Tuesday 29th November 2022

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bede The Venerable

May 12, 2015 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

In northern England — what is now known as the county of Tyne and Wear — on the Wear River sits St. Peter’s at Monkwearmouth. About seven miles away are the ruins of St. Paul’s Parish, which contain the oldest stained-glass window in the world. Both churches played an important role in the development of Christianity in England, leading them to be selected as a World Heritage Site and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
In the mid-seventh century, Benedict Biscop received some land from Egfrid, king of Northumbria, to build a monastery and church. The monastery, completed in 674, became the major Anglo-Saxon center of learning in northern England. In 678, the Pope — probably Pope Agatho, who was elected that year — urged Biscop to start another monastery because St. Peter’s was such a success. The new building became known as St. Paul’s.
Benedict Biscop traveled to Rome and Europe frequently, returning with so many books and works of art that the monastery became known for its literary treasures, including many writings of the Fathers of the Church. It also became the center of book production.
In 793 the Viking raids destroyed part of the monastery, with the Danes completing the near destruction in 860. Only one or two monks remained in the ruins; those ruins were finally given away to associates of Henry VIII in the mid-16th century.
Of all the students and monks who resided in these august walls, Bede the Venerable is certainly the most renowned: the Father of English History.
Very little is known about Bede, who spent nearly all his life at the monastery. He was born in 672, most likely to wealthy parents. When Bede was seven years old, his parents sent him to the twin monasteries, entrusting him to the care of St. Benedict Biscop. Here he stayed for the rest of his life, rarely leaving its walls to visit friends.
At the age of ten he was transferred to St. Paul’s under the guardianship of St. Ceolfrid. This saint recommended him for Ordination to the diaconate when Bede was 19 and later to the priesthood when he turned 30. Both Ordinations were presided over by Bishop John (St. John of Beverley).
Between the time of his Ordination and his death, he passed his time studying Scripture, observing monastic discipline, and singing in the Church. During this period his extraordinary holiness led others to call him Bede the Venerable. He demonstrated moderation, gentleness, and breadth of view. His favorite past-times were to learn, to teach, and to write, “For my own use and that of my brethren.”
St. Bede found great joy in this reading, writing, and studying. The extensive library collected by Benedict brought many hours of work and enjoyment for Bede. He spent most of his time studying the writings of the fathers of the Church and the reading of Sacred Scripture.
Since he had mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he also excelled at translating the Sacred Scriptures. (He was the first to write a commentary on the Book of Revelation.) So eager was Bede to write commentaries on the Scriptures, supported by writings of the Church fathers, that he developed a new style of writing much smaller than what was commonly used in the production of books. In this time before the printing press, the smaller script greatly shortened the time to produce a book.
Hence St. Peter and St. Paul at Jarrow became known as one of the great book-producing monasteries of the time. Bede’s familiarity with the writings of St. Augustine, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and others helped him in writing about Sacred Scripture. In addition, Bede was the first to insist that the passages he used from the Church fathers be completely noted in the text of his translations and commentaries.
St. Bede also wrote a five-volume history of the Church in England, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People.” This history covered the time from the raids of Julius Caesar in 55-45 B.C. until the arrival of St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597. The work was acclaimed as the “finest historical work of the Middle Ages.”
Bede may have been the first to write a complete history of the world from creation to the year 725. In this history, Bede became the first historian to use the distinction of Anno Domino (the year of our Lord) to distinguish historical events that happened after the birth of Christ.
In writing these histories, he took great pains to collect accurate information as well as making a careful analysis of various authors in order to have a comprehensive work. Bede became widely acclaimed as the most brilliant historian of his time.
In all of his writings, he insisted that all historical accounts must be subordinated to the words of Holy Scripture, “Holy Scripture is above all other books not only because it is divine, or by its utility because it leads to eternal life, but also by its antiquity and its literary form.” He wrote that his notes were “in conformity with their meaning and interpretation.”
St. Bede even wrote some papers on music. His two compositions about music were Musica Theoretica and De arte Metrica.
St. Bede was greatly loved by his fellow monks as testified by Cuthbert, one of his disciples, who described Bede’s last moments. Bede became ill around 734, but continued his studies without interruption as his fellow monks read aloud to him. Frequently, the readers took a break in order to contain their tears. Meanwhile, Bede thanked God without ceasing as Cuthbert explains, “I can with truth declare, that I never saw with my eyes or heard with my ears anyone return thanks so unceasingly to the living God.”
On the Vigil of the Ascension, May 25, 735, the end was near. Still, Bede continued to dictate the end of his translation of the Gospel of John into the vernacular. As Bede paused, his young assistant, Wilbert, noted that he needed one more sentence. After Bede completed the sentence and Wilbert told Bede it was done, Bede exclaimed, “Take my head in thy hands for it much delights me to sit opposite any holy place where I used to pray, that so sitting I may call upon my Father.” His final words he sang with joy, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.”
Many consider Bede as the most learned man of his time. At the Council of Aachen in 853, he was formally declared to be Bede the Venerable. In 1899 Pope Leo XIII declared him as doctor of the Church, making Bede the only English-born person to receive the title.
His tomb is in the Anglican Cathedral of Durham along with the relics of St. Cuthbert. The Church celebrates his feast day on May 25.
Dear St. Bede the Venerable, instill in us a zeal for the writings of the fathers of the Church.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Seems Biden is warning us of another Democratic sweep tonight? Hmmm!

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Cardinal Zen found guilty in Hong Kong trial

CWN Editor’s Note: Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, was found guilty on November 25 on charges of failing to register a charitable fund that provided legal help for defendants accused of violating China’s draconian new “security” law. The cardinal and five co-defendants will be required to pay a fine equivalent to $500. After his conviction, Cardinal Zen said that the case should not be seen as a violation of religious freedom.…Continue Reading

Kansas Judge Blocks State Law Banning Doctors From Providing Abortion Pills to Patients Online

A Kansas judge has blocked a state law that banned doctors from providing abortion pills through telemedicine. Shawnee County District Court Judge Teresa Watson granted an abortionists request for a temporary injunction

Archbishop Broglio elected USCCB president

BALTIMORE (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, was elected Tuesday to serve as the next president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The U.S. bishops elected Archbishop Broglio, the current secretary of the USCCB, to a three-year term as president by a vote of 138-99.

Michigan Legalizes Abortions Up to Birth After Leftist Billionaires Spend Millions Buying Votes

Michigan will become the next state to legalzie abortions up to birth after voters approved the dangerous and radical Proposition 3 to would elimiate every single pro-life law in the state, including parental consent. The 55-45 result in favor of the pro-abortion amendment was not surprising given the millions of dollars leftist billionaires pooured into the state to buy votes with false and misleading television commercials that lied about the effects of the measure. Rich,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider Restate Concerns About Restrictions on Traditional Liturgy

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Raymond Burke has questioned the basis of papal-led efforts to restrict and eventually eliminate the traditional Latin Mass, while Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said the “millennium-old treasure” cannot be destroyed, as it is the work of the Holy Spirit. The cardinal and bishop kindly shared their comments as part of a talk I gave the Latin Mass Society in London on Oct. 21. As concerns deepen over this pontificate’s

Divine Mercy Shrine In Wisconsin Defaced With Graffiti

By JONAH McKEOWN ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CNA) — A Catholic parish in southern Wisconsin suffered a graffiti attack overnight on Sunday, November 20, that saw a large tiled display of the Divine Mercy image defaced with green spray-painted letters.Run by the Stockbridge, Mass.-based Marian Fathers, St. Peter Parish is located in Kenosha, on Lake Michigan…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Theism Reconsidered

By GARY BULLERT Paul Herrick’s latest book, Philosophy, Reasoned Belief, and Faith (University of Notre Dame Press, 2022, 459 pages, $45.00), constitutes the capstone of a forty-year career as an instructor, professional philosopher, and author. It augments more synoptically his earlier book, Think with Socrates: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Like Socrates, philosophy is a…Continue Reading

The Blessing And Its Counterfeits

By DONALD DeMARCO The blessing, whether it is formal or informal, administered by clergy or laymen, performed in church or at home, is an everyday occurrence in Catholic life. It is a way in which God’s grace is invoked to benefit its intended recipient.We bless our house, our food, our religious articles, people who are…Continue Reading

Putin’s “Winter War” On Ukraine

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Winter has often proven an indispensable ally of Mother Russia.The impending winter of 1812-13 forced Napoleon’s withdrawal from Moscow, a retreat from which his Grande Armée never recovered.The winter of 1941-1942 sealed the ultimate fate of the invading armies of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.Vladimir Putin’s new strategy in the war he…Continue Reading

But The Catholic Bishops Just Rebuked Her… Nancy Pelosi Claims She’s a “Devout Catholic”

By STEVEN ERTELT WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeNews) — During her farewell address as Speaker to fellow Democrats on November 17, Nancy Pelosi called herself a “devout Catholic.” But nothing could be further from the truth.“I stand before you as Speaker of the House, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a devout Catholic, a proud Democrat,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Conforming Ourselves To Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10Romans 15:4-9Matt. 3:1-12 In the first reading today, we hear about a shoot that will sprout from the stump of Jesse. Jesse, recall, was the father of King David. The promise made to King David was that one of his sons would sit on his throne in perpetuity.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. Contact us at the addresses provided below. Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 8) To get the people away from worshiping…Continue Reading

When All Seems Lost

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK As I look around and survey the general situation, things seem very bleak, as I’m sure they do also for many others. The world is at war, fighting and killing consuming lives, as well as livelihoods, homes, and wealth. Civilization is lost under the rubble as barbarism reigns. A war is waged in the womb…Continue Reading

The Not-So-Nice Origins And Meanings Of The Word “Nice”

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this article on November 13 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + Words can change meaning over time — sometimes dramatically. For example, “manufactured” originally meant “handmade” (manu (hand) + facere (make)). The word “decimate” used to mean “to reduce by a tenth” (decem = ten); now people…Continue Reading

A Very Blessed Place To Be

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5Romans 13:11-14Matt. 24:37-44 As we begin a new Church year today, we find ourselves balanced on the summit of a mountain. From our perch on this height, we look one direction and we see what is behind us, we look the other direction and we see what is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Padre Pio And The Poor Souls

By DEB PIROCH Part 2 “Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in the most need of Thy mercy” — Fatima prayer. + + This week we continue to discuss the special closeness St. Pio had with the suffering souls in Purgatory. Yes, he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Francis De Sales, Author And Apologist

By DEB PIROCH Anger is not a sin. It is how one employs anger that can lead to sin, but Christ Himself was justifiably angered when His house of prayer was transformed into a “den of thieves.” What did Christ mean?A church is for praying, for celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass, for the distribution of the sacraments. It is…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)