Synaxis of All the Saints of Switzerland
Hierarch Nikolaj Velimirovic, Bishop of Ohrid and Žica (died 1956)
Nikolaj was born in 1880 in the Serbian mountain village of Lelic. In 1908 he received his doctorate in theology from the Old Catholic Faculty in Bern. He defended his doctorate in philosophy in Geneva in 1909. In the same year he was ordained a monk. From 1919 he was bishop of Žica and was very popular with the people. During World War II he was deported to the Dachau concentration camp. After emigrating to the USA, he taught at various orthodox seminaries. His popular writings testify to a deep, patristic spirit with an immediate, high wisdom. His observances are March 5 (18) and April 20 (May 3).
Troparion (Tone 8): O golden-tongued preacher proclaiming the risen Christ, everlasting guide of the cross-bearing Serbian people, resounding harp of the Holy Spirit, and dear to monastics who rejoice in you, pride and boast of the priesthood, teacher of repentance, master for all nations, guide of those in the army of Christ as they pray to God, holy Nicholas teacher in America and pride of the Serbian people, with all the saints, implore the only Lover of mankind to grant us peace and joy in his heavenly kingdom!
Venerable Fintan (also: Findanus) of Rheinau († 878)
Fintan was an Irish itinerant monk. In Scotland, he lived as a hermit among the Picts in 845. Later he served as a nobleman in Alemannia. On the Upper Rhine, he entered the Rheinau monastery near today's Schaffhausen and lived there as a hermit. His relics are in the Rheinau monastery. His feast day is November 15 (28).
Troparion (Tone 7): You son of a noble family from Ireland, you lost all your relatives and became a slave. You were caught, but in Scotland you managed to escape and be free. Then you made a pilgrimage from Italy to Swabia before becoming a hermit in Switzerland. Holy Fintan, ask Christ God to save our souls!
Place of pilgrimage: Rheinau
Hieromartyr Victor of Tomils († 9th century)
Victor was a priest in Tomils and throughout the valley of Domleschg. He owned a vineyard near the castle of Ortenstein, which he inherited from his father. A count challenged him for this inheritance, and during a discussion, Viktor accused the count of his bad life, whereupon the count had him beheaded. But Victor stood, lifted up his head and walked away. He stopped on a small hill below the count's castle where he died. His feast day is May 8 (21).
Place of pilgrimage: Tomils / Cazis
Hierarch Pirmin von Reichenau († 753)
Pirmin's exact origin remains uncertain. He was of Gothic, Romanesque or Iro-Scottish descent. In Meaux he was ordained a missionary bishop and travelled to Switzerland among other places. He founded the Pfungen monastery near Winterthur and in 724 the Mittelzell monastery, which is located on the Bodensee island of Reichenau. He is also said to have founded the Pfäfers monastery near Chur. He is considered an apostle of faith to Alsace, southern Germany and northern German-speaking Switzerland. He died in his Hornbach monastery. His feast day is November 3 (16).
Venerable Pontius († 6th century)
Pontius came with brethren from St. Claude to the Joux Valley, where he settled as a hermit in what is now Le Lieu. He is considered the patron saint of several villages in the Jura. No special day of remembrance.
Venerable Wandregisil (also: Wandrille or Wando) († 673)
Wandregisil came from a noble family in the Verdun area. At a young age, he came to the royal court of Dagobert I, where he was highly regarded for his charity and humility. At first, he lived with his wife in a celibate marriage; later both entered a monastery. He was tonsured as a monk around 630 in Montfaucon Abbey. Then he went to the monastery of Bobbio. He also served in the monastery of St. Romanus and Lupicinus and lived an ascetic life in the Jura for ten years. The foundations of the monasteries of Fontenelle and Saint-Ursanne go back to him. Some of his relics are now in the revived monastery of St. Wandrille. His feast day is July 22 (August 4)
Hierarch John the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco (died 1966)
Johannes was born in what is now Ukraine in 1896. From an early age, he was admired for his high spirituality in Serbia, where he taught at various religious institutions. He was ordained bishop of Shanghai. As “Duchovnik” (spiritual father of an entire region), he tirelessly gave comfort and healing to people in hospitals, homes and churches throughout China. Before taking over the diocese of San Francisco as archbishop, he led and was very active in the diocese of Western Europe, which includes Switzerland. He is known to have served in the Church of St. Barbara in Vevey and the Protection of the Virgin Mary in Zurich. He is revered by the faithful as a great miracle worker. His memorial day is April 19.
June (2 July).
Tropar (Tone 5): Lo, thy care for thy flock in its sojourn prefigured the supplications which thou doest ever offer up for the whole world. Thus do we believe, having come to know thy love, O holy hierarch and wonderworker John. Wholly sanctified by God through the ministry of the all-pure Mysteries, and thyself ever strengthened thereby, thou didst hasten unto the suffering, O most gladsome healer. Hasten now also to the aid of us who honor thee with all our heart.