Posted by: anna | December 5, 2019

newly encountered resource

Not new at all, probably not new to you, but new to me since I was last at all active here, is the work of Dr. John (Ellsworth) Hutchison-Hall: in addition to four recent printed volumes of Orthodox Saints of the British Isles in calendar order (and forthcoming similar volumes for saints in western Europe, I read in a blog post), he maintains an online calendar of western Orthodox saints and an active blog on the subject of western Orthodox saints and related topics. I haven’t listed his work on the research resources page as I haven’t used it, but I’ll be certainly exploring it more soon.

Posted by: anna | December 3, 2019

work in progress

As websites move, disappear, or are archived, links break. There are MANY dead external links on the site, but in many cases the information is still out there somewhere. I have started checking and revising links, working through the calendar. I’m also doing light editing of index pages and posts, mainly to correct formatting and, I hope, some mistakes. I’m glad to be getting back to this work, but corrections will be in lieu of any new posts for a while, as it takes nearly as much time.

update: December’s existing posts have been re-linked from the index page, and checked for formatting and external links.

Posted by: anna | December 2, 2019

celt-saints resource

Now that Yahoo Groups are no more, many if not all the links from this site to the celt-saints list, source if not origin of numerous troparia in English quoted here, are dead. If I ever manage to review and correct them all, I’m likely to miss some. Fortunately for all of us, the list has been archived and is searchable at


Posted by: anna | August 8, 2014

new resource


A new resource for getting to know the Orthodox saints of the British Isles and western Europe: Dr John Hutchison-Hall’s books – see Volumes 1 and 2 of Orthodox Saints of the British Isles are now available in hard copy and e-book formats, providing a few lines of what’s known about each saint listed (January-June so far). It might be a good starting point for anyone encountering the idea of an Orthodox heritage in these islands for the first time – perhaps as a companion to Nick Mayhew Smith’s brilliant, practical (though rather heavy to take along on a walk!) and beautifully put together Britain’s Holiest Places.



Posted by: anna | August 8, 2014

St Duncan of Iona

Today I want to write about Dúnchad mac Cinn Fáelad (Dunichad, Duncad, Donatus), the eleventh abbot of Iona (?707–717). There is some question about the dates of his tenure, and his feast is celebrated on different days: 25 May on Irish calendars and 24 March on Scottish ones.

He was invoked for the protection of ships and sailors in his former abbatial seat at Killochuir, in his native Ireland. According to Fr O’Hanlon’s sources (which he is chronically vague about citing), Abbot Duncan was known for his great sanctity, knowledge of Scripture and prayerful life. He is also associated with the working of miracles. He seems to have been instrumental in persuading the great house of Iona and by extension the Church throughout at least southern Scotland, to move from the Celtic to the Roman computus (calculation of Easter) – the subject of the Synod of Whitby, which occurred about 50 years earlier. Then as now, the wheels of Orthodoxy grind slow… Whatever the theological and political merits or demerits of the two systems, the important thing for many was unity.

Sources/further reading:

Holy Father Dunchadh, pray to God for us.

Posted by: anna | October 11, 2012

28 September troparia

Today (28 September) in the calendar of early western saints we commemorate St Conval, disciple of St. Kentigern (630). St Tetta, abbess of Wimborne (8th C). St Lioba, abbess and missionary (782). St. Machan, monk. I am once again taking the quick(er) way by translating some of M Lopez-Ginisty’s troparia  for several of today’s saints: St Exuperius of Arreau, bishop of Toulouse (+415 AD); St Chamon or Annemundus, archbishop of Lyon, martyred at Châlons-sur-Saône (+657); St Lioba, abbess of Bischofsheim in the diocese of Mainz (+779); and St Salonius of Geneva (+469 AD).

Troparion in Tone 3 to St Exuperius of Arreau, bishop of Toulouse (+415 AD)

You were elected to the see of Toulouse
You completed the church of St Saturnin  
And you reestablished discipline within the Church.
You were deeply charitable to the poor
And were considered an exemplary saint.
Holy Exuperius, pray to God for our salvation!


Troparion in Tone 5 to St Chamon or Annemundus, archbishop of Lyon, martyred at Châlons-sur-Saône (+657)

Child of the nobility, raised in the Frankish court,
You consecrated your life to the service of Christ
As bishop, you pastured your flock in peace
And led it with wisdom toward God
And you ended your life in martyrdom at Châlons.
Holy Annemond, intercede for our salvation!


Troparion in Tone 7 to St Lioba,  abbess of Bischofsheim in the diocese of Mainz (+779)

English by birth, you were related
To the holy hierarch Boniface of Mainz.
On his entreaty you went with several companions
into his monastery of Tauberbischofsheim
which you directed with love and wisdom.
Holy Leoba, pray to God that He have mercy on us!


Troparion in the 4th tone to St Salonius of Geneva (+469 AD)
At the age of ten years you went to Lérins
Working under the guidance of St. Honorat,
and having as masters St Hilary and St. Vincent.
As hierarch of the city of Geneva
You governed the Church with wisdom.
Saint Salonius, pray the Lord Christ for our souls!

Posted by: anna | July 16, 2012

St Swithun

Today in the calendar of early western saints we commemorate one of the better-known English saints, Swithun, bishop of Winchester ( 682). There is some connection between Old and New calendar dates of Swithin’s feast day – the usual English commemoration even now is 15 July, but according to Wikipedia it’s 2 July in Norway, and both Capgrave and Baring-Gould use 2 July. It cannot be insignificant that these are 13 days apart, the difference separating the Gregorian and Julian calendars! I wonder whether there’s more of a calendar connection than a death/translation one…From celt-saints:

‘Born in Wessex, England; died at Winchester, England, July 2, 862. The translation of his relics is observed 15 July.

‘Swithin was educated at the Old Abbey, Winchester, and was ordained (it is uncertain whether or not he was a monk). He became chaplain to King Egbert of the West Saxons, who appointed him tutor of his son Ethelwulf, and was one of the king’s counsellors. Swithun was named bishop of Winchester in 852 when Ethelwulf succeeded his father as king. Swithun built several churches and was known for his humility and his aid to the poor and needy (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney).

‘A miracle attributed to him in the Golden Legend illustrates his understanding of ordinary folk. A poor woman was pushed in a market-day crowd and dropped her basket of eggs. St. Swithun blessed the broken shells and the eggs were made whole again.

‘A long-held popular belief declares it will rain for 40 days if it rains on his feast day.

‘Saint Swithun’s day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain;
Saint Swithun’s day, if thou be fair,
For forty days ’twill rain nae mair.’


O Swithune pater, præsul mitissime noster,
Per quem mira Deus signa facit Dominus.
Nos fragiles animo petimus defende paterno,
Sanctis atque tuis protege nos meritis.
Quo te pro nobis interveniente patrono
Possumus vitam scandere perpetuam.

O Father Swithun, our most merciful bishop,
By whom the Lord God has done wondrous signs,
We, frail of soul, entreat you to protect us as a father,
And by your holy merit defend us.
That by your patronal intervention for us
We may attain to the life everlasting.

– Antiphon for the Office of St Swithun, ?composed by John of Tynemouth in the first half of the 14th century (see Lapidge, above, and the Patrologia Latina.) translation mine and pending criticism from those with better (medieval) Latin than mine!

Posted by: anna | July 6, 2012


…and links on the calendar page for January-February have all been changed so that they work.

Posted by: anna | July 4, 2012


phew – at last all the links on the calendar page for May-June have been updated. Sorry it’s taken so long.

Posted by: anna | July 4, 2012

troparia for 21 June

Today (21 June) in the calendar of early western saints, we commemorate SS Alban of Mainz, Leutfridus (Leufroy), Meen and Palladius of Embrun. Here are my translations of French original troparia by Prof. Claude Lopez-Ginisty at Acathistes et offices orthodoxes.

Troparion in Tone 4 to St Alban of Mainz (+ ca.400)
Priest of Orthodox Greece,
Wishing to escape the Arian persecutions,
You went with St Ours to Naples; then Ambrose.
The saint of Milan, sent you into Germany
Where you suffered martyrdom at the hands of Vandals.
St Alban, entreat Christ to save our souls!

Acta Sanctorum


Troparion in Tone 5 to St Leutfridus (Leufroy), hermit (+ 738)
Brother of St Agofredus, you were the friend
Of St Ansbert, bishop of the city of Rouen.
You became a hermit and the disciple of St Sidonius (Saens)
Before founding a monastery at La Croix
On the pious advice of the holy archbishop Ansbert.
St Leutfridus, pray to the Lord to save our souls!

nice article in French about a Carolingian charter relating to the abbey 🙂

Acta Sanctorum


Troparion in Tone 6 to St Meen, abbot (+ 617)
You were born in Cambria, in the land of Wales;
With St Samson, you left for Armorica (Brittany),
In order to proclaim the Gospel to the pagan regions.
You became abbot of Saint-Jean-de-Gaël
And you gave the habit to St Judicael.
St Meen, pray to Christ to have mercy on us!

Acta Sanctorum


Troparion in Tone 7 to St Palladius, bishop of Embrun (+ 6th century)
Bishop of Embrun, you fought against the heresy
By which the Arians undermined the Church.
You followed King Sigismund into exile
And succeeded Bishop Catulin.
St Pelade, pray to the Lord to save us!

Acta Sanctorum

Hurra! some wonderful university has put a 19th century edition of the Acta Sanctorum on, so the lives/acts of all four of these saints are available here. In Latin, alas for those of us whose Latin is not great.

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