, Hermit in Northern Wales
Dichu, First Convert of Saint Pádraig in Ulster
Fiachan, Monk of Lismore
Translation of the Relics of Edmund, King and Martyr of England
* Brioch (Brieux, Bryan) the Traveller, Bishop of Brittany (see also May 1)
April 30 / May 13 Erkenwald, Bishop of London, Abbot of Chertsey, England
Cynwyl, Hermit in Northern Wales,
Brother of Saint Deinol (Daniel) of Bangor, Wales

May 1 / 14 Asaph, Bishop in Wales
Cellach, Bishop of Killala, Ireland
Kevoca, Virgin of Kyle, Scotland
Brioch (Brieux, Bryan) the Traveller, Bishop of Brittany (see also April 29)
May 2 / 15 Neachtain of Ireland, Kinsman of Saint Pádraig
Gluvias, Abbot in Cornwall
May 3 / 16 Fumach, Hermit in Scotland
Conleth, Bishop of Kildare, Ireland
Scannal of Cell-Coleraine, Ireland, Preacher
and Disciple of Saint Columcille
Ethelwin, Bishop of Lindsey
May 4 / 17 Ethelred, King and Monk of Bardney, England
May 5 / 18 Hydroc of Lanhydroc, Cornwall
Gibrian, Hermit in Ireland
Echa, Hieromonk and Hermit of Crayck Near York, England
Translation of the Relics of Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, England
Translation of the Relics of Owen
May 6 / 19 Edbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne
May 7 / 20 John of Beverly, Bishop of York, England, Who Ordained Saint Bede
to the Presbyterate
Liudhard, Bishop of Canterbury, England
May 8 / 21 Catald of Ireland, Bishop of Tarentum
Indractus, King of Ireland, and Those Martyred with Him at Shapwick
Odrian, Bishop of Waterford, Ireland
May 9 / 22 Gofor, Confessor of Llanover in Monmouthshire, Wales
Sanctan, Bishop of Kill-da-Less
May 10 / 23 Comgall (+601), Bishop and Founder of Bangor Monastery, Ireland
(see also May 11)
Enshrining of Bede the Venerable at Durham, England
May 11 / 24 Fremund of Dunstable, King and Martyr
at Harbury in Warwickshire, England
* Comgall (+601), Bishop and Founder of Bangor Monastery, Ireland
May 12 / 25 Diomma of Kildimo in County Limerick, Ireland, Teacher of Saint Declan
Ethelhard, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
May 13 / 26 Mel, Hermit of Bardsey Island, Wales
Merwenna, Abbess of Rumsey
Dympna, Martyred with her Confessor in France
May 14 / 27 Carthage the Younger, Abbot and Bishop of Lismore,
Who Wrote a Monastic Rule in Verse
May 15 / 28 Brithwin, Abbot of Beverly, England
Colmán (Columban), Abbot and Founder of Oughaval Monastery, Ireland
May 16 / 29 Breandán (Brendan) the Navigator (+577), Abbot and Founder
of Clonfert, Ireland, Who Sailed to America
Carantoc of Carhampton, Abbot and Founder of Llangranog, Wales
May 17 / 30 Madern, Hermit of Cornwall
Cathan, Bishop of the Isle of Bute, Scotland
Maidulf, Abbot at Malmesbury, England
May 18 / May 31 Feredarius, Abbot of Iona
Merililaun of Britain, Martyred Near Reims
Translation of the Relics of Elgiva, Queen of England
and Nun of Shaftesbury
May 19 / June 1 Dunstan (+988), Abbot of Glastonbury, Twenty-Sixth Archbishop of Canterbury
(see also September 7)
May 20 / June 2 Aethelbert, King of East Anglia, Martyred at Hereford
May 21 / June 3 Barrfoin, Hermit of Killbaron in Donegal, Ireland,
Who Sailed to America and Informed Saint Brendan
Colan, Confessor of Denbighshire, Wales
Godric, Hermit of Finchale
May 22 / June 4 Helen of Wales (Elen Luyddog) (+5th c.), Daughter of King Eudaf of Ewyas,
Wife of Magnus Maximus (Macsen Wledig), Mother of St Constantine (Gestynin)
and St Peblig, with whom she introduced the Celtic form of monasticism of
St Gregory of Tours into Wales
Conall, Abbot of Inniscoel
May 23 / June 5 Goban, Abbot of Old Leighlin Monastery at Tascaffin
in County Limerick, Ireland
May 24 / June 6
May 25 / June 7 Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, England
Dunchadh, Abbot of Iona, in Whose Day the Orthodox Pascha
Was Accepted in Scotland
May 26 / June 8 Bede the Venerable, Priest-Monk, Commentator, Historian and Scientist
Augustine, Bishop of Canterbury, Apostle to England
Becan, Hermit of Cork, Ireland
Odulvald, Abbot of Maelros (Melrose), Scotland
Bertha, Queen of England, Apostle to the Anglo-Saxons at Kent
Edmund, King of England
May 27 / June 9 Melangell, Virgin of Wales
May 28 / June 10
May 29 / June 11 Burian, Virgin in Cornwall
Translation of the Relics of Dyfrig, Archbishop of Caerleon, Wales
May 30 / June 12 Walstan the Generous, Farm-Labourer Near Norwich at Taverham, England
May 31 / June 13 Winnow, Manx and Myrbad, Confessors of Cornwall

June 1 / 14 Wistan, King of England, Martyred at Evesham
Ruanan, Bishop of Cornwall, Ordained by Saint Pádraig
Wite (Gwen), Anchoress and Martyr of Whitchurch Canonicorum in Dorset
Thecla of the Well, Virgin of Denbighshire, Wales
* Ronan of Innerleithen, Bishop of Kilmaronen, Scotland (see also February 7)
June 2 / 15 Oda the Good, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, Uncle of Saint Oswald of Worcester
Bodfan, Confessor of Abern in Caernarvon, Wales
June 3 / 16 Coemgen (Kevin) (+618), Abbot of Glendalough, Ireland
Cronan the Tanner, Disciple of Saint Coemgen
Glunshallaich, Penitent, Buried with Saint Coemgen
Meriasek, Bishop of Camborne, England (see also June 7)
June 4 / 17 Petroc, Abbot of Bodmin, Cornwall
Breaca, Virgin in Cornwall on the River Hayle
Croidan, Medan and Degan, Confessors of Cornwall,
Disciples of Saint Petroc
Edfrith, Bishop of Lindisfarne
Ninnocha, of the Tribe of St Brychan of Brecknock, Abbess (?) in Brittany
Buriana of Ireland (+6th c.), Woman Missionary in Cornwall
June 5 / 18 Tudno, Confessor of Caernarvon, Wales
June 6 / 19 Gudwal, Abbot and Bishop in Cornwall, Near Penzance
Cocca, Virgin of Kilcock, Ireland
Jarlath, Bishop of Tuam, Ireland
June 7 / 20 Colmán, Bishop and Martyr of Dromore, Ireland
Translation of the Relics of Owen
Meriasek, Bishop of Camborne, England (see also June 3)
June 8 / 21 Bron, Bishop of Cassel-Irra Near Sligo, Ireland,
Disciple of Saint Pádraig
Levan the Irish, Confessor of Cornwall
Maccutinus of Ireland, Who Wrote the Lives of
Saints Pádraig and Brigid
* Urith (Hieritha) (+6th c.), Virgin and Martyr of Chittlehampton,
Devonshire, England (see also July 8)
June 9 / 22 Columcille (Columba) (+597), Abbot of Iona, Apostle to Scotland
Baithin, Abbot of Iona
Cummian of Ireland, Bishop of Bobbio, Italy
* Everilda, Abbess of Everingham, Northumbria, Veiled by Saint Wilfrith
(see also July 9)
June 10 / 23 Ithamar, Bishop and Confessor of Rochester, England
Illadan, Bishop of Rathlihen, Ireland
June 11 / 24 Tochumra, Virgin of Kilmore, Ireland
June 12 / 25 Ternan, Bishop of the Picts at Culross, Scotland
June 13 / 26 Damhnade, Virgin in Ireland
June 14 / 27 Translation of the Relics of Brendan the Navigator,
Abbot and Founder of Clonfert, Ireland, Who Sailed to America
Docmael, Hermit of Pembroke, Wales
Psalmodius, Hermit of Limoges, France, Disciple of Saint Brendan
Nennus, Abbot of the Isle of Arran, Scotland
Cearan the Devout, Abbot of Bellach-Duin, County Meath, Ireland
June 15 / 28 Edburga, Abbess of Winchester, England
Trillo, Abbot of Llandrillo, Wales, Companion of Saint Cadfan
June 16 / 29 Cettin, Bishop in Ireland, Assistant to Saint Pádraig
Colmán Mac Roy, Deacon, Abbot and Founder of Reachrain
Near Dublin, Ireland
Curig, Bishop of Llanbadarn, Wales
Ismael, Bishop of Menevia, Wales
June 17 / 30 Botulph, Abbot of Ikanhoe, Boston, England,
and His Brother Adulph, Bishop
Nectan, Martyr of Hartland in Devonshire, England
Moling, Bishop and Confessor of Ferns, Ireland
Briavel, Hermit in Gloucestershire, England
Translation of the Relics of Columcille (Columba), Abbot of Iona,
Apostle to Scotland
June 18 / July 1
June 19 / July 2
June 20 / July 3 Faolan (Fillan) of Munster, Missionary to Loch Earn, Scotland
Edburga, Virgin of Caistor in Northamptonshire, England
Elevation of the Relics of Edward, King and Martyr of England
Translation of the Relics of Oswald, Missionary and
Martyred King of Northumbria
June 21 / July 4 Corbmac, Abbot of Durrow, Ireland, Disciple of Saint Columcille
Translation of the Relics of Werburga of Chester, England
June 22 / July 5 Passion of Alban the Protomartyr of Britain and Heraclius the Soldier,
at Verulamium in Hertfordshire, England
Beheading of Gwenvrewi (Winifred, Winefride) of Holywell, Wales,
Whom Saint Beuno Raised to Life
June 23 / July 6 Mochaoi (Melray), Abbot of Nendruim, Baptised by Saint Pádraig
Etheldreda (Audrey) (+679), Queen of Northumbria, Abbess of Ely's Double Monastery
June 24 / July 7
June 25 / July 8 Amphibalus ("of the Cloak"), Hieromartyr of Verulam in Hertfordshire,
England, Who Taught Saint Alban
Kenneburga, Virgin and Martyr of Gloucester, England
Milburga, Abbess of Much Wenlock, England
Moloc, Bishop of Mortlach, Scotland
Molonachus, Bishop of Lismore
June 26 / July 9 Brannoc, Abbot of Braunton
Corbican of Ireland, Confessor in the Low Countries
June 27 / July 10 At Glastonbury, the Translation of the Relics of Benignus,
the Chanter of Saint Pádraig
June 28 / July 11 Crummine, Bishop of Lackan, County Westmeath, Ireland,
Disciple of Saint Pádraig
Austell, Monk of Cornwall, Disciple of Saint Mevan
June 29 / July 12 Cocha, Abbess of Ross-Benchuir, Who Nursed Saint Ciarán
Elwin, Bishop of Lindsey
Juliot (Julitta or Ilud) of Luxulyon, Cornwall
June 30 / July 13 Eurgain, Virgin of Glamorgan, Wales, Foundress of Llantwit Monastery

July 1 / 14 Servan (Serf), Bishop of Culross, Scotland, Co-labourer of Saint Ninian
Aaron and Julius and Companions, Martyrs of Caerleon, Wales
Cewydd of Anglesey, Wales
Gwenyth, Virgin of Cornwall, Sister of Saint Samson of York
July 2 / 15 Swithin, Bishop and Confessor of Winchester, England
Oudoc (Oudoceus), Bishop of Llandaff, Wales
July 3 / 16 Germanus (Herman) (+474), Bishop of the Isle of Man, Nephew of Saint Pádraig
Bladus, Bishop of the Isle of Man
Gunthiern, Prince of Wales, Hermit in Brittany
Publicius of Caernarvon, Wales
Cillene, Abbot of Iona
Guthagon the Irishman, Hermit in Belgium
July 4 / 17 Finbar, Abbot of Innis-Doimhle, County Wexford, Ireland
Odo the Good, Archbishop of Canterbury, England
July 5 / 18 Edana (Etaoin), Virgin in West Ireland, whose holy well is at the joining
of the rivers Shannon and Boyle
Erfyl, Virgin and Foundress of Llanerfyl Church in Montgomeryshire, Wales
Probus and Grace of Cornwall
Modwenna, Abbess of Whitby after Saint Hilda
Modwenna, Abbess of Polesworth
Modwenna, Abbess of Burton-on-Trent, England
July 6 / 19 Palladius, Bishop and Apostle of Scotland
Moninna (+518), Abbess and Wonderworker in Ireland,
Veiled by Saint Pádraig
Darerca (Monnina), Solitary at Siabh-Guillin
Sexburga (Saxburgh), Abbess of Ely, England
Modwenna, Abbess of Burton-on-Trent, England
July 7 / 20 Hedda, Bishop of Winchester, England
Illtyd, Abbot and Founder of Llantwit Abbey, Wales
Medran and Oudran, Confessors of Muskerry, Ireland
Boisil (Boswell), Abbot of Maelros (Melrose), Scotland (see also January 23
and February 23)
July 8 / 21 Grimbald, Hieromonk of Winchester, Abbot of New Minster, England
Urith (Hieritha) (+6th c.), Virgin and Martyr of Chittlehampton, Devonshire,
England (see also June 8) — see note on St Sidwell of Exeter (August 2)
Morwenna, Virgin of Cornwall
Edgar the Peaceable, King of England
Translation of the Relics of Withburga, Nun of Ely,
Whose Holy Well Is at Dereham, England
July 9 / 22 Everilda, Abbess of Everingham, Northumbria, Veiled by Saint Wilfrith
(see also June 9)
July 10 / 23
July 11 / 24 Drostan, Abbot of Dalcongail, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Turketil, Abbot of Crowland, Lincolnshire
July 12 / 25
July 13 / 26 Juthware, Virgin of Devonshire, England, Sister of Saint Sidwell
Dofgan, Martyr of Wales
Translation of the Relics of Mildred of Thanet, Abbess of Minster, England
July 14 / 27 Idus, Bishop of Leinster, Ireland
Deusdedit (Adeodatus), Archbishop of Canterbury, England
July 15 / 28 Donald, Layman, and His Nine Daughters, Virgins of Ogilvy, Scotland
Edith, Widow of Polesworth
Translation of the Relics of Swithin, Bishop and
Confessor of Winchester, England
July 16 / 29 Helier, Hermit and Martyr of the Isle of Jersey
July 17 / 30 Kenelm, King of Mercia, Martyr at Gloucester, England
Cynllo of Wales
Turninus of Ireland, Preacher of Antwerp, Belgium
July 18 / 31 Edburga, Virgin of Aylesbury and Winchester, England
Theneva (Denw, Dwynwen, Thanay, Enoch) of Glasgow, Scotland,
Mother of Saint Mungo (Kentigern)
July 19 / August 1
July 20 / August 2 Arilda, Virgin and Martyr of Gloucester, England
Modmund, Martyr of Gloucester, England
Etheldwitha, Nun of Winchester, England, Widow of King Alfred
July 21 / August 3
July 22 / August 4 Movean (Bitteus), Abbot of Innis-Coosery, Ireland, Who Died a Hermit
in Perthshire, Scotland, Disciple of Saint Pádraig
Dabius, Priest and Confessor in Scotland
July 23 / August 5
July 24 / August 6 Declan, Bishop of Ardmore, Ireland
Menefritha, Virgin of Cornwall, Daughter of Saint Brychnan
Germoc of Mount's Bay, Cornwall, Brother of Saint Breaca
Lewina (+5th c.), Woman-Martyr, Killed by Saxons
July 25 / August 7 Nissen, Abbot of Montgarth, County Wexford, Ireland,
Ordained by Saint Pádraig
July 26 / August 8
July 27 / August 9
July 28 / August 10
July 29 / August 11
July 30 / August 12 Tatwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, after Saint Brithwald
Ermengitha, Virgin of Minster-in-Thanet, Kent,
Sister of Saint Ermenburga
July 31 / August 13 Germain, Bishop of Auxerre in Gaul
Neot, Priestmonk of Glastonbury, Hermit of Neotstoke, Cornwall
Wolfadus and Rufinus, Brothers and Martyrs of England,
Disciples of Saint Cedd, Slain by Their Father, King Wolfhere
* Maughold (Maccald, Machalus), Bishop of the Isle of Man (see also April 25)

August 1 / 14 Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, England, and Father of Monks
Menas, Menais and Companions, Martyrs of England
Cynedd (Kenneth), Hermit and Confessor of Gower, Wales
Rioch, Abbot of Innisboffin, Ireland, Nephew of Saint Pádraig
Almedha, Virgin and Martyr, Daughter of Saint Brychan of Brecknock
August 2 / 15 Etheldritha, Princess and Hermitess of Crowland, Lincolnshire
Plegmund, Archbishop of Canterbury, England, and Tutor of King Alfred
Finding of the Relics of Alban, Protomartyr of Britain
Sidwell (+6th c.), Virgin and Martyr of Exeter, Devonshire, England
— there is a strong possibility that Sidwell ("scythe" and "well"?)
is an Exeter 'doublet' of St Urith of Chittlehampton (see July 8), who was
martyred by pagan reapers with their scythes and whose blood became
a clear healing spring
Wulvella (+6th c.), Sister of St Sidwell (or St Urith — see note above)
August 3 / 16 Trea, Hermitess of Ardtree, County Derry, Ireland
Senach, Bishop of Clonard, Ireland
August 4 / 17 Luanus, Abbot of Clonfert, Ireland, Who Founded 120 Monasteries
and Wrote a Very Ascetic Rule
August 5 / 18 Oswald, Missionary and Martyred King of Northumbria
Gormgal, Abbot of Ardoilen, Ireland
August 6 / 19 The Transfiguration of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ
August 7 / 20
August 8 / 21
August 9 / 22 Phelim, Bishop of Kilmore, Ireland, Brother of Saint Dermot
Nathy (David), Abbot and Bishop of Achonry, Ireland, Founder of Schools
August 10 / 23 Gerontius, King of Devon, Martyred by the Saxons
* Blane, Bishop of Bute, Scotland (see also August 11)
August 11 / 24 Attracta, Abbess of Drum, Ireland
Lelia, Virgin of Limerick, Ireland
Blane, Bishop of Bute, Scotland (see also August 10)
Digna (+4th c.), Woman-Solitary in Northumbria
August 12 / 25 Jambert, Abbot of Saint Augustine's and Archbishop of Canterbury, England
Merwenna, Virgin of Bude, Cornwall, Daughter of
Saint Brychan of Brecknock
Just of Penzance, Cornwall
August 13 / 26 Muredach, Bishop of Kallala, Ireland
August 14 / 27 Fachnan, Bishop of Rosscarberry, Ireland
August 15 / 28 The Dormition of the Theotokos
Maccarthen, Bishop of Clogher, Disciple of Saint Pádraig
August 16 / 29
August 17 / 30 James, Deacon-Monk of York, England, Named by Saint Bede
* Drithelm (+c. 700), Hermit of Maelros (Melrose), Scotland,
Who Saw Hell as Related by Saint Bede (see also September 1)
August 18 / 31 * Fiachra (Fiacre) of Ireland (+7th c.), Hermit and Founder of
Saint-Fiacre-en-Brie, France (see also September 1)
Dageus, Bishop of Iniscaoin-Deghadh, Ireland
Evan, Hermit in Ayrshire, Scotland
* Marnock (Ernene), Bishop of Kilmarnock in Scotland
(see also October 25)
August 19 / September 1 Mochta of County Louth, Ireland, Saint Pádraig's Archpriest
Credan, Abbot of Evesham, England
August 20 / September 2 Oswin, King and Martyr of Deira, Northumbria
Edbert of York, King and Martyr of Northumbria
August 21 / September 3 Moghtewe, Abbot in Ireland
Hardulf of Breedon, Leicestershire, England
August 22 / September 4 Sigfried, Deacon and Prior of Wearmouth, England
Ethelgitha, Abbess in Northumbria
Arnulf, Hermit of Eynesbury
* Maelrubha (+722), Abbot of Applecross, Isle of Skye, Scotland
(see also April 21)
August 23 / September 5 Eogain, Abbot in Ireland
Tydfil, Martyr of Glamorgan, Wales, Kinswoman of Saint Brychnan
August 24 / September 6 Pádraig the Elder, Abbot in Ireland
Irchard, Bishop of the Picts, Ordained by Saint Ternan
August 25 / September 7 Ebba I, Abbess of Coldingham, Northumbria, Sister of King Oswy
Edbert of York, King and Monk of Northumbria
At York, Translation of the Relics of Hilda, Abbess of Whitby
August 26 / September 8 Bregwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, Disciple of Saint Theodore
Pandwyna (Pandonia) (+904), Princess of Aberdeenshire, Nun and Martyr
of Eltisley, Cambridgeshire
August 27 / September 9 Decuman, Hermit and Martyr of Dunster, Somersetshire, England
August 28 / September 10
August 29 / September 11 Edwold, King and Hermit of Carne, Dorsetshire, England,
Brother of Saint Edmund the Martyr
Sebbi, King of the East Saxons, Monk of London, England
August 30 / September 12 Ayle of Ireland (+650), Missionary to Bavaria
Modan, Hermit of Killmodan, Ulster, Ireland
Loarn of Downpatrick, Ireland, Disciple of Saint Pádraig
Translation of the Relics of Guthlac, Hieromonk of Crowland, Lincolnshire
August 31 / September 13 Aidan (+651), Founder and First Abbot-Bishop of Lindisfarne,
and Enlightener of Northumbria
Cuthburga, Queen and Abbess of Wimborne, England
Eanswitha (Eanswyth), Abbess of Folkestone, Kent, England
Grand-daughter of King Saint Aethelbert
Translation of Columban of Ireland, Abbot and Founder of
Luxeuil Abbey in France
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat 15 November 2003 11:22 pm

The Real Division

Post by Bogatyr » ... ision/view

Real Division
The Real Theological Division: Dispelling the false idea of a Celtic/Roman or Celtic/English split, and getting to the heart of the real divisions in Christendom
Many of those interested in Celtic Christianity have tended to speak of a conflict between the theology and spiritual life of the Celts and the Anglo-Roman Church, a conflict which is said to have come to a head at the Synod of Whitby in AD 664, when Rome achieved its victory over the "independent" Celtic Church.

The truth of the matter is that there was no such conflict. The Celts, Old English, and Romans of Western Europe shared one Faith — the Apostolic and Patristic Orthodox Faith. And they held this Faith in common with the Romans of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the lands from which the Faith had first emerged and in which it had been defended by the Fathers of the Church at the great Oecumenical ("Empire-wide") Synods.

During this era, the Western Churches were organised in the same way the Eastern Churches are to this day: each local Church, while united in the common Faith and Holy Mysteries of the whole Church, was free to manifest this Faith through its own distinctive theological emphases, as well as liturgical forms and spiritual practices.

It is in this light that we must see any discrepancies between Celtic and Roman usage in the 7th century. The Synod of Whitby, far from being an earth-shattering theological dispute, was simply a council called to settle the usage to be adopted in the Church of Northumbria, where the different practices introduced by Irish and Anglo-Roman missionaries had created confusion in the local Church. (On this point, see John Carey's Looking for the Celtic Church.)

It is in the 8th and 9th centuries that the real theological problem emerges. In the Carolingian Frankish kingdoms of Western Europe, a new and very different Christianity was developed, based on certain excesses in the theology of Augustine of Hippo and an ecclesial polity founded on feudalism. (The differences between this new form of Christianity and Orthodox Christianity are profound enough that we may speak of the formation of a new "religion.")

At first, this new faith was limited to the Franks, and opposed vigorously by the Orthodox Western Romans (including the Bishop of Rome) as well as the Celtic monasteries located throughout the continent. But in the 11th century, with the first Frankish Popes, Rome succumbed to this Franco-Augustinian faith. After splitting from the Eastern Churches in 1054, the Papacy blessed a series of military efforts — the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the Anglo-Norman Conquest of Ireland in 1170, the Crusades in the 12th and early 13th centuries — to convert all of Europe to this form of Christianity.

The Christian East, by the grace of God, and in spite of the terrible sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204, was able to resist the Franco-Latin incursions. The various Orthodox Churches of the West, however, were not spared. One by one they fell to the Franks, and to their successors, the Normans — conquerors who brought with them a faith they called "Roman Catholic," but which was neither Roman (the true Romans having been subjugated by the Franks) nor Catholic (for they had abandoned the universal Faith of the Apostolic and Patristic Church).

To speak, therefore, of a division between Celts and Romans, or even Celts and Old English, is false. These Western Christians certainly had distinctive theological emphases and practices, but they shared the same Orthodox Faith. Unfortunately, they also shared the same fate: destruction at the hands of the mediaeval Franco-Latin "church."

Related Articles
Franks, Romans, Feudalism and Doctrine: An Interplay Between Theology and Society
Lecture 1: Franks, Romans, Feudalism and Doctrine
Lecture 2: Empirical Versus Speculative Theology
Lecture 3: The Filioque
In these three lectures, the eminent theologian Fr John Romanides clearly demonstrates that the real historical and theological division in the Christian world is between the Apostolic and Patristic Faith of the Orthodox Church — upheld in the first millennium by the Celts, Old English, and Romans of Western Europe as well as the East Romans — and the novel religious beliefs of the Carolingian Franks, which are the basis of what is now known as "Western Christianity." (See also "Prophetic Themes in the Orthodox Ecclesiology of Fr John Romanides.")

Celts, Old English, and the Norman Invasion
Fr Andrew Phillips discusses what the Irish and other Celts who dislike the "English" fail to understand.

The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions
Archimandrite (now Metropolitan) Hierotheos Vlachos briefly outlines the essence of Apostolic and Patristic Orthodox Christianity, and explains how scholasticism in the West (beginning with the Carolingian Franks) created a new and alien form of spirituality.

Important Comment
Athanasios Sherry, an Orthodox Mediaeval and Celtic scholar, writes: "It is all too rare for people to recognise the ancient Christian faith in Ireland to be Orthodox. Secular scholars are often perplexed at the obvious Orthodoxy of early Irish Christianity alongside the equally obvious peculiarities of the Celtic Church. Meanwhile, many non-secular scholars are so informed by the Roman Catholic—Protestant difficulties of later periods that they also do not know what to make of the whole affair. However, I must raise a small criticism. Fr Romanides is very much influenced by a particular view of Western Mediaeval History that isn't entirely fair to the Carolingians. Having said that, however, I must state that I agree with the assessment that the foundations of the Papal church lay more in Continental Mediaeval political history and theory than in theology and that the theology of that church is largely based on Augustine of Hippo. I also agree that what would later become Roman Catholicism was brought to the British Isles by the Normans. In all fairness to the Medieval French, though, they were frequently uncooperative with Papal agendas."

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Posts: 150
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John Scotus Eriugena

Post by Bogatyr »

An Orthodox Evaluation of Certain Teachings in the Writings of John Scotus Eriugena in Light of the Theology of St Gregory Palamas — by Father Geoffrey Ready

A Brief Life of John Scotus Eriugena
John Scotus Eriugena and St Gregory Palamas on the Doctrine of God
John Scotus Eriugena and St Gregory Palamas on the Doctrine of Man and His Salvation

He makes a pathetic and not undignified figure, this eager, slightly-built Irishman,
with his subtle mind, his studious habits, his deeply reverent spirit,
his almost fanatical devotion to the wise men of former days,
Pagan or Christian, who had lived in the light of a wider civilisation:
called upon to fight the battles of the West with arms forged in the East,
and reprimanded even in the hour of conquest for having transgressed the rules of the field.

Alice Gardner, Studies in John the Scot.


He deviated from the path of the Latins
while he kept his eyes intently fixed on the Greeks;
wherefore he was reputed an heretic.

William of Malmesbury, de Pontificibus.

John Scotus Eriugena stands as a remarkable figure in the spiritual history of the Christian West. His native Ireland was insula sanctorum — the "Isle of the Saints," where Orthodox Christianity, planted by Saint Pádraig in the fifth century, had taken such root that it had created an entire monastic culture and produced countless thousands of glorified saints. By the ninth century, however, the Apostolic and Patristic Tradition of glorification which had transformed Ireland was coming under an attack which would ultimately prove more devastating than those of the Vikings who were by now violently raiding monastic settlements along the Irish coasts.

In the Carolingian Frankish kingdoms of Western Europe, a new and very different form of Christianity was taking shape as a result of the Franks' desire to distance themselves from the centre of Orthodox Christianity at Constantinople-New Rome: the Franks, rejecting the East Romans as "Greeks" and "heretics" in the infamous Libri Carolini and at synods in Frankfort and Aachen, created a new Franco-Latin church based largely upon excesses in the theology of Augustine of Hippo and an ecclesial polity founded on feudalism. Over the following centuries, this Franco-Latin faith would come entirely to supplant Orthodox Christianity in the West, by take-over (the Patriarchate of Rome in the 11th century) and invasion (the Norman Conquests of 1066 and 1170). Yet in the mid-ninth century, Orthodoxy was far from appearing as a lost cause in the West: the Frankish innovations were opposed by Irish monastic foundations throughout the continent as well as (with the exception of during the Schism of Pope Nicholas I) by the Patriarchate of Old Rome itself, especially after the Eighth Oecumenical Synod of 879.

It is during this period that we find the Irishman, John Scotus Eriugena, coming among the Franks as schoolmaster at the court of Charles the Bald, the grandson of Charlemagne himself, and presenting to them the theology of the Irish monastic tradition within which he was raised. In order to defend the spiritual experience of glorification (theosis), he turned naturally to the East, reading as much as possible of the Greek-speaking Fathers.[1] Indeed, despite the prejudices of the Frankish society in which he found himself, "all his sympathies were with the East."[2] An "enthusiastic student of Byzantine Christianity,"[3] Eriugena dedicated himself to "finding the authentic Christian truth in Greek sources."[4] Inevitably, though, his approach and his teaching brought him into conflict with Franco-Latin scholastic theologians, and he ended up being condemned for his "heretical" views.

While an exhaustive study of Eriugena from an Orthodox perspective is beyond the scope of this paper, we shall evaluate certain aspects of his doctrine of God and of man and his salvation in light of the theology of an Orthodox Father, St Gregory Palamas, with whom he may be likened in some profound ways. Both were "mystical theologians," making the primary concern of their theology safeguarding the reality of man's glorification in Christ. Both were deeply influenced by the Cappadocians, by St Maximos the Confessor and by the Araeopagite corpus. Both were drawn reluctantly into controversy to defend Orthodox spiritual experience against the speculations of scholastic theologians — speculations founded ultimately, though neither Eriugena nor Palamas completely realised this, upon the errors of Augustinianism.

It may be objected that, despite these similarities, an evaluation of Eriugena's teachings from a Palamite perspective is inherently unfair, since St Gregory lived and wrote some four and a half centuries after Eriugena. Yet we should remember that, unlike the Franco-Latin West, Orthodoxy knows of no doctrinal development over time. As St Gregory Palamas himself attests, the fullness of revelation and glorification was given to the Apostles at Pentecost; it has been the responsibility of each succeeding generation, not to add to that Apostolic experience, but to experience anew the same glorification. What may appear, in the writings of the Fathers and the definitions of the Oecumenical Synods, as new doctrines, are simply the defence of this true spiritual experience against heresies which seek to undermine it. Therefore, what concerns us in our evaluation of the teaching of John Scotus Eriugena is not whether or not he articulates his theology in exactly the same terms as St Gregory Palamas — which would be impossible. Rather, using Palamite theology as a touchstone and summation of the Orthodox Patristic Tradition, we shall attempt to determine how successfully Eriugena is able to reclaim that tradition to defend the experience of glorification in his own day and theological context. On this basis, what is remarkable about Eriugena is that, despite his isolation from and limited access to the Greek-speaking Fathers, his theological "system," while far from perfect, is surprisingly harmonious with that of the unbroken Orthodox Tradition inherited by St Gregory Palamas.

A Brief Life of John Scotus Eriugena

Before we launch into our evalution of his theology, it may prove helpful to recall some of the important aspects of Eriugena's life. His name literally means John the Scot (i.e. Irishman),[5] born in Ireland (Old Irish, Ériu, Érinn).[6] Unfortunately, he is often mistakenly confused with the Franciscan philosopher John Duns Scotus, who taught at Oxford in the 13th century.

Eriugena was born sometime between between 800 and 815. We do not know much about him before he came to the court of Charles the Bald around 847, but we may assume he was educated in his native land at one of the many famous Irish monasteries. He was never ordained, but he must have been a scholar of some reputation, for King Charles invited him to become the head of his Palace School, and asked him to translate into Latin the works of St Dionysios the Araeopagite. From certain poems and other works dedicated to the king, as well as from anecdotes told about their relationship,[7] Eriugena and the king appear to have been on fairly good terms. Indeed, the scholar was to count on that royal patronage to protect him from ecclesiastical penalties on more than one occasion.

Eriugena translated and wrote extensively during this time. He translated into Latin almost all of the Araeopagite corpus which has come down to us; and he also translated some works by St Maximos the Confessor. Profoundly influenced by these Eastern Fathers, as well as by Origen, St Gregory of Nyssa, and St Gregory the Theologian, he also wrote his own commentaries on their works, some homilies, some controversial works (his work rejecting Gottschalk's doctrine of double predestination is still extant), and some poems. One of his homilies, on the Prologue of John "ranks as one of the greatest homilies of mediaeval spiritual literature,"[8] and was very widely circulated during the Middle Ages, although under the name of Origen or St John Chrysostom.

Sometime between 865 and 870, Eriugena also wrote his great work, the Periphyseon (peri physeos merismou), or de Divisione Naturae. It comprises five books, and is framed as a dialogue between a master and his disciple. One commentator briefly describes the subject of this work as the following: "The first book deals mainly with the doctrine of God as the source of all; the second with the primal causes, which are a medium between God and the creation; the third with the nature of the created universe; the fourth and fifth with the return of all to God."[9]

Charles the Bald died in 877, and the following year, King Alfred the Great of England defeated the Danes and brought relative peace to England after many years of war. Thus the 12th-century account by William of Malmesbury that Eriugena, towards the end of his life, was invited by Alfred to become master of the monastic school at Malmesbury, an event often rejected by modern scholars, is quite probably accurate. The legend also notes that he readily accepted King Alfred's offer since he had grown "tired of the suspicions attaching to his work in Francia."[10] What is less certain is William's description of Eriugena's death shortly thereafter at the hands of his students who stab him with their pens. But as one scholar notes, "Whether or no the ugly story of his death by his scholars' pens may contain any truth, he had to endure sharp thrusts from the pens of those whom he sought to instruct, and who were not able to appreciate his teaching."[11]

Although William's account ends with Eriugena's reverent burial and even notes the inscription on his tomb calling him "Saint John the Wise," he nevertheless remarks that Eriugena was thought to be a heretic.[12] Yet since Eriugena's works were not widely disseminated or understood, he escaped definite censure for centuries. It was only in 1225 that Pope Honorius III ordered that all copies of the Periphyseon should be sent to Rome to be solemnly burned. Fortunately, this proved unsuccessful, allowing a few people, notably Nicolas of Cusa in the 15th century, to study Eriugena's works. In 1681, T. Gale printed the Periphyseon for the first time; and in 1684, it was placed on the Index of prohibited books by the Pope. In this way Eriugena remained almost unknown for centuries. It took the modern reaction against the "definite, juristic, inelastic spirit, and all the influences which are summed up in the word Latinity," for interest to be kindled in his works once again.[13]

John Scotus Eriugena and St Gregory Palamas
on the Doctrine of God

For both John Scotus Eriugena and St Gregory Palamas, one of the central questions in theology, that is, in the doctrine of God, is how the transcendent and the immanent in God can be properly reconciled. As we shall see, Eriugena's approach, though finally flawed, has much in common with that of Palamas and the Eastern tradition. Indeed, it is "in his theology, first and foremost, that we see the Greek and Eastern tone of John's mind as opposed to the Latin or German and Western tendencies of his times."[14]

Apophaticism: the Transcendence of God

St Gregory Palamas makes extensive use of the Araeopagite corpus to develop his apophatic theology and to safeguard the absolute transcendence of God. Palamas writes that God infinitely surpasses all names that could be applied to Him, whether nominalistically or conceptually; He completely transcends all human words or thoughts; indeed, it is not even possible to affirm, "God is unknowable in His essence," since He is beyond God (hypertheos) and beyond essence (hyperousios).

Like St Gregory, Eriugena derives much of his apophatic theology from the writings of the Araeopagite and St Maximos the Confessor, both of which he not only translated but quotes frequently. Eriugena's Latin contemporaries "acknowledged in words that God is incomprehensible, yet they thought they knew pretty clearly His mind towards the world, and were not afraid to attribute to Him many of their own impulses and passions."[15] Whereas the farthest they are willing to push their via negativa is to speak of the "obscurity" of God, Eriugena truly adopts the "transcending theology" of the Orthodox Fathers. Explaining the use of "apophatic" and "kataphatic" theology, he writes:

One branch of theology, named apophatiki, denies that the divine essence (ousia) or substance (hypostaseis) is one of the things that are, that is, of the things that can be named or understood; the other branch, however, namely kataphatiki, predicates of the divine essence all the things that are and, for that reason, is named 'affirmative' — not so as to establish that the divine essence is any of the things that are, but to argue that all the things that stem from it can be predicated of it.[16]

None of the "things that are" can be predicated of the divine essence, he says, since God is (as Dionysios had written) hyperousios, hyperagathos, and even hypertheos.[17] Much of Book I of the Periphyseon is taken up with this kind of apophaticism. As one commentator explains, Eriugena carefully examines each of Aristotle's "ten categories" and finds that none of them can properly be applied to God:

That of relation might seem to be implied in the doctrine of the Trinity, but the philosopher shows that any predication of relations such as fatherhood and sonship to the Divine Being can only be figurative. Locus, which he makes equivalent to definition, cannot be asserted of that which is not contained in any intelligent mind. As to quality, we cannot ascribe to the Universal even the highest of properties. He is not wise and good, but more-than-wise, more-than-good, and the like. He does not even fall under the category of being, since He is more-than-being. Action and suffering may in Scripture be frequently predicated of God. But such predication is always in a transferred or symbolical sense.[18]

At the outset of his work, therefore, Eriugena clearly follows the Orthodox Fathers in recognising the limits of speaking or writing theology. He states this eloquently in Book II of the Periphyseon, writing: "But all these things are more deeply and truly thought than they are put forward in speech, and more deeply and truly understood than they are thought, and they are of a deeper and truer nature than they are understood to be; they definitely transcend all understanding."[19]

Experience: the Immanence of God

Both St Gregory Palamas and John Scotus Eriugena proceed from this realisation that God surpasses all human knowledge to the assertion that He has nonetheless chosen to reveal Himself in part to the world, and especially to those with true faith in Him. As we shall see in the next section, St Gregory makes a distinction in God between His transcendent and unknowable essence, and His immanent and communicable energies. By participating in these uncreated divine energies, man attains an immediate knowledge of God Himself (though not His essence). St Gregory stresses the experiential and empirical nature of this knowledge of God; knowing God is not possible by philosophical speculation, but only acquired by an inner experience of the reality, an experience derived from prayerful union with Christ who unites in Himself God and man.

Like Palamas, Eriugena is anxious to safeguard the possibility of real experience of God without undermining His absolute transcendence. As one commentator explains, it is precisely Eriugena's belief in the truth of the Biblical and Patristic Tradition which sets this paradox before him:

To Scotus, as to Dionysios and his predecessors, God was the super-essential, super-intellectual principle beyond all being and thought, though, as a thinking man, Scotus was bound to find some relation between that principle and the world of nature and of humanity; and as a Christian man he was bound to bring his aspiring theological conceptions into some sort of accord with the moral and religious teaching of the Scriptures and of the Fathers of the Church.[20]

As he proceeds to his explanation of how it is possible to know the unknowable God, Eriugena continues to follow the Araeopagite, quoting: "All divine things, in so far as they are manifested to us, are known only by participation therein."[21] Like Palamas, then, our Irish scholar insists that any true knowledge of God comes from experience and participation, not from rational thinking about Him. Yet in describing how this participation is possible, Eriugena seems to stray somewhat from the Orthodox Patristic Tradition, suggesting that it is founded upon a qualitative similarity between God and the human soul:

In so far as (man) partakes of divine and heavenly existence, he is not animal, but through his reason and intellect and his thoughts of the Eternal, he shares in celestial being.... In that part of him, then, is he made in the image of God, with which alone God holds converse in men that are worthy.[22]

In other words, he appears to be saying that it is possible for man to know God "because in his inmost substance he is of God."[23]

Eriugena clearly struggles with this paradox because he does not make the distinction that Palamas does between God's essence and energies (see below). He knows enough, however, to back away from suggesting that man can know God in His essence, saying that this participation in God is not a vision of the "Invisible" (even in the beatific vision of the saints), but rather a vision of the "glory" of God.[24] He develops this idea by using the Araeopagite's teaching on "theophanies." According to Eriugena, God reveals His glory in a unique fashion to each angel and man according to the measure he is able to receive it.

Here Scotus strikes more distinctly the note of subjectivity which marks all his system by making the theophany proportionate to the capacity of each mind, whether angelic or human. He interprets the saying "In My Father's house are many mansions" as signifying the revelation made to each individual consciousness. As many as are the souls of the saints, so many are the divine theophanies.[25]

In Eriugena's system, though, without the essence—energies distinction, it is never quite clear whether these theophanies are simply manifestations of God "through the medium of creation," or whether the "higher manifestations" achieved by saints are a true participation in God Himself (without actually knowing the Invisible God as He is).[26]

Yet, despite this confusion, Eriugena insists that the revelation of the "hidden mysteries" of God takes place through the God-man, Jesus Christ. Commenting on the phrase "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men" in the Prologue of John (1:4), he writes that Christ is called the "light of men"

because it was in man that He manifested himself not only to men, but also to angels and every created thing capable of participating in the divine knowledge. For He revealed Himself to angels not through an angel, nor to men through an angel, but to men and angels through a man, not in appearance, but in true humanity itself, which He took wholly to Himself in the unity of His "substance," and gave knowledge of Himself to those that knew Him. The light of men is, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ, who manifested Himself in human nature to every rational and intellectual creature and revealed the hidden mysteries of His divinity by which He is equal to the Father.[27]

In this Christocentric understanding of the revelation of God, Eriugena is perfectly consistent with the Orthodox Patristic Tradition.

Essence and Energies

As noted above, St Gregory Palamas affirms the possibility of God acting in the world and revealing Himself, without undermining the fact that He remains unknowable in His essence, by distinguishing between God's uncreated essence and uncreated energies. It is through His uncreated energies, His uncreated grace and glory, that God sustains the world; and it is in these energies that man can participate and have communion with God. For Palamas, to believe that man can participate in the divine essence would lead either to pantheism (all is God) or polytheism (all are gods). This crucial distinction between God's essence and energies is founded upon the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and all of the Fathers, though the Church would wait until the 14th century for Palamas to articulate the doctrine in its clearest and final form.

Like Palamas, John Scotus Eriugena also strives to make some kind of distinction in God between that which He reveals to the world and that which remains unknowable. As we have seen, Eriugena distinguishes between the "Invisible" or "God Himself" on the one hand, and "God's glory" on the other. Moreover, he clearly states that man cannot participate in God Himself, but only in the divine glory. Yet Eriugena falls short of the Orthodox Patristic Tradition by failing to teach explicitly that this divine glory is uncreated. As much as he tries to break free of it, he seems imprisoned by the Augustinian idea, by his day dominant in the West, that the manifestations of the divine glory or "theophanies" must ultimately be considered creations of God, not really the direct experience of uncreated energies.[28]

Eriugena's discussion of created and uncreated is a main subject of Book I of the Periphyseon. He says that the term "nature" applies to all things, "to those that are and those that are not."[29] He goes on to divide nature into four categories: (i) that which creates and is not created; (ii) that which is created and also creates; (iii) that which is created but does not create; and (iv) that which neither creates nor is created. Eriugena explains that categories (i) and (iv) apply only to God: only God is uncreated, and we may speak of Him as both creating and not creating. This does not mean that there is a division in God, but only in our thought of God.[30] This much accords very well with Palamas, for it would not be too much of a stretch to say that Eriugena is speaking of the uncreated essence (uncreated and "non-creating") and the uncreated energies (uncreated and creating) of God. Like Palamas, Eriugena distinguishes these, but does not separate them. If only Eriugena had held to this, and taught that man and creation — that is, category (iii), created and non-creating — are able to share in God's energies, but not His essence, we would have no trouble affirming perfect agreement with Palamite theology.

The real problem in Eriugena's system, however, is category (ii) — that which is both created and creating. This category comprises what he calls the "primordial causes" or the "eternal ideas"; they are basically the divine attributes, or in the terminology of the Araeopagite, the divine "names." Eriugena goes on to list some of these: Goodness, Existence, Life, Reason, Intelligence, Wisdom, Virtue, Happiness, Truth, Eternity, Greatness, Love, Peace, Unity, and Perfection.[31] Palamas also knows these divine "names," but for him they are manifestations of the uncreated divine energies; he has no separate category of created divine ideas or attributes. Eriugena himself seems willing to follow this same path, for he insists that in themselves these names really are one, divine, eternal and uncreated — and thus belong to category (i), the "uncreated creating" energies of God — while it is only we who experience them as multiple and created.[32]

For Eriugena, who is not able to come to the proper Palamite distinction between essence and energies, placing the experience of God's uncreated energies in the category of "created and creating" is necessary to guard against saying that it is possible to know "what God is." Yet the result of having some kind of created medium between God and man is that it tends towards replacing the personal God of the Holy Scriptures, the Lord who encounters man directly with no intermediaries, with a mere concept or idea of God — something which all of the Fathers, and St Gregory Palamas especially, strongly reject. Eriugena appears to realise this dangerous trajectory towards making God impersonal, and compensates for it by emphasising the subjective and personal nature of the divine theophanies. While it is impossible to know "what God is," and His "existence and attributes can never be demonstrated," nevertheless God "can be found and worshipped in the innermost shrine of the soul."[33]

God the Creator

The scope of this paper does not admit a full commentary on and evaluation of John Scotus Eriugena's doctrine of creation, but it is important to note that his teaching departs from Orthodoxy precisely where he fails to recognise one of the principal distinctions made by all of the Fathers, including St Gregory Palamas. For the Fathers, while the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit are from God's nature (physis) from all eternity, the creation of the world depends not on God's nature but on His will (thelima). Therefore, as Fr John Meyendorff explains, "this creative action is conceived as optional, precisely because it does not involve God's nature and excludes ontological continuity between God and creation."[34]

Eriugena, like Palamas, begins by insisting that God indeed created the world ex nihilo, and that He is the cause and principle of all things. He writes: "We hold that all things are from God, and that they have not been made at all but by Him, since by Him and from Him and in Him are all things made."[35] Yet without a proper essence—energies distinction, once again Eriugena's apophaticism leads him down a dangerous road. He pulls back somewhat, saying that God cannot literally be "Creator," for this is simply one of the divine names.[36] In fact, since, "according to the apophatic theology of Dionysios, God Himself 'is nothing,' because He is 'superessential' (hyperousios)," when we say that God created ex nihilo, it is "possible, and even necessary, to say that God creates out of Himself."[37]

If Eriugena had only distinguished properly between God as hyperousios and the uncreated divine energies which create and sustain the world, he could more easily have conceived of the crucial distinction between divine nature and will. Whereas St Gregory and the Fathers teach that creation is a free expression of God's goodness and love, Eriugena tends somewhat towards the Neoplatonic notion that the world exists as a necessary emanation of God's own nature.[38] That is certainly the sense of his statements like, "When we hear it said that God makes all things, we ought to understand simply that God is in all things; that is, that He subsists as the Being of all things"[39] — an assertion which would be quite Orthodox if he were speaking unambiguously about the uncreated energies of God. The same is true of the following passage from Book III of the Periphyseon, in which Eriugena writes eloquently about the participation of all creation in God:

We ought not to understand God and the creature as two things distinct from one another, but as one and the same. For the creature is subsisting in God; and God, manifesting Himself, in a marvellous and ineffable manner is created in the creature, the invisible making Himself visible and the incomprehensible comprehensible and the hidden revealed... and the simple composite... and the infinite finite and the uncircumscribed circumscribed... and creating all things He is created in all things and making all things is made in all things... and He becomes all things in all things.[40]

Unlike Palamas, who emphasises the radical separation between the uncreated God and His creation, Eriugena seems unwilling to make the nature of created things absolutely alien to divine nature. For him, creation becomes "the theophany and self-multiplication of God."[41] And in so far as creation pre-existed in the divine ideas of the Logos,[42] he says that we may say at the same time that "all things always were, and always were not."[43]

Uncreated Light

Following the Biblical and Patristic Tradition, both St Gregory Palamas and John Scotus Eriugena write extensively about the experience of God as light. For St Gregory, God actually is the Light, though not according to His essence, but in terms of His uncreated energies. Thus, the experience of the divine light is not the experience of a created symbol, but of uncreated grace itself. Again, without the Palamite essence—energies distinction, Eriugena cannot quite speak of the divine light as uncreated, though he comes fairly close.

By the time of Eriugena, the Augustinian understanding of the divine light as simply a metaphor "for good, salvation, life and knowledge," for the Christian life as a "movement from the darkness of ignorance to the light of truth"[44] was firmly established in Western theology. It is remarkable, therefore, that Eriugena goes much further than Augustine. He frequently quotes the Apostle Paul's expression that God dwells in "inaccessible light" (I Tim. 6:16); indeed, for him, God actually is "impenetrable light."[45] He calls God the lux mentium (noetic light) who illumines the darkened intellect with "the brightness of pure knowledge."[46] He also develops the theme of the light in his homily on the Prologue of John, saying that God is "the light" who "illuminates Himself, makes Himself known to the world, and shows Himself to them that do not know Him."[47]

Like Palamas, Eriugena is careful not to equate the spiritual experience of light with a vision of the unknowable divine essence. While the glorified saints advance into that which is "dark from excess of light,"[48] and even see God "face to face" according to the capacity of each,[49] Eriugena says that this is not a direct contemplation of the Invisible God, but a theophany. The light is thus one of the "theophanies of truth, not the truth itself."[50] It is also a "true symbol" of "the procession of the light of the Father, in Christ, who illumines the hidden places of darkness and ignorance."[51]

Trinitarian Theology and the Procession of the Holy Spirit

Before we leave our discussion of John Scotus Eriugena's doctrine of God, we should note that in his Trinitarian theology, Eriugena agrees completely with the Orthodox East: significantly, "following the conventions of Eastern theology," he "speaks of three substances in one essence, whereas Western theology speaks of three persons in one nature."[52]

During his lifetime, the Filioque controversy was just heating up; the Council of Aachen convoked by Charlemagne in 809 had declared the Filioque necessary for salvation. In response, Pope Leo III had the original Symbol of Faith without the Filioque engraved in Latin and Greek on silver shields and placed at the doors of St Peter's in Rome. Eriugena was certainly aware of this controversy, and since he agreed with the Pope that the East Romans had the original Creed, the position taken by the Franco-Latin bishops embarrassed him.[53] In the Periphyseon, he demonstrates that he understands the basis of the Greek-speaking Fathers' Trinitarian theology, referring specifically to the real difference they accept "between the common ousia and the particular hypostaseis and unambiguously affirming "that the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit are to be attributed to the substantia (hypostaseis) of the Father alone."[54] For him, the Symbol of Faith clearly says the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, and deliberately precludes further speculation or discussion. Nevertheless, he himself prefers the Trinitarian formula accepted by earlier Latin-speaking Roman Fathers as well as some of the Eastern Fathers, by which it is declared that the procession of the Holy Spirit is from the Father "through the Son" (per filium).[55]

John Scotus Eriugena and St Gregory Palamas
on the Doctrine of Man and His Salvation

As in his theology, so also in his anthropology and soteriology John Scotus Eriugena bases his teachings upon the writings of the Araeopagite, St Maximos the Confessor, and the other Greek-speaking Fathers he read and translated. He not only adopts their theocentric anthropology, agreeing with them that it is impossible to understand man without reference to God, but also borrows and extends their "Neoplatonic scheme of procession and return" in order "to express the Biblical conceptions of creation, salvation, and restoration."[56]

Creation and Fall of Man

The starting point for the doctrine of man of both John Scotus Eriugena and St Gregory Palamas is the creation of man in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Unlike Palamas, Eriugena does not interpret the Scriptural terms "image" and "likeness" as an expression of man's vocation to growth from potential to fulfilment in God; indeed, he would tend to see a greater realisation of human potential already in the creation of Adam than St Gregory would, for the latter insists that Adam's fall was actually his failure to realise his true purpose of sharing in the divine life. Nevertheless, both are in agreement that creation in the image of God means that man's true life is only to be found in God.

One of the principal characteristics of St Gregory's anthropology is his rejection of the pagan Greek dualistic nature of man. Adopting the holistic approach of the Holy Scriptures, he presents the human person as a "psychosomatic being," a unity of body and soul, not a soul imprisoned in a body. By contrast, Eriugena, drawing extensively from St Gregory of Nyssa, is somewhat less optimistic about the human body and the material world. He agrees with Palamas that it is the soul which is the governing principle of man, that it is the soul which is most in the image of God. Palamite theology could also admit his view that "the preference of the material to the spiritual [is] at the root of all mischief."[57] Yet Eriugena then goes on to say that all matter, including human bodies, is a "concourse of accidents," with no real "substance" except on the level of intelligibility.[58] In this way, he sometimes appears to deny the permanent value of "visible, historical existence, human achievement and creativity in this world."[59] In the final analysis, however, like Palamas, he is able to reject pagan Greek dualism, and to affirm the reality of the resurrection of body — though, of course, this will be a "spiritual body" (cf. I Cor. 15:44).

In perfect agreement with the Orthodox Patristic Tradition represented by St Gregory Palamas, Eriugena teaches that man's true destiny is to attain glorification (i.e. deification, theosis) and share full communion with God. Part of being created in the image of God involves the gift of free will: Eriugena teaches that free will, "though a great good, is capable of abuse. It errs when it turns to itself, to the outward, and the lower, rather than to God, to the inward, and the higher."[60] Adam's sin was to use his free will to oppose God, rather than to realise his true human purpose. The fall was thus the "self-willed turning away from man's proper nature and first principle of being."[61] As the privation of being and good, evil itself has no positive or ultimate existence.[62] Significantly, Eriugena rejects the Augustinian understanding of the fall, not by explicitly condemning Augustine, nor even by ignoring him, but by quoting and then completely re-interpreting him. Whereas Augustine teaches that "natural man" is sinful, Eriugena, like all of the Orthodox Fathers, applies the term "natural" only to deified man. Moreover, unlike Augustine,[63] he denies that man lost his free will in the fall; rather, he contends that "all sin is from free will."[64]

Redemption in Christ

Both St Gregory Palamas and John Scotus Eriugena agree that God did not abandon man after the fall, but through the Incarnation of His Son, He redeemed man from death and sin, and set him once more on the path to glorification (theosis). Like Palamas, Eriugena includes the whole salvific work of Christ in his theology of salvation, yet focuses principally on the Incarnation. One commentator sums up Eriugena's soteriology in this way:

The doctrine is set forth in several forms. Christ is to be regarded as a sacrifice which has been effectual for all,[65] as a priest and mediator, as the Ark of the Covenant full of sacred treasures. But generally it is as the Logos entering into human nature, and thereby into the nature of all things which have been created in man, and then returning to the Father or First Principle, that He is regarded as bringing about the final union.[66]

Thus, for Eriugena, as for the entire Orthodox Patristic Tradition, the Incarnation is the means of the deification of man, since in Christ, human nature has already been made to participate in the eternal life of God, and the flesh of man has truly become the flesh of God. Eriugena writes:

He went forth from the Father and came into the world, that is, He took upon Him that human nature in which the whole world subsists; for there is nothing in the world that is not comprehended in human nature; and again, He left the world and went to the Father, that is, He exalted that human nature which He had received above all things visible and invisible, above all heavenly powers, above all that can be said or understood, uniting it to His deity, in which He is equal to the Father.[67]

Our Irish scholar also makes the universal Patristic distinction between man's deification and that of Christ, noting that the glorified saints are "made God, not by nature, but by grace."[68]

Furthermore, in his doctrine of salvation, Eriugena upholds the Patristic understanding of the need for man's co-operation (synergeia) with the divine plan of redemption and glorification in Christ. He emphasises that man must freely accept God's gift of grace; he writes that "resurrection is effected by the cooperation of both agents, nature and grace."[69] Grace and free will together are necessary for salvation. In his first major work, De divina praedestinatione, completed in 851, Eriugena refutes the predestinarian beliefs of Gottschalk and others precisely on the basis that they were denying both God's grace and man's free will.[70] In this work, soonafter condemned by several Franco-Latin councils, Eriugena again cheerfully misinterprets Augustine to support his Patristic viewpoint and to argue against his opponents who were also using Augustine (though more faithfully) to contend for double predestination, that is, God's election of certain men for salvation and others for damnation.

Theosis and the Final Restoration of All Things

Neither John Scotus Eriugena nor St Gregory Palamas views salvation simply as the redemption of man from sin and death; like all of the Fathers, they insist that God's work in Christ, carried out through the mission of the Church, will not be complete until the accomplishment of the "restoration of all things" (i apokatastasis panton).

For men, this restoration (apokatastasis) is nothing other than full participation in the divine life — complete union, as St Gregory Palamas teaches, with the uncreated energies and glory of God. Eriugena, who was surely intimately acquainted with the reality of glorification in the lives of the countless Irish saints, laments the fact that Latin works on theology hardly treat the subject of deification:

This use of this word, Deification, is very rare in the Latin books... I am not sure of the reason for this reticence: perhaps it is because the meaning of this word theosis (the term which the Greeks usually employ in the sense of the psychic and bodily transformation of the saints into God so as to become One in Him and with Him, when there will remain in them nothing of their animal, earthly and mortal nature) seemed too profound for those who cannot rise above carnal speculations, and would therefore be to them incomprehensible and incredible.[71]

Eriugena turns, therefore, to the East and finds in the Greek-speaking Fathers the fuller vision of salvation in Christ he needs in order to express his own spiritual experience. Using the vocabulary of Origen, St Gregory of Nyssa and St Maximos the Confessor — terms borrowed largely from Neoplatonic conceptions of restitution — he describes the process of purification, illumination and glorification of man as a return to the wholeness of his true nature:

Therefore [created substances] shall be dissolved into those things from which they were taken, in which in truth and eternally they have their being, when every substance shall be purged from all corruptible accidents, and shall be delivered from all that does not belong to the condition of its proper nature; beautiful in its peculiar native excellences, in its entire simplicity, and, in the good man, adorned with the gifts of grace, being glorified through the contemplation of the eternal blessedness, beyond every nature, even its own, and turned into God Himself, being made God, not by nature, but by grace.[72]

While this is a restoration of man's true nature, this experience of glorification of the saints far exceeds the first Paradise, for they are "to be deified and brought to perpetual contemplation of the highest theophany, or perhaps, even above it."[73]

From the writings of the Orthodox Fathers of the East, Eriugena also explains that this restoration (apokatastasis) encompasses, not only men, but the whole of creation. Indeed, the two are intimately linked, since, for Eriugena, man is "the microcosm," the "epitome of that thought of God which constitutes the whole creation."[74] He describes the restoration of the sensible world as "a return into God and into its primordial causes, in which it naturally subsists"[75] — the "primordial causes" being, as we remarked above, Eriugena's (somewhat defective) conception of the uncreated divine energies which sustain the whole created world. Furthermore, in keeping with the holistic view of the created world of the Irish Orthodox saints, Eriugena reserves a special place for animals in this restoration of all things, as one commentator explains:

Scotus has a notable tenderness for the animal creation, and refuses to accept those teachers who would deny an immortal soul to beasts. He is inclined to think that the intelligence and the social qualities of the nobler animals are due to some measure of participation in the divine life, which they cannot eternally lose.[76]

Eriugena makes it clear that, although this final restoration can be called the "salvation of all," not all will receive glorification and participate in the life of God. Still, his vision of salvation is as comprehensive in scope as that of Origen or St Gregory of Nyssa, and thus probably extends beyond that of Palamas. According to one modern writer, Eriugena sees a

perfectly ordered universe, in which no sin or desire to sin remains, and wherein each living being enjoys that proportion of divine wisdom and happiness for which it is fitted. The home is of "many mansions." All are saved, though not all are deified. Again and again the doctrine is insisted upon that no substance [i.e. hypostaseis] can ever be lost. "The thoughts of the wicked" perish, because they are but vanity. But in their innermost being even the devils are good in that they are, and a suggestion is made, though not followed up, that Origen may be right as to the final conversion of Satan and his ministers.[77]

Echoing the Apostle Paul's expression that "when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (panta en pasin — I Cor. 15:28) Eriugena writes that even now, "God is all in all," though only a few recognise this, and that the final restoration will simply consist of the manifestation of this fundamental reality.[78]

Some modern commentators have picked up and repeated mediaeval Franco-Latin assertions that Eriugena's vision of the final restoration of all things reflects an essentially pantheistic theology. Even Fr John Meyendorff, who is otherwise very appreciative of the Irish scholar's works, writes:

There is no doubt that Eriugena's philosophical and religious vision would tend in the direction of Palamism in that he stood for the full reality of deification. But the absence, in his system, of the distinction between essence and energy inevitably leads him to Neoplatonic monism.[79]

Yet Eriugena himself is careful to guard against any kind of pantheistic or monistic interpretations of what he calls the "resolution of all things into their original elements," as another modern writer, Alice Gardner explains:

Applied to man, [the resolution of all things] signifies the return of his being into God. But since, for man, to participate in God is to live in perpetual contemplation of the divine glory, and since the substance [i.e. hypostaseis] of all things is eternal, the vision of the beatified universe with which Scotus presents us is not that of a vast sea in which the peculiar qualities of all things are absorbed in a never-ending monotony, but of a perfectly harmonious composition in which all creatures live in unity yet without confusion of individual being.[80]

Not only is there to be no confusion of individual being in the restoration (apokatastasis), but the distinction between created and uncreated will still hold, as Eriugena writes: "What difference between God Himself and the one who is like Him will there be for us to contemplate? This, that the One is not created, while the other subsists through creation."[81]

Another criticism levelled at Eriugena's theology of restoration by modern writers is that he appears sometimes to suggest that the participation of man and creation in the divine life can be attained apart from the Incarnation and salvific acts of Christ.[82] Nevertheless, no matter how far he wanders, Eriugena does always come back to the Patristic emphasis on the Christological foundation of glorification (theosis). In Book V of the Periphyseon,for instance, he specifically explains that the unity of the final restoration is accomplished in Christ:

And thus ineffably and supernaturally is the harmony of our Head adapted, to which all His members, being united with each other, shall return, when they "shall come together into the perfect man in the fullness of the age of Christ," and He shall be and shall appear One in all, and all shall be and shall appear one in the One.[83]

Moreover, Eriugena insists that the deification of man can only be "perfected in Christ and through Christ, who is the end and consummation of our nature."[84]


The scope of this short study has not afforded us the opportunity to complete a thorough evaluation of the works of John Scotus Eriugena in light of the Orthodox Patristic theology articulated by St Gregory Palamas. With more space, for instance, we would surely criticise his epistemology, especially his inheritance from the Augustinian tradition of a somewhat "rational approach towards the object of faith, the possibility of understanding the latter more profoundly through the light of reason."[85] The corrective to this kind of philosophical rationalism is the clear distinction made by Palamas between the kind of wisdom or knowledge which leads to salvation and the kind which does not, helpful though it may for exploring creation and improving the human condition.

Still, our brief exploration of Eriugena's thought has shown the remarkable fact that this ninth-century Irish mystical theologian, in the midst of an hostile Franco-Augustinian environment, was able to muster substantial resources from Orthodox Patristic theology to guard the spiritual tradition of the Irish saints which he inherited. We have held Eriugena up to the highest of Patristic standards, comparing him to that "light of Orthodoxy," the "pillar and teacher of the Church, adornment of monastics, and invincible champion of theologians,"[86] St Gregory Palamas — and he has fared well. Like St Gregory, Eriugena was called upon in his day to defend the Apostolic and Patristic experience of glorification to a sceptical and scholastic world, and he proved himself more than capable of answering this challenge. Although Eriugena sometimes uses different language than Palamas, and although there are weaknesses in his theological system — something which he himself readily admits — there can be no doubt that these two great theologians are expressing within the limits of human language essentially the same truth and experience of the uncreated glory of God.

Where John Scotus Eriugena has erred in his thoughts and words, before judging him too harshly, we must remember his isolation, that he is indeed the "loneliest figure in the history of European thought."[87] What he needed — and what he in fact longed for — was the immediate guidance of the Orthodox Fathers to correct his explanations of his spiritual experience. Most especially, he would have profited from access to the monastic literature which existed side by side in the Christian East with those Patristic theological treatises couched in "Neoplatonic" language, some of which he read and translated. Without such spiritual guidance, he ended up to a certain extent fitting St Maximos the Confessor, the Araeopagite and some other Greek-speaking Fathers into his "own original philosophical system," rather than following them into the fullness of the Orthodox Patristic Tradition.[88] Thus, Fr John Meyendorff comments:

If knowledge of that tradition had been more widespread, Eriugena could have easily given a more "Catholic," or more "Orthodox" shape to his system, without abandoning what is so precious in it: his "theocentric anthropology" and his understanding of spiritual life as a free ascent to theosis.[89]

Nevertheless, none of Eriugena's "errors" or "weaknesses" is enough to undermine the essential Orthodoxy of his theological vision. Even when he misses an opportunity to express a crucial aspect of Orthodox theology, such as the distinction between God's essence and energies, he knows enough to resort to speaking paradoxically in order to pull back from the brink of heresy.

During a period in which it would have been commendable enough for him simply to look desperately to the East for sources of truth, John Scotus Eriugena managed to accomplish so much for Orthodox Christianity in the West, and he truly deserves to be commemorated as the last great Western Orthodox theologian and confessor[90] before the Franco-Latin ascendancy and Great Schism. For the West itself, his life and work represent an enormous missed opportunity, for "if the intellect and the devotion of the Middle Ages had followed the lines of John Scotus, there would have been no scholasticism," and "we should have found, among mediaeval thinkers, less anxiety to define the indefinable," and "more patient acquiescence in the limitations of human faculties."[91] Above all, had the West followed our beloved Irish scholar, it could never have separated itself from the Apostolic and Patristic Faith of the Orthodox Church. In the context of today's ecumenical dialogue, therefore, it is important for Western Christians to recover Eriugena and make him their own, not necessarily as a teacher with all of the answers, but as a devout Christian theologian and true mystic, who, in the midst of the Dark Ages of Franco-Latin Europe, turned towards the Light.


[1] While very few people in Western Continental Europe could read or speak Greek by this time, there is "abundant" evidence for fairly widespread knowledge of Greek in Ireland. Moreover, "that knowledge of Greek was concerned not with Homer but with Dionysios the Araeopagite; not with grammar, but with the Psalter; not with classical Greece but with the Byzantine Empire; not with the Attic but with the Holy Spirit." John J. O'Meara, Eriugena (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 8. [Return]

[2] Henry Bett, Johannes Scotus Erigena (reprinted New York: Russell & Russell, 1964), 1-2. [Return]

[3] Dermot Moran, The Philosophy of John Scottus Eriugena (Cambridge University Press, 1989), 4. [Return]

[4] John Meyendorff, "Remarks on Eastern Patristic Thought in John Scottus Eriugena," in Eriugena: East and West, Eds. B. McGinn and W. Otten (University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 54. [Return]

[5] It was only later that Scotus referred specifically to the Celts of today's Scotland. Ireland (Hibernia) was also known as Scotia Major. [Return]

[6] That is, as opposed to being a Scotus (Irishman) born in the Irish kingdom in Scotland or among the Irish abroad. [Return]

[7] It is said, for instance, that at a meal together, Charles once asked, Quid distat inter Sottum et Scottum? To which John daringly replied, Tabula tantum! Bett, 4. [Return]

[8] Moran, 79. [Return]

[9] Bett, 19. [Return]

[10] O'Meara, 214. [Return]

[11] Alice Gardner, Studies in John the Scot (Erigena), (reprinted Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1993), 20. [Return]

[12] O'Meara, 214, 216. The full (legendary) inscription reads: "In this tomb lies buried Saint John the Wise, who while he was alive, was enriched with wonderful doctrine. At length he merited to mount to Heaven by martyrdom, where all the saints reign for ever through the ages." [Return]

[13] Gardner, 23. [Return]

[14] Ibid., 25-26. [Return]

[15] Ibid., 28. [Return]

[16] Periphyseon, Book I. As cited by Willemien Otten, The Anthropology of Johannes Scottus Eriugena, (New York: E.J. Brill, 1991), 50. [Return]

[17] Ibid. As cited by Otten, 51-52. [Return]

[18] Gardner, 31. [Return]

[19] As cited by Otten, 63. [Return]

[20] Gardner, 28. [Return]

[21] As cited by Gardner, 33. [Return]

[22] Periphyseon, Book IV, 5. As cited by Gardner, 33-34. [Return]

[23] Gardner, 33. [Return]

[24] Ibid., 34. [Return]

[25] Ibid., 35. Q.v. Periphyseon, Book I, 8-10. [Return]

[26] Bett, 24. [Return]

[27] Homily on the Prologue of the Gospel of St John, 11. Translated by O'Meara, 167. [Return]

[28] O'Meara, 82. [Return]

[29] Ibid., 80. [Return]

[30] Bett, 21. [Return]

[31] Ibid., 43. [Return]

[32] Ibid. In actual fact, there is a fundamental contradiction in Eriugena's theological system. As Fr John Meyendorff explains, Eriugena also seems to suggest that "Relative to God, these ideas are 'created and creating nature.' Relative to visible, perceptible realities, divine ideas are eternal, and, in that sense, uncreated." Meyendorff, 58. In the end, Eriugena himself admits that he cannot sort this out; without the essence—energies distinction, he fumbles as he tries to come to terms with the foundational tenet of Orthodox Patristic theology that there is a radical separation between uncreated and created. [Return]

[33] Gardner, 45. [Return]

[34] Meyendorff, 60. [Return]

[35] Periphyseon, Book III, 22. As cited by Gardner, 37. [Return]

[36] Gardner, 37. [Return]

[37] Meyendorff, 57. [Return]

[38] Fr John Meyendorff comments: "He uses the Dionysian terminology to describe his overall conception of the relationship between the transcendent uncreated Mind of God and created realities. It is on this point that his basic monistic philosophy appears most clearly." Ibid. [Return]

[39] Periphyseon, Book I, 72. As cited by Gardner, 38. [Return]

[40] As cited by Eric D. Perl, "Metaphysics and Christology in Maximus Confessor and Eriugena," in Eriugena: East and West, Eds. B. McGinn and W. Otten, (University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 262. [Return]

[41] Perl, 262. [Return]

[42] Gardner, 43. [Return]

[43] Bett, 36. [Return]

[44] Deirdre Carabine, "Eriugena's Use of the Symbolism of Light, Cloud, and Darkness in the Periphyseon," in Eriugena: East and West, Eds. B. McGinn and W. Otten, (University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 143. [Return]

[45] Gardner, 112. [Return]

[46] Periphyseon, Book II. As cited by Carabine, 146. [Return]

[47] Homily, 11. Translated by O'Meara, 166. [Return]

[48] Gardner, 113. [Return]

[49] Periphyseon, Book V. As cited by Carabine, 148. [Return]

[50] Periphyseon, Book II. As cited by Otten, 64. [Return]

[51] Carabine, 146. Q.v. Periphyseon, Books II and III. [Return]

[52] O'Meara, 84. [Return]

[53] Meyendorff, 53. [Return]

[54] Ibid., 54. [Return]

[55] Gardner, 44. Q.v. Peiphyseon, Book II. [Return]

[56] Meyendorff, 55. [Return]

[57] Gardner, 113. [Return]

[58] Meyendorff, 56. Q.v. Peiphyseon, Book I. [Return]

[59] Meyendorff, 56. [Return]

[60] Gardner, 65. [Return]

[61] Ibid., 107. [Return]

[62] Ibid., 99. [Return]

[63] In spite of how Eriugena himself interprets Augustine! [Return]

[64] Gardner, 65. [Return]

[65] Periphyseon, Book V, 36. [Return]

[66] Gardner, 109. [Return]

[67] Periphyseon, Book V, 25. As cited by Gardner, 109. [Return]

[68] Periphyseon, Book III, 15. As cited by Gardner, 106. [Return]

[69] Periphyseon, Book V. As cited by Meyendorff, 61. Fr John Meyendorff comments, however, that given Eriugena's confusion between nature and will (noted above), his synergistic conception is incomplete, for man's "created nature" could be seen as simply a manifestation of the divine ideas. Ibid. [Return]

[70] Gardner, 65. [Return]

[71] Periphyseon, Book V. As cited by Meyendorff, 56. [Return]

[72] Periphyseon, Book III, 15. As cited by Gardner, 105-106. [Return]

[73] Gardner, 111. [Return]

[74] Ibid., 105. [Return]

[75] Periphyseon, Book II, 2. [Return]

[76] Gardner, 106-107. Q.v. Periphyseon, Book III, 39. [Return]

[77] Gardner, 110-111. [Return]

[78] Ibid., 100. Q.v. Periphyseon, Book III, 20. [Return]

[79] Meyendorff, 64. [Return]

[80] Gardner, 101. [Return]

[81] Periphyseon, Book IV. As cited by Otten, 143. [Return]

[82] Cf. for instance, Perl, 262-263. [Return]

[83] Periphyseon, Book V, 38. As cited by Perl, 264-265. [Return]

[84] Periphyseon, Book V, 37. As cited by Perl, 265. [Return]

[85] Oleg Bychkov, "Russian Scholarship on the Interrelation of Eastern and Western Thought in John Scottus Eriugena," in Eriugena: East and West, Eds. B. McGinn and W. Otten, (University of Notre Dame Press, 1994), 274. [Return]

[86] Apolytikion (dismissal hymn) for St Gregory Palamas. [Return]

[87] Bett, 1. [Return]

[88] Meyendorff, 58. [Return]

[89] Ibid., 65. [Return]

[90] If not a martyr (!). [Return]

[91] Gardner, 22, 45. [Return]


Bett, Henry. Johannes Scotus Erigena: A Study in Mediaeval Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1925; reprinted New York: Russell & Russell, 1964.

Brennan, Mary. A Guide to Eriugenian Studies: A Survey of Publications 1930-1987. Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1989.

Eriugena: East and West: Papers of the Eighth International Colloquium of the Society for the Promotion of Eriugenian Studies (Chicago and Notre Dame, 18-20 October 1991). Eds. Bernard McGinn and Willemien Otten. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994.

Gardner, Alice. Studies in John the Scot (Erigena), a Philosopher of the Dark Ages. Oxford University Press, 1900; reprinted Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1993.

Moran, Dermot. The Philosophy of John Scottus Eriugena: A Study of Idealism in the Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

O'Meara, John J. Eriugena. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.

Otten, Willemien. The Anthropology of Johannes Scottus Eriugena. New York: E.J. Brill, 1991.

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