Celtic and Old English Saints          7 February

* St. Ronan of Kilmaronen
* St. Richard of Wessex
* St. Meldon of Peronne
* St. Tressan of Mareuil
* St Aule of London

St. Ronan of Kilmaronen, Bishop
(Ruadan, Ruadhan)
Saint Ronan, a Scottish bishop of Kilmaronen, has erroneously been
identified as the Irish monk mentioned by the Venerable Bede (f.d. May
25) as the defender of the Roman calculation for the date of Easter at
the Synod of Whitby. St. Ronan's Well at Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, was
popularised by one of Sir Walter Scott's novels. According to tradition,
Ronan came into the valley and drove out the devil. This event is
remembered annually at the end of "Saint Ronan's Games" in July when a
schoolboy, given a pastoral staff, is chosen to represent the saint as
he "cleeks the devil" (Farmer).

St. Richard the King, Confessor
Died 722. More than any other race, the Anglo Saxons are distinguished
for the royal patronage bestowed upon the Christian Church, and for the
way in which kings and their families have worked in the spreading of
the gospel in their own lands and overseas. St.Richard and his family
are outstanding examples. He was one of the kings or princes of Wessex,
related to the royal house of Kent, and married to Winna, herself a
descendant of Cerdic and aunt to Boniface of Crediton.

Richard was brought up as a Christian and his faith was real and firm.
When his eldest son Willibald was three years old, the child fell
grievously ill, and there seemed to be no hope for his recovery. His
father wrapped him in a blanket and, mounting his horse, rode out into
the night to a wayside crucifix at a crossroads near to the village
where they lived. Butler tells us that

"Saint Richard, when living, obtained by his prayers the recovery of
his younger son Willibald, whom he laid at the foot of a great crucifix
erected in a public place in England, when the child's life was
despaired of in a grievous sickness."

Richard placed the child at the foot of the cross and knelt in prayer,
pleading for his son's life. Willibald did recover, and two years later
he was entrusted to Egbald, the abbot of Warham, near Winchester, to be

When Willibald reached manhood, he returned to his family with a desire
to spread the faith abroad, and persuaded his father and brother to
accompany him on a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land. Richard had a
daughter, Walburga, by a second marriage, and she now entered the
convent at Wimborne, under the Abbess Tetta. When Richard had renounced
his royal estate, he set sail with his two sons from Hamblehaven near
Southampton. They made a leisurely progress through France, spending
time at various Christian centres including Rouen, and it seems that at
some time during their journey Richard took monastic vows.

They reached Italy and came to Lucca, where the Cathedral had been built
by an Irish monk called Frigidian, but known by the local inhabitants as
Frediano. Richard, who was growing old and had become infirm during his
travels, now succumbed to the heat and died. His sons saw to his burial
in St. Frediano's church and then continued their journey. Later they
joined their uncle St.Boniface and their sister St.Walburga in the work
of converting the Germans. Their father, St.Richard, is still venerated
in Lucca. A famous account of the pilgrimage on which he died was
written by his son's cousin, the nun Hugeburc, entitled "Hodoeporicon"

In art, King Saint Richard is portrayed as a royal pilgrim (ermine-lined
cloak) with two sons--one a bishop and one an abbot. His crown may be on
a book (Roeder). He is venerated at Heidenheim and Lucca (Roeder).

St. Meldon (Medon) of Peronne, Bishop
6th century. An Irishman who died at Peronne, France, where he was a
hermit and where he is the titular saint of several churches

St. Tressan (Tresain) of Mareuil
Died 550. Saint Tressan is said to be one of five or six brothers,
including Saint Gibrian (f.d. May 8), and three sisters, who travelled
from Ireland to France to evangelize for the glory of God in the diocese
of Rheims, France. The names of the others are given as Helan, Germanus,
Abran (who may be Gibrian), Petran, Franca, Promptia, and Possenna
(variations on these names are used). Tressan worked there as a
swineherd, but he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Remigius (f.d.
October 1), who provided the siblings with suitable retreats from which
they could spread the faith. Tressan became curate of
Mareuil-sur-Marne, and the patron saint of Avenay in Champagne. His
cultus is strong and has been continuous in the area of Rheims.
(Benedictines, D'Arcy, Encyclopaedia, Fitzpatrick, Kenney, Montague,

St Aule (Augulus), Bishop and Martyr of London
Died c. 303. Saint Jerome's martyrology lists Augulus as a bishop.
Others describe him as a martyr put to death in London under Diocletian.
French writers normally identify him with Saint Aule of Normandy

Troparion of St Aule tone 3
Having lighted the candle of faith in London,/ O glorious Martyr Aule,/
thy radiance was a challenge to the godless Diocletian/ who caused the
flame of thy life to be extinguished./ Pray, O martyr, that the flame of
our faith/ may burn so brightly that through our constancy/ we may be
found worthy of the mercy of Christ our God.

Kontakion of St Aule tone 7
Thou didst sanctify our capital with thy blood,/ O Passion-Bearer Aule,/
defending the true Faith,/ which was more precious to thee than life
itself./ We honour thee, we hymn thee/ and we praise thy name rejoicing/
in thy glorious memory.


Baring-Gould, S. The Lives of the Saints
(15 volumes: John Hodges, 1882)

Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
(1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
Saints of the British Isles Complied from
Ancient Calendars.

D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
lives of the saints.]

Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
New York: Doubleday Image.

Fitzpatrick, B. (1922). Ireland and the Making of Britain.
New York: Funk and Wagnalls.

Fitzpatrick, B. (1927). Ireland and the Foundations of Europe.
New York: Funk & Wagnalls.

Kenney, J. F. (1929). Sources for Early History of Ireland,
Ecclesiastical. New York: Columbia University Press.

Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
Guildford: Billing & Sons.

O'Hanlon, J. (1875). Lives of Irish Saints, 10 vol. Dublin.

Roeder, Helen. (1955). Saints and Their Attributes: With a
Guide to Localities and Patronage. Chicago:
Henry Regnery Company.

For All the Saints:

An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West

These Lives are archived at:


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