Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Saint Bede the Venerable

The Tomb of the Venerable Bede in Durham Cathedral

Cemented into the wall of the tower of St Paul`s Church in Jarrow, is the original stone slab which records in a Latin inscription the dedication of the church on 23 April AD 685, which would have been one of the churches known to St Bede. In AD 682, Ceolfrid its superior, left Wearmouth with 20 monks (including his protege the young Bede) to start the foundation in Jarrow.

In his General Audience of Wednesday 18th February 2009, the Pope spoke of Saint Bede the Venerable (672/673–May 26, 735).

He said:

"In our catechesis on the early Christian writers of East and West, we now turn to Saint Bede the Venerable. A monk of the monastery of Wearmouth in England, Bede became one of the most learned men of the early Middle Ages and a prolific author, while also gaining a reputation for great holiness and wisdom.

His scriptural commentaries highlight the unity of the Old and New Testaments, centred on the mystery of Christ and the Church.

Bede is best known, however, for his historical writings, in which he traced the history of the Church from the Acts of the Apostles, through the age of the Fathers and Councils, and down to his own times. His Ecclesiastical History recounts the Church’s missionary expansion and growth among the English people.

Bede’s rich ecclesial, liturgical and historical vision enable his writings to serve as a guide for the Church’s teachers, pastors and religious in living out their vocations in the service of the Church’s mission.

His great learning and the sanctity of his life, earned Bede the title of “Venerable”, while the rapid spread of his writings made him a highly influential figure in the building of a Christian Europe."