St Bede the Venerable

St Bede the Venerable (673 – 735),

Monk of Jarrow, Doctor of the Church, Father of English History

Today we commemorate Saint Bede the Venerable, a Doctor of the Church. He is most noted for his writings on English Church History. Bede is the only doctor with the title of Venerable.

The Venerable learning and holiness were approved during his lifetime and a church council ordered certain of his writings to be read publicly in all the churches. Although his presence was requested by kings he remained in his own monastery and seldom left.

This saintly monk made it his daily practice to read, pray, write and teach for the honour and glory of God and constantly blessed God’s holy name through all of his words and actions.

Much of his efforts were spent in bringing to the people in a simplified form the teaching of the Church.

The church where St Bede lived and died.

The historian, J. R. Green, says of St. Bede:

First among English scholars, first among English theologians, first among English historians, it is in the monk of Jarrow that English literature strikes its roots. In the six hundred scholars who gathered round him for instruction, he is the father of our national education.

 

Prayer composed by StBede

I implore you, goodJesus, that as in your mercy you have given me to drink in with delight the words of your knowledge, so of your loving kindness you will also grant me one day to come to you, the fountain of all wisdom, and to stand for ever before your face.  Amen.

 The dedication stone of the church, a stone which Bede has seen and a dedication which he might have witnessed.

The inscription reads:

DEDICATIOBASILICAE

SanCtiPAULIVIIIIKaLendis MAI

ANNOXVECGFRIDIREGis

CEOLFRIDIABBatisEIUSDEMQuo

Que ECCLESiaeDeOAUCTORE

CONDITORISANNOIIII

A rough translation: The Dedication of the Basilica of St Paul on the 9th of the Kalends of May, In the fifteenth year of King Ecgfrith, The 4th year of Abbot Ceolfrith, And also founder under God, of the same Church.

9th Kalends of May =23rd April. 15th year of the reign of Ecgfrith=685AD.

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