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Monday, January 21, 2013

Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne



Frank Brangwyn 1867 – 11 June 1956
The  Brangwyn Mosaic
1910 - 1916
St Aidan`s Church, Leeds


Frank Brangwyn 1867 – 11 June 1956
The  Brangwyn Mosaic: St Aidan in Lindisfarne
1910 - 1916
St Aidan`s Church, Leeds


Frank Brangwyn 1867 – 11 June 1956
The  Brangwyn Mosaic: St Aidan preaching
1910 - 1916
St Aidan`s Church, Leeds



Frank Brangwyn 1867 – 11 June 1956
The  Brangwyn Mosaic: St Aidan on his deathbed
1910 - 1916
St Aidan`s Church, Leeds


All the above images are from the informative website of St Aidan`s Church in Leeds

The mosaic shows four periods in St Aidan’s life: feeding the poor, his arrival at Lindisfarne, preaching and on his deathbed.

It was Brangwyn`s genius that he could bring this shadowy but great figure to life. In this work as in other works about the early saints, he shines bright light into the Dark Ages

Here is another work by Brangwyn on the life of St Aidan


Frank Brangwyn 1867 – 11 June 1956 
St Aidan, Bishop of North Cumbria, AD 635 Training Boys at Lindisfarne
c.1920 
Tempera on canvas, 228 x 405.5 cm 
Christ's Hospital Foundation, Horsham, Sussex 


The Anglican bishop, Bishop Lightfoot of Durham said of St Aidan (died 651):
"Augustine was the Apostle of Kent, but Aidan was the Apostle of the English."
He is certainly the Apostle of Northumbria

Aidan arrived in Northumbria from Iona about AD 635 at the invitation of King Oswald of Northumbria. 

In this Year of Faith it is perhaps suitable to recollect Bede`s description of the evangelisation conducted by St Aidan and King Oswald

The Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation (Volume III), while criticising Aidan for not following the Roman way of calculating Easter, makes it clear that his saintly character and activities were never in doubt:

"I have written thus much concerning the person and works of the aforesaid Aidan, in no way commending or approving what he imperfectly understood in relation to the observance of Easter; nay, very much detesting the same, as I have most manifestly proved in the book I have written, "De Temporibus"; 
but, like an impartial historian, relating what was done by or with him, and commending such things as are praiseworthy in his actions, and preserving the memory thereof for the benefit of the readers; 
viz. his love of peace and charity; his continence and humility; his mind superior to anger and avarice, and despising pride and vainglory; his industry in keeping and teaching the heavenly commandments; his diligence in reading and watching; his authority becoming a priest in reproving the haughty and powerful, and at the same time his tenderness in comforting the afflicted, and relieving or defending the poor. 
To say all in a few words, as near as I could be informed by those that knew him, he took care to omit none of those things which he found in the apostolic or prophetical writings, but to the utmost of his power endeavoured to perform them all."