> Commemoration: St. Bede the Venerable
|« Back to calendar||« Previous Event | Next Event »|
Annually on May 25
St. Bede the Venerable,
Priest and Monk of Jarrow,
Teacher of the Faith,
PRAYER (traditional wording):
Heavenly Father, who didst call thy servant Bede, while still a Child, to devote his life to thy service in the disciplines of religion and scholarship: Grant that as he labored 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.
A Hymn written by St. Bede
A hymn of glory let us sing;
New songs throughout the world shall ring:
Christ, by a road before untrod,
Now rises to the throne of God.
The holy apostolic band
Upon the Mount of Olives stand;
And with his followers they see
Their Lord's ascending majesty.
To them the angels drawing nigh,
"Why stand and gaze upon the sky?
This is the Savior," thus they say;
"This is his glorious triumph day.
"Again shall ye behold him so
As ye today have seen him go,
In glorious pomp ascending high,
Up to the portals of the sky."
O risen Christ, ascended Lord,
All praise to thee let earth accord,
Who art, while endless ages run,
With Father and with Spirit one.
From Holy Women, Holy Men:
At the age of seven, Bede’s parents brought him to the nearby
monastery at Jarrow (near Durham in northeast England) for his
education. There, as he later wrote, “spending all the remaining time
of my life ... I wholly applied myself to the study of Scripture, and
amidst the observance of regular discipline, and the daily care of
singing in the church, I always took delight in learning, teaching, and
Bede was ordained deacon at nineteen, and presbyter at thirty. He died
on the eve of the Ascension while dictating a vernacular translation of
the Gospel according to John. About 1020 his body was removed to
Durham, and placed in the Galilee, the Lady Chapel at the west end of
the Cathedral nave.
Bede was the greatest scholar of his time in the Western Church.
He wrote commentaries on the Scriptures based on patristic
interpretations. His treatise on chronology was standard for a long
time. He also wrote on orthography, poetic meter, and especially
on history. His most famous work, The Ecclesiastical History of
England, written in Latin, remains the primary source for the period
597 to 731, when Anglo-Saxon culture developed and Christianity
triumphed. In this work, Bede was clearly ahead of his time. He
consulted many documents, carefully evaluated their reliability, and
cited his sources. His interpretations were balanced and judicious. He
also wrote the History of the Abbots (of Wearmouth and Jarrow), and
a notable biography of Cuthbert, both in prose and verse.
His character shines through his work—an exemplary monk, an
ardent Christian, devoted scholar, and a man of pure and winsome
manners. He received the unusual title of Venerable more than a
century after his death. According to one legend, the monk writing the
inscription for his tomb was at a loss for a word to fill out the couplet:
Hac sunt in fossa
(This grave contains the— blank—Bede’s remains)
That night an angel filled in the blank: Venerabilis.
Click the link below to learn more about St. Bede: