Inclusion of the names of Western saints in the Menology of the Moscow Patriarchate intended to remind of the times of the undivided Church, the DECR Secretary

Moscow. March 10. INTERFAX – the Russian Church believe that the official celebration of the Western saints glorified before the separation of the Church, let me remind you about the unity of Orthodox Christian tradition in the first Millennium.

On the eve of the Synod in Moscow, decided to include in a calendar of the names of ancient saints who labored in the countries of Central and Western Europe before the great schism of 1054, when the Christian Church split into Orthodox and Catholic.

“Inclusion in the calendar of Russian Orthodox Church names a number of saints of the first Millennium of the Christian era, lived in Western Europe reminds us that in the period of the undivided Church, Church life in the two parts of the Christian world has evolved in line with the General spiritual practice that gave rise to many of God’s saints,” said the correspondent of “Interfax-Religion” on Friday, Secretary of the Synodal Department for external Church relations for inter-Christian relations hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov).

The priest noted that for centuries the Church in the West was very firm in the confession of the Orthodox faith. For example, the British Islands was considered a real “Northern Thebaid” by the number of monasteries and monks lived in them.

“It is no accident they were called “Islands of saints.” And it was saints that Orthodox tradition”, – said the Agency interlocutor, adding that until now their names are preserved in the names of dozens of settlements in the UK.

The priest noticed that some of these saints even before the inclusion in Mesyatseslov was revered not only in the West, but also among Orthodox Christians.

“If we turn our attention to the decision of the Holy Synod, we will see that the basis for inclusion of the names of these saints in the Menology was their veneration in the Western dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox churches”, he said.

Among the saints, which according to the decision of the Synod will now remember and the Russian Orthodox Church, the most famous patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (Patrick) and Reverend Genevieve, which is considered the patroness of Paris and Russian immigrants.

The priest pointed to the fact that the criteria for inclusion in the calendar of Russian Church names saints had a perfect confession of their Orthodox faith, the circumstances under which they have been worship, and the lack of mention of a Saint in a polemical writings against the Eastern Church and the Eastern rite.

“In this sense, the current decision of the Holy Synod only continue that tradition, according to which Mesyatseslov the Eastern Churches published the names of such saints as Ambrose, Irenaeus of Lyons, Gregory Dialogus, Clement of Rome, John Cassian and many others – the real pillars of Orthodoxy,” said father Stephan.

Speaking about the tradition of honoring St. Patrick, the priest recalled that in Russia it is already quite common: the life of this Saint, his feats, the importance that it had for approval of the Orthodox faith in Ireland, made his name known far beyond its borders. He also drew attention to the existing veneration of the life and feats of St. Alban the British.

“Making the list organizes the practice of veneration of these saints in the Russian Orthodox Church”, – concluded the priest.