Tomorrow, the third Sunday after Pentecost, is also the Feast of All Saints of Britain and Ireland. This feast was established by decree of the Russian Orthodox Church on August 21, 2007. (Today also, incidentally, is the commemoration of All Saint of Novgorod, All Saints of Volgoda, All Saints of Belarus, All Saints of Pskov, and All Saints of St Petersburg.)
Here is a list of all the saints included in the above icon:
SAINTS INCLUDED IN THE ICON OF ALL SAINTS OF BRITAIN AND IRELANDOther online resources:
All these Saints are Saints of the Undivided Church, honoured in this country by the Orthodox up to 1054. We are simply putting back into the calendar what was in it up to that date. In the notes we have not included the more fanciful details from medieval sources but have kept to sober information.
Five Saints of the Universal calendar are included because of their links with these islands: Holy Apostle Aristobulos of the Seventy, because he evangelized Britain, St Joseph of Arimathea who came to Britain, St George who is Patron of England as well as of Greece and Russia; and Apostles Andrew (Patron of Scotland) and Simon Zelotes (who preached and was martyred in Britain).
ST ADRIAN, born in Africa, was twice offered the vacant archbishopric of Canterbury and twice declined. However, on the second occasion he suggested the Greek monk Theodore. St Theodore was accepted, on the condition that Adrian go with him. The flourishing state of the English Church in St Theodore's time owed much to St Adrian. He died in 710.
ST AEDH MACBRICC founded many churches at Meath of which he was Bishop. He is particularly invoked for the cure of headache. He died in 588.
ST AFAN, grandson of a king, was a disciple of St Dewi. He died in Llanafan, Powys.
ST AIDAN, one of the most glorious of the Celtic Saints, was a leading evangelizer of the North. Originally from St Columba's monastery of Iona he became Bishop of Lindisfarne. Many incidents are recorded concerning his love and humility. He was friend of kings and beggars. He died in 651.
ST ALBAN, Protomartyr of England. When still a pagan he sheltered a Christian priest, was converted by him, and when soldiers came for the priest during the persecution of Diocletian Alban, dressed in the priest's clothes, gave himself up and was beheaded in his place. He suffered in 303.
ST ALDHELM was the first English scholar of distinction, and became first Bishop of Sherborne. His brief episcopacy was marked by energy and enterprise. He died in 709.
ST ALPHEGE, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr. When the Danes invaded Canterbury Alphege was taken captive and a ransom demanded for him. He would not allow the ransom to be paid and the Danes killed him. He suffered in 1012.
ST ASAPH, a monk who was trained in the discipline of the monastic life by St Kentigern Mungo, whom he succeeded as bishop of the diocese of St Asaph in North Wales in the 6th century.
ST ATRACTA who is renowned for her powers of curing illness. In her lifetime her convent at Killaraght was the scene of many miraculous healing. She lived in the 6th century.
ST AUGUSTINE, sent by St Gregory Dialogus and consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. With a band of forty monks he evangelized England. He founded two more episcopal sees, London and Rochester. He died in 605.
ST AUSTOL lived as a hermit for many years in Cornwall and has given his name to the town of St Austell. He worked with St Samson in his missionary endeavours in Brittany. He died in the 6th century.
ST BEOCA founded a monastery at Lough Derg in Donegal, Ireland, in the late 5th century.
ST BEUNO was the uncle and spiritual father of St Winifred. Through his prayers she was miraculously restored to life. He founded monasteries in North Wales. He died in early 7th century.
ST BIRINUS missionized the people of Wessex and set up his see at Dorchester on the Thames. He baptized King Cyneglis, built churches and brought many to God through his labours. He died in the 7th century.
ST BONIFACE, a native of Devonshire, he missionized Germany, and the results of his labours endured. He brought other missionaries from England, including women and died in Friesland in 754 or 755.
ST BRANWALLADER was a companion of St Samson of Dol. He was a Celt from Brittany who eventually became Bishop of Jersey in the Channel Islands. He died in the 6th century.
ST BRANNOCK was tutor to the children of the Welsh ruler Brychan in the 6th century. He accompanied King Brychan on a pilgrimage to the Tombs of the Apostles, returning through Brittany where he stayed for may years, founding churches. He returned to Britain, 'floating over the sea on a stone coffin', and settled at Braunton in Devonshire. His holy relics are today believed to be interred under the altar of the parish church there.
ST BRENDAN THE VOYAGER, an Irish monk who had 3,000 monks under his direction and founded many monasteries. He set sail with a band of 33 monks, and the miraculous events of his voyages are recorded. He visited America and also travelled extensively in Scotland, Wales and Brittany. After many years of monastic toil he died in about 578.
ST BRIGID, the daughter of an Irish chieftain, established the first convent for women in Ireland. The Book of Lismore records: "She was innocent, she was abstinent, she was prayerful, she was patient: she was glad in God's commandments: she was firm, she was loving: she was a consecrated casket for keeping Christ's Body and His Blood: she was a temple of God, her heart and mind were a throne of rest for the Holy Spirit". She died in 524.
ST BRYNACH left Ireland in the 5th century and settled in Pembrokeshire, Wales, where he remained a pious hermit.
ST CADWALADR was the last king of Powys (Wales) who gave up his kingdom to become a monk and went on a pilgrimage to Rome where he died in the 9th century (an ancestor of Fr David)
ST CAINNECH. Devotion to him in Ireland is second only to that accorded to St Patrick and St Brigid. He is renowned as a poet and lover of lonely places. He founded many monasteries and later went to Scotland where he worked with St Columba of Iona. After a life resplendent with miracles he died in 599.
ST CEDD founded the Abbey of Lastingham. He became Bishop of the East Saxons and founded many churches.
ST COLMAN OF LINDISFARNE. A monk of Iona, he became third Bishop of Lindisfarne and represented the Celtic party at the fateful Synod of Whitby in 644 at which the Celtic customs and traditions were suppressed. He and his fellow monks did not accept the decisions of the Synod and withdrew first to Iona and then to Ireland, where he established two monasteries to maintain the Celtic customs. He died in 675.
ST COLMAN OF ARMAGH was a disciple of St Patrick, by whom he was buried.
ST COLUMBA OF IONA is one of the best-known spiritual giants of the Celtic Church Educated by St Finian of Clonard, he was ordained priest and spent many years teaching and preaching. A youth who had taken refuge with him was slain by the king, Columba avenged his death, and in penitence for the battle he had caused, he went into voluntary exile in Scotland where he founded the monastery of Iona. For centuries the centre of the evangelization of the North, the monastery's influence endured through the centuries and is still a place of pilgrimage. St Columba died in 593.
ST CUTHBERT used to take long journeys on horseback and on foot into the remotest parts of Northumbria to minister to the scattered people and keep the spirit of Christianity alive among them. Consecrated Bishop, he continued in the same way. A worker of miracles, he attracted people by the beauty of holiness which shone from him. He died in 687.
ST CUTHMAN, a confessor who lived a holy life as a shepherd in Sussex in the 9th century.
ST DAMIAN. In the 2nd century he came to preach the Gospel in Britain at the invitation of St Lucius, King of the Britons.
ST DEINIOL, son of a Celtic chieftain, founded two monasteries in North Wales, both named Bangor. With St Dewi and St Dyfrig held synod of bishops in 545. He died about 584.
ST DEWI (DAVID), consecrated at Jerusalem. His birth, early years, and the rest of his life were attended by miracles. He founded monasteries which followed the way of life of the Desert Fathers. Although his rule was strict many monks came to him. He went with St Teilo and St Padarn on pilgrimage to Jerusalem (where he was consecrated). On returning to Wales he attended the great Synod of Landewi Brefi where he was acclaimed leader in Wales and his monastery there was designated the chief monastery of Britain. The decrees of the Synod were written down by St David and accepted by the whole Church in Britain. He died in 589.
ST DUBTACH, Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland from 497 until his righteous repose in 513.
ST DUNSTAN, born 10 years after the death of King Alfred, founded a monastery at Glastonbury and later became Archbishop of Canterbury. The present coronation rite of the English sovereign derives from that compiled and used by Dunstan for the coronation of King Edgar. As Archbishop he was a champion of church discipline; but although many feared his sternness all marvelled at his sanctity, so that he became known as 'The good Archbishop'. He died in 988.
ST DYFRIG, the Abbot-Bishop who is one of the most famous of the Saints of Wales. He was the founder of Welsh monasticism, establishing many monasteries in Wales and the West of England. In old age he retired to the Island of Bardsey where he died in 545.
ST EANSWYTHE, Saxon princess and founder of the first convent in England in Folkestone. She died around 640.
ST EDBERT, a monk in Lindisfarne who succeeded St Cuthbert as Bishop. He died in 698.
ST EDITH OF WILTON was the natural daughter of King Edgar and Wulfrida. Her mother took her as a baby to the nunnery at Wilton, near Salisbury, and she lived there all her short life, 'knowing not the world rather than forsaking it'. She refused the abbacy of Wilton and other convents, preferring to serve her sisters in the most humble capacities.
ST EDMUND, king of East Anglia and Martyr. He was captured in battle against the Danes and, refusing to share his Christian kingdom with the heathen invaders, he was tied to a tree and shot through with arrows, then beheaded, in 869. He was very soon revered as a martyr and his body was enshrined at Bury St Edmunds where a great abbey was founded in 1020.
ST EDWARD THE MARTYR. The son of King Edgar, he was assassinated in 978 at the instigation of his stepmother, and a year later he came to be venerated as a Saint and Martyr. His relics rested in the nuns' church at Wareham.
ST EDWIN, King, baptized with his nobles and many others by St Paulinus of York. He reigned in a Christian spirit, bringing peace and order to his kingdom. He was killed fighting the pagan Mercians and was revered as a Saint and Martyr. He died in 632.
ST EGWIN, Bishop of Worcester and founder of Evesham Monastery. The foundation was inspired by a vision of the mother of God. He died about 715.
ST ELSTAN, monk at Abington Abbey in the reign of Edgar the Peaceable, then bishop of Winchester. He died in 981.
ST EOCHOD is remembered as Apostle of the Picts in Scotland where he preached the Gospel in accordance with the wishes of St Columba. He died in 597.
ST ERCONWALD. St Theodore of Canterbury appointed Erconwald Bishop of the East Saxons with his See in London. He founded a monastery at Chertsey and another for nuns at Barking. He died in 693.
ST ETHELBURGA, sister of St Erconwald, was appointed by him Abbess of the monastery at Barking. She is said to have shown herself in every way worthy of her brother, in holiness of life and in care for those under her. Miracles were recorded at her monastery during her lifetime. She died about 676.
ST ETHELDREDA, or Audrey, one of the most revered of Anglo Saxon women Saints. The daughter of King Anna of the East Angles, she retired to the double monastery which she had founded at Ely. Many miracles were attributed to her intercession. She died in 697.
ST ETHELWALD. A monk at Glastonbury under St Dunstan. He founded a monastery at Abingdon, and later a number of others including Peterborough. He was consecrated Bishop of Winchester. He died in 984.
ST FAILBHE, Abbot of Iona in the 7th century.
ST FELIX was born in Burgundy, and went to preach in East Anglia. He converted king Anna and his daughters, founded the monastery at Soham and many schools (one of them in Cambridge). He built his cathedral in Dunwich. He died in 646.
ST FINIAN, an outstanding Irish scholar who went to Scotland to be trained in the monastic life at Candida Casa, the great monastic school founded by St Ninian. On returning to Ireland he founded a monastery at Moville in County Down of which he became Abbot-Bishop. He died in 576.
ST FRIDESWIDE, Patron Saint of the city and university of Oxford, where she founded a monastery. Her shrine there became a centre for pilgrimage. She died about 735.
ST FUGATIUS. With St Damian he came to preach the Gospel in Britain in the 2nd century at the invitation of St Lucius, King of the Britons.
Ss FURSEY and FOILLAN. St Fursey was an Irish monk who came to England and founded a monastery At Burgh Castle in Norfolk, in the deserted remains of a Roman fortress. During an illness his soul was parted from his body and he saw heaven and hell. So great were the crowds of pilgrims who came to him that he departed into solitude, leaving the monastery to the care of his brother St Foillan. After living as a hermit he founded another monastery at Lagny in France. He died there in 633 and four years later, when his body was moved to a more worthy resting place, it was found to be incorrupt. His brother St Foillan, Hieromartyr, after leaving Burgh Castle founded another monastery at Fosses in Belgium, where he was murdered in 655.
ST GERAINT, confessor, king, friend and father of Saints, who in the 6th century was the spiritual son of St Teilo, at whose hands he received the Last rites before entering the heavenly abode. In the world St Geraint was King of Devon.
ST GERMAN, a British Celt who was converted to Christianity by St German of Auxerre, whose name he took. He received a martyr's crown in present-day Normandy in 460.
ST GERMAN of MAN was born in Brittany and went to Ireland to stay with St Patrick. He became Bishop of the Isle of Man about 466.
ST GILDAS THE WISE was born in Scotland and became of pupil of St Illtyd of Wales. He was extremely learned and became one of the foremost historians of the Celtic era. For much of his life he remained in the West Country as a solitary, before visiting Ireland and Brittany. He died at the Monastery of Rhuys (which he had founded) in 570.
ST GLADYS, daughter of King Brychan of Brecknock, wife of St Gwynllyn, and mother of St Cadoc , in the 6th century.
ST GUTHLAC. As a youth he entered the army of King Ethelred of Mercia, but soon left it to enter the monastery at Repton, where he engaged in ascetic struggle. From there he withdrew to a hermitage in the Fens where he lived in the tradition of the Desert Fathers. He had a close relationship with birds and animals. He died in his hermitage in 719, and the place became Crowland Abbey in later times.
ST HEDDA, disciple of St Birinus. When the Diocese of Dorchester was divided, St Hedda was consecrated Bishop of the separated part. He was known as a good and just man who in carrying out his duties was guided rather by an inborn love of virtue than by what he had read in books.
ST HELIER, born in Belgium of pagan Saxon parents, he was instructed in the Faith by his Christian tutor. He was baptized and trained in the ascetic life at the monastery of Nanteuil, and also taught the Celtic language. From there he went to a group of strict hermits on the Isle of Jersey and later withdrew to a cave in the rocks. From there he missionised the local inhabitants. When pirates raided the island St Helier preached Christ to them and was killed, thus becoming Jersey's first Martyr, in 560.
ST HERBERT, disciple and friend of St Cuthbert, was venerated in the Lake District and is still remembered there. He lived as a hermit on the island in Lake Derwent Water which bears his name. He died in 687.
ST HIEU, Abbess of Tadcaster, Yorkshire, was instructed in the monastic life by St Aidan. She died in 657.
ST HILDA was Abbess of the double monastery of Whitby. She supported the Celtic party at the Synod of Whitby, and was counsellor of Kings, Bishops and ordinary folk. Filled with wisdom, all who knew her called her Mother, such was her godliness and grace. She died in 680.
ST IA was born in Ireland and migrated to Cornwall, settling at Porthya, now St Ives. She was to have travelled to Cornwall with St Fingar and his companions but somehow they left without her. As a sign that her mission was pleasing to God, a leaf was miraculously enlarged to carry her over the sea and she who was last to leave was the first to arrive. For many years she laboured for Christ before receiving a martyr's crown in 450.
ST ILLTYD, one of the most celebrated of the Welsh Saints, spent his early life at court, but renounced the world and became a monk. He was a disciple of St Cadoc and later founded the abbey known as Llan-Illtut (Llantwit) which became a 'nursery' for many of the Saints of the Celtic church. He died in 505.
ST JUSTUS, son of St Geraint. He became a monk and lived in a solitary cell. He eventually settled in a place which perpetuated his name, St Just-in-Penwith. He died in the 6th century.
ST KENELM, King of Mercia and Martyr, venerated in South and West Britain.. His life says he was seven years old when murdered in 821. His shrine was at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire.
ST KENNERA, a holy virgin who lived as a solitary at Kirk-Kinner in Scotland (Galloway) in the 5th century.
ST KENTIGERN MUNGO, missionary Bishop in Strathclyde, now Glasgow. When driven out by persecution he went first to Cumberland and then to Wales where he founded the monastery at St Asaph. He returned to Scotland and continued his missionary work there, travelling everywhere by foot. He was a severe ascetic, spending the nights in prayer and psalmody. He performed many miracles and died in 603.
ST KEVIN is chiefly remembered as the founder of the great abbey of Glendalough where he died in 618.
ST MAELRHYS witnessed to the Faith on the isle of Bardsey (the Isle of Saints) in the 6th century.
ST MACHAR was an Irishman who crossed to Iona with St Columba and later became a missionary bishop in central Scotland with his cathedral at Old Aberdeen, it is said of him that he 'brought many to the Faith, erected many churches, extinguished the worship of false gods and cast down idols', in the 6th century.
ST MACNIS was baptized by St Patrick and later consecrated Bishop by him. He died in 514.
ST MELOR, a boy Martyr who was murdered by his uncle wishing to usurp his father’s throne. There are churches dedicated to him in Wiltshire, and a holy well in Callington, Cornwall.
ST MEWAN, disciple and relative of St Samson of Dol. He entered a monastery in Brittany and later founded another. He died in 617.
ST MONENNA, a pious virgin who built one of the first convents in Ireland. She is known as 'daughter of Elijah' because she sought perfection on a mountainside. She and her companions imitated the lives of the desert fathers and obtained instruction in the monastic life from Candida Casa. She died in 517.
ST MORWENNA, a daughter of Brychan who led a virtuous life and witnessed to Christ in Cornwall in the 5th century. Her memory is perpetuated in several place-names in Cornwall.
ST NECTAN. He desired to follow the eremitical life of St Anthony and set sail, intending to settle wherever his boat should rest. This proved to be Hartland in Devonshire. He fell into the hands of robbers, preached the Gospel to them, and was beheaded. Miraculously he picked up his head and carried it to a nearby fountain. One of his two murderers was converted at the sight, and buried him. Many miracles occurred at the place where his relics rested.
ST NEOT probably lived at the time of King Alfred the Great (10th century). He was thought to be a monk of Glastonbury and later a hermit in Cornwall.
ST NINIAN was the son of a Christian chieftain. In his youth he went on pilgrimage to Rome and venerated at the Tombs of the Apostles and at the Catacombs. He was consecrated Bishop and studied with St Ambrose of Milan and St Martin of Tours before returning to Britain. He founded the famous monastery of Candida Casa with its 'University', the only educational centre in northern Britain, since the Romans had closed all the schools when their troops left. He laboured for more than 30 years for the conversion of northern Britain. He died in 432.
ST NONNA, mother of St David. She went on a missionary journey to Cornwall.
ST OSWALD, king and Martyr. He was baptized on the holy Island of Iona, and later sent for missionaries from there to evangelize his kingdom. In response, St Aidan came to Northumbria and established the monastery of Lindisfarne. The champion of heathenism, Penda of Mercia, attacked Northumbria and Oswald was slain in battle, praying for his subjects with his last breath.
ST OSWIN, King and Martyr. He succeeded his cousin St Oswald. Educated by St Aidan, he was renowned for courtesy and humility. He was murdered in 651.
ST OSYTH, Queen. She was the wife of Sighere, King of the East Saxons, and she founded a monastery at Chick, where she died. The village there later came to be called St Osyth.
ST PATRICK, patron of Ireland, known as the Enlightener of Ireland. His father was a deacon and a Roman official in Northern Britain, but Patrick was captured and carried into slavery in Ireland. Enduring hardship, his Christian spirit developed. He escaped to France and was educated by St Martin of Tours and prepared for his missionary labours in Ireland. He was consecrated Bishop and returned to Ireland in 405. When he died in 463 most of Ireland had been converted.
ST PAULINUS OF YORK was one of the second band of missionaries sent from Rome to England in 601 and was consecrated by St Justus of Canterbury. When Ethelburga, sister of king Edbald of Kent, went to York to marry King Edwin of Northumbria, St Paulinus accompanied her as chaplain. He baptized King Edwin, his nobles and many others, at Pascha.
ST PETROC was the son of a Welsh king, but when his father died he refused to succeed him but became a monk. He spent some time in Ireland and then with three companions, St Croiden, St Megan and St Dagan, he came to Cornwall, establishing many churches there and in Devon, He also undertook missionary journeys and pilgrimages, visiting Brittany, Rome and Jerusalem. He died in 564.
ST SERIOL, a 6th century Welsh Saint who has given his name to Yriys-Seriol, a Welsh island.
ST SERVAN, Apostle of the Orkney Islands in the 6th century. He became Abbot of Culross where he educated St Kentigern Mungo. He reposed at Culross where he was buried.
Ss SOCRATES and STEPHEN, who were martyred in Monmouthshire in 304 under the persecution of Diocletian.
ST SWITHIN, Bishop of Winchester and advisor to Egbert, King of West Saxons. He died in 862.
ST TERNAN was a missionary among the Picts in Northern Britain in the 6th century. He was founder and Abbot-Bishop of Culross monastery in Fifeshire. He was educated at Candida Casa.
ST THENEVA was the mother of St Kentigern Mungo and with him is venerated in the Glasgow area (6th century).
ST THEODORE OF CANTERBURY, A Greek monk from Tarsus, consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury. His achievements were chiefly in organization, administration and discipline.
ST ULTAN was brother of Ss Fursey and Foillan. He succeeded St Foillan as Abbot of Fosses, and he too was revered there, as a Saint. He died in 686.
ST URITH OF CHITTLEHAMPTON, a Celtic maiden of pure and holy life who had been converted to Christianity by the Bishop St Kea in the 6th century. With patience she suffered the jealousy of her heathen stepmother, who eventually was overcome with hatred and bribed haymakers to attack and kill St Urith with their scythes. The place of her martyrdom was marked by the miraculous appearance of a spring in the Devonshire village of Chittlehampton.
ST WALBURGA, a nun of Wimborne. She was a sister of St Willibald and with him joined St Boniface's missionary band to Germany, where she died in 779. Her shrine became famous for the miraculous oil which exuded from it.
Ss WILLIBALD and WYNBALD, brothers, accompanied St Boniface on his mission to Germany in the 8th century. Before that Winebald had been the first known English pilgrim to the Holy Land.
ST WINIFRED, a niece of St Beuno of Wales, was beheaded by a heathen suitor when she defended her virginity. St Beuno arrived at the scene and prayed that the martyr's body might be made whole and restored to life. This was granted, and in thanksgiving St Winifred became a nun, and later Abbess of her monastery in Denbighshire. She died in 650.
ST WITHBURGA, the youngest of St Etheldreda's three saintly sisters, lived in solitude for some years at Holkham, near Walsingham. She later founded a monastery at Dereham where she died in 743. Her body was found incorrupt 50 years later and was translated to Ely to lie with her sisters'. In the spot where she died at Dereham a well sprang forth with healing properties, and it is still there today.
ST YRCHARD, a native of Scotland who was ordained by St Ternan. They laboured together to preach the Gospel to the heathen Picts in the 5th century.