Celtic and Old English Saints          7 October

* St. Osyth of Chich
* St. Canog of Wales
* St. Dubtach of Armagh
* St. Helanus of Rheims

St Osyth (Osith, Osgyth) of Chich, Martyr
Died at Chich (Saint Osyth), Essex, England, c. 675-700.
All that is known about her is that she was the wife of Sighere, king of
the East Saxons, and that she founded the abbey of Chich, where she
ended her days. In the 12th century currency was given to various
legends. These tell us that Osyth was the daughter of a Mercian chief
named Frithwald and his wife Wilburga, who was the daughter of King
Penda. She was raised in a convent, perhaps at Aylesbury, and wanted to
become a nun herself. Her parents, however, married her to Sighere, who
may have been the apostate named by Saint Bede (f.d. May 25), who was
later reconciled to the Church by Bishop Jaruman. (King Sighere's uncle
was King Saint Sebbi (f.d. September 1), of whose dignified death the
Venerable Bede gives account.)

The marriage was never consummated because when Sighere became
distracted by his passion for hunting, Osyth ran away and sought the
protection of Bishops Acca of Dunwich and Bedwin of Elmham. Sighere,
not wanting to force his reluctant bride, allowed them to give her the
habit and himself donated land at Chich on a creek of the Colne for a
monastery. It is related that she was captured and martyred by Danish
pirates, who beheaded her.

The village of Saint Osyth in Essex, originally called Chich, has its
name from this woman, as do several other localities. Her
relics were returned to her convent before 1000 AD from Aylesbury, where
they were taken during the Danish invasions. Her shrine at Chich is
mentioned in the treatise "On the resting-places of saints" (Attwater,
Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Walsh).

Osyth is shown as a queen with her crown at her feet or on a table
before her; sometimes carrying her severed head. Venerated at
Colchester (Roeder).

Service to our Venerable Mother Osyth, Abbess of Chich

Pictures of the 14th century St Osyth Priory

St. Canog (Cenneur, Cynog) of Wales, Martyr
Died c. 492. Saint Canog, the eldest son of the prolific King Saint
Brychan of Brecknock (f.d. April 6). He was killed at
Merthyr-Cynog during a barbarian invasion. There are churches dedicated
to his memory in Wales; he is also honoured in Brittany (Benedictines).

Troparion of St Cynog tone 4
Spurred on by their impiety,/ God-hating barbarians sought to destroy
thee, O holy Cynog,/ but by death thou didst gain the victory./ Pray for
us, that we too may triumph over evil by faithfulness unto the end,/
that we may be granted great mercy.

St. Dubtach of Armagh, Bishop
Died c. 513. Archbishop of the primatial see of Armagh, Ireland, from
497 until his death (Benedictines).

Troparion of St Dubtach Hierarch tone 1
Compassionate pastor and inspired teacher of Armagh's flock, O Hierarch
Dubtach,/ thou art a model of piety for both the pastors and the laity
of Christ's holy Church./ Intercede with Christ our God that we may be
given grace to emulate thee/ in bringing others to Him that we all may
be saved.

St. Helanus (Helen) of Rheims (of Cornwall), Hermit
Died near Rheims, France, 6th century. It is said that Saint Helanus
migrated from Ireland to Cornwall with his three sisters
and six brothers, including Saint Germoc (f.d. June 24) and Saint Breaca
(f.d. June 4). They continued on to Brittany, where they settled at
Bucciolus near Rheims, where he was ordained to the priesthood and
served the people of the area. He is likely to be the titular patron of
Cornish churches that are dedicated to Helen (Benedictines, Bonniwell,

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