24 May 2015

St. Bede the Venerable

A man venerated as an example of holiness even before his death, the name of St. Bede describes his life. From the Old English word bēd, which means prayer, he was devoted to God, to His worship, and to the study of His truth. Living from about the year 672 until 26 May 735, Bede was born on the lands of the Northumbrian monastery in which he died. Brilliant by the standards of any age, he was regarded for his goodness as much as for his scholarship. He died with the words of the Gloria Patri on his lips, and some time before, he had written what is known as his Death Song:

Fore there neidfaerae naenig uuiurthit
thoncsnotturra than him tharf sie
to ymbhycggannae aer his hiniongae
huaet his gastae godaes aeththa yflaes
aefter deothdaege doemid uueorthae.

Before the unavoidable journey there, no one becomes
wiser in thought than him who, by need,
ponders, before his going hence,
what good and evil within his soul,
after his day of death, will be judged.

Heavenly Father, who didst call thy servant St. Bede, while still a child, to devote his life to thy service in the disciplines of religion and scholarship; Grant that as he laboured in the Spirit to bring the riches of thy truth to his generation, so we, in our various vocations, may strive to make thee known in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.