CHURCH Historian and Doctor of the Church, born 672 or 673; died 735. In the last chapter of his great work on the “Ecclesiastical History of the English People”
Bede has told us something of his own life, and it is, practically speaking, all that we know. His words, written in 731, when death was not far off, not only show a simplicity and piety characteristic of the man, but they throw a light on the composition of the work through which he is best remembered by the world at large.
Thus much concerning the ecclesiastical history of Britain, and especially of the race of the English, I, Baeda, a servant of Christ and a priest of the monastery of the blessed apostles St. Peter and St. Paul, which is at Wearmouth and at Jarrow (in Northumberland), have with the Lord’s help composed so far as I could gather it either from ancient documents or from the traditions of the elders, or from my own knowledge. I was born in the territory of the said monastery, and at the age of seven I was, by the care of my relations, given to the most reverend Abbot Benedict [St. Benedict Biscop], and afterwards to Ceolfrid, to be educated. From that time I have spent the whole of my life within that monastery, devoting all my pains to the study of the Scriptures, and amid the observance of monastic discipline and the daily charge of singing in the Church, it has been ever my delight to learn or teach or write. In my nineteenth year I was admitted to the diaconate, in my thirtieth to the priesthood, both by the hands of the most reverend Bishop John [St. John of Beverley], and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid. From the time of my admission to the priesthood to my present fifty-ninth year, I have endeavored for my own use and that of my brethren, to make brief notes upon the holy Scripture, either out of the works of the venerable Fathers or in conformity with their meaning and interpretation. By his hand, Ven. BEDE.
OFFICE of READINGS: pgs 1831-1833, the Liturgy of the Hours
From a letter on the death of the Venerable Bede, Cuthbert
I DESIRE TO SEE CHRIST
On Tuesday, before the feast of the Annunciation, ….
At three o’clock Bede said to me,: “I have a few treasures in my private chest, some pepper, napkins, and a little incense.
Run quickly and bring the Priests of our monastery, and I will distribute among them these little presents that God has given me.”
When the priests arrive he spoke to them and asked each one to offer Masses and prayers for him regularly. They promised to do so. The priests were sad, however, and they all wept, especially because Bede, has said that he thought they would not see his face much longer in this world. Yet they they rejoiced when he said,
“If it so please my Maker, it is time for me to return to Him that created me and formed me out of nothing when I did not exist. I have lived a long time, and the righteous judge has taken good care of me during my whole life. The time has come for my departure, and I long to die and be with Christ. My soul yearns to see Christ, my King, in all His glory.” He said many other things which profited us greatly, and so he passed the day joyfully till evening.
When evening came, young Wilbert said to Bede, “ Dear Master, these is still one sentence that we have not written down,” Bede Said; Quickly write it down.” In a little while, Wilbert said, there, now it is written down. Bede said good. You have spoken the truth; it is finished. Hold my head in your hands, for I really enjoy sitting opposite the holy place where I used to pray, I can call upon my Father as I sit there.”
And so Bede, as he lay upon the floor of his cell, sang: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.”
And when he had named the Holy Spirit, he breathed his last breath, We believe most firmly that Bede has not entered into the joy of heaven on earth were always dedicated to the Glory of God.
Daily Indulgence: 3 yrs, partial, (Pius IX, rescript in his own hand, Apr 11,1874; S.P. Ap., Dec 13, 1932). Plenary upon daily devout recital for one month.
#66. ” O holy Lord Father almighty, everlasting God, for the sake of Thy Bounty and that of thy Son, who for me endured suffering and death; for the sake of the most excellent holiness of his Mother, and the merits of all the saints, grant unto me a sinner, unworthy of All Thy blessings, that I may love Thee only, may ever thirst for Thy love, may have continually in my heart the benefits of Thy passion, may acknowledge my own wretchedness and my desire to be trampled upon and be despised by all men; let nothing grieve me save guilt. Amen RACCOLTA pg30.