St. Bede the Venerable

Friends in Christ, today is the feast of St. Bede the Venerable. St. Bede was born in England in 672, and at age 7 his parents sent him to be educated at a Benedictine monastery. He never really left, and from early on, his love was for the Holy Scriptures; he was also an expert in Greek and Latin. His commentaries on Scripture are many, but he is also famous for ‘The Ecclesiastical History of the English People,’ a work that gained him the title “The Father of English History”. Little would be known of English history before 729 if it weren’t for Venerable Bede.
Although he is a Saint, he is still often called ‘Venerable Bede.’ He obtained this title in the following way: when he was quite old, and his eyesight was poor, he was sometimes led by a brother so that he could preach in the villages. Once, as they were passing through a valley that was filled with large stones, this brother as a joke, told him there were many people there waiting to hear him preach – but they were only stones. Not able to see clearly, Bede preached the Word. Reminiscent of Jesus’ words, the stones themselves cried out, saying, ‘Amen, Venerable Bede.’ Having heard of this marvel, the people called him the Venerable Bede.
As his death neared, he had not yet finished his translation of the Gospel of John. His assistant, a young brother told him: ‘There is still one sentence dear master which is not written down,’ and when the last passage had been supplied, and he was told that it was finished, Bede exclaimed, ‘you have well said, all is finished. He died as he was saying the Glory Be.
His life shows that one need not be showy or loud to be great. Although he rarely left his monastery, he became known throughout England and far beyond – he has been called ‘the happiest of monks.’

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