Germany to Commemorate the Feast of German Saints for the First Time

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On October 1, the parishes of the Berlin and German Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church will hold festive liturgical services in honor of the assembly of saints who shone forth in the German land. This was announced in a decree by Metropolitan Tikhon of Ruzhsk, published on the diocese's website.

The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church established a separate celebration for the assembly of German saints during its latest session in August. Prior to this decision, since 2018, a special commission in the diocese had been gathering information about the saints of Germany from the first millennium and compiling descriptions of their lives. Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany and Archbishop Tikhon of Ruzhsk then petitioned Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to "bless and approve the veneration of the locally revered saints of Germany."

In the end, the Assembly of German Saints included 12 ascetics: the holy martyr Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz, enlightener of Germany (754 AD), the holy martyr Aureus, Bishop of Mainz (436 AD), the martyr Afra of Augsburg (304 AD), St. Maximinus, Bishop of Trier (347 AD), St. Maternus, the first Bishop of Cologne (4th century), St. Willibrord, Archbishop of Utrecht (739 AD), St. Ansgar, Archbishop of Hamburg (865 AD), St. Leoba of Bischofsheim (728 AD), St. Walpurga of Eichstätt (779 AD), and several others.

The hierarchs of the Holy Synod took into account the findings of the commission and the evidence of the veneration of these individuals as saints in the first millennium. The feast day of the Assembly of Saints, who shone forth in the German land, is set for September 20 according to the old style (October 3 according to the new style), and if this day coincides with a Sunday, otherwise, it will be observed on the nearest Sunday to September 20 / October 3.

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